More Red Bull revelations as one driver ‘was’ offered Sergio Perez’s race seat

Michelle Foster
Lando Norris looks bored in a press conference with prominent badges of McLaren and Red Bull alongside him

Lando Norris resisted the advances of Red Bull to commit his future to McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso may have approached Red Bull for a race seat and yet ironically the one driver the team did approach, Lando Norris, turned them down.

That’s according to respected F1 reporter Mark Hughes, who reports the McLaren driver “was” offered Sergio Perez’s race seat.

Lando Norris ‘was’ reportedly offered a Red Bull seat

This year’s silly season has been one for the books after Lewis Hamilton created chaos when the Briton announced he’d be leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari at the end of this season.

A week earlier, though, there had been another big announcement when McLaren confirmed Lando Norris on a new multi-year deal billed as “beyond the 2025 season”.

Norris said in the press release: “The journey so far has been exciting, we’ve had ups and downs, but last season showed our desire to get back to competing at the front of the grid.

“The work Zak, Andrea and the whole team have put in over the last year has been incredible and I’m confident in challenging for wins with McLaren. I’m excited to create more amazing memories.”

With the Hamilton announcement coming soon after, pundits questioned whether Norris regretted his early decision to commit to McLaren as it meant he was not in the running for the Mercedes race seat.

But given he reportedly turned down the chance to replace Sergio Perez as the reigning World Champions, Red Bull, it’s unlikely.

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Respected F1 journalist Hughes recently weighed in on the Red Bull driver situation when one fan on X claimed that Alonso, Leclerc and Norris had all turned down a Red Bull seat within the last 12 months.

Hughes replied to that: “That’s just plain untrue. Neither Leclerc, Hamilton nor Alonso were offered a place. Hamilton and Alonso both tried and were told no.’

When that led to an X user saying “both Norris and Alonso have basically ducked the Verstappen test then”, Hughes was again quick to fact-check that one.

“No,” he insisted. “Because Alonso wasn’t offered the drive. Norris was.”

He added: “There is no place for Alonso at Red Bull with Max there.”

What Lando Norris said about partnering Max Verstappen

Having been widely linked to the Red Bull seat alongside triple World Champion Verstappen with Helmut Marko singing his praises, Norris denied earlier this year that his new McLaren deal was him avoiding that situation.

Asked if he was fearful of taking on Verstappen in identical machinery, he told Sky Sports: “I think it’s a longer discussion than just saying that.

“Is Max one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1? Absolutely. I think he’s proved that enough.

“He’s in a team which he’s very comfortable in, a lot of things are built around him, so for anyone – even the Max of a few years ago – to go in against the Max of now is extremely difficult.

“So I don’t think it’s a question of: are you scared or not scared? I don’t think I’d ever be scared of going up against anyone.

“But even if you enter a team, are you in a position to challenge someone straight away? And are you comfortable to do that?

“And I think it’s a ‘no’ – for any driver. It takes time to adapt and takes time to get into place.

“And if you want to go against the best driver in the world, it’s not the best thing to do. It’s not a smart move to do.

“But I would love to race against Max. I’ve enjoyed some of our battles that we’ve had and I’m looking even more forward to the battles that we’re going to have this year.”

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