Twist in Lando Norris to Red Bull talk as team face ‘luxury problem’

Sam Cooper
McLaren driver Lando Norris at the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa-Francorchamps.

Lando Norris has been increasingly linked with a move to Red Bull.

Red Bull have reportedly “postponed” their hunt for Lando Norris until 2025 after Helmut Marko described the “luxury problem” they are facing.

Norris at 23 is one of the hottest properties in Formula 1 and while his team-mate signed a new deal in the build-up to the Singapore Grand Prix, there is still talk of where the Brit will be racing in a few years.

His current McLaren contract runs until the end of 2025 but there have been increased reports that Red Bull may be sniffing around to try and secure his signature.

Red Bull reportedly postpone Lando Norris talks

According to Blick journalist Roger Benoit, the Milton Keynes outfit have postponed any potential enticing of Norris until the 2025 season as they focus on their existing pairing of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Helmut Marko has also said the team have a “luxury problem” of four seats and at least five drivers competing to be in them.

“We almost have a luxury problem. Anyone who doesn’t drive in our B team next season will be the reserve and simulator driver for four cars,” Marko said of the allure to join a team like Red Bull.

How serious is Red Bull’s interest in Lando Norris?

As to how serious Red Bull’s interest is, publicly at least they are keeping their distance.

When questioned on potential interest in the driver, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: “Lando is a great driver, there’s no doubt about that. You can see his potential is growing. But he’s a McLaren driver, you have to respect the agreements that are in place. He’s doing a great job in the sport, and of course, we have our drivers confirmed for 2024.

“In 2025, we have one seat open, and as you can imagine, there’s no shortage of interest in that seat, but it’s a long way away at the moment.”

And despite rumours to the contrary, Red Bull and particularly Horner have always been sure Perez will stay in the seat at least until his contract expires next year.

“Checo’s situation for next year is clear,” Horner stated. “He’s a Red Bull Racing driver. We have an agreement with him.

“Irrelevant of agreements, we’re pleased with the job that he’s doing. You saw his drive today, he was unlucky with the pitlane speed limiter [which cost Perez a five-second penalty that dropped him off the podium to fourth].

“He’s second in the world championship, he’s the only driver rather than Max to have won grands prix this year.

“It’s easy to beat up on him when the barometer is so high on the other side, but he will be our driver in 2024.” recommends

The F1 2023 World Championship standings without Red Bull

The most fined drivers and teams on the F1 2023 grid

As for Norris, staying with his ‘home’ team is clearly an important factor in his decision-making. Speaking in August to Sky Sports F1, Norris reaffirmed his desire to “win in papaya.”

“In the back of my mind, there’s that impatient game of, ‘do I sit it out for another few years, or is it time to look at something different?’” Norris said.

“I want to win races with McLaren. I want to win in papaya, I want to win championships. I want to achieve my success and I want to achieve my goals with McLaren. That’s been my target since I’ve come here since I’ve entered Formula 1 with this team.”

McLaren are also resolute in their stance with Zak Brown insisting Norris will see out his current deal which runs until the end of 2025.

As to what comes next is a question that remains to be answered but having secured one of their talents to a lengthy deal, McLaren will be hoping they can convince Norris to do similar.

Read next: Oscar Piastri commits long-term future to McLaren with new contract