Red Bull target missed as Lando Norris signs new McLaren contract – F1 news round-up

Oliver Harden
Lando Norris with Max Verstappen. Spain June 2023.

McLaren driver Lando Norris walks with Max Verstappen before the drivers' parade at the 2023 Spanish GP.

There’s only one story in town when it comes to Friday’s fast-paced F1 news roundup, with Lando Norris’s new McLaren contract dominating the headlines.

After Charles Leclerc agreed a new long-term deal with Ferrari on Thursday, McLaren stole the show today by confirming rumoured Red Bull target Norris will remain with the team.

Let’s rush through the news – and the best of the reaction to it – at breakneck speed…

Lando Norris signs new McLaren contract

Lando Norris has followed in Charles Leclerc’s footsteps by signing a new deal, keeping him at McLaren for the foreseeable future.

With his previous deal ending after the 2025 season, Norris was beginning to become the hottest property on the F1 grid with Red Bull particularly rumoured to be interested in signing him.

But with a revitalised McLaren, Norris has kept faith with the team he has spent his whole career at and has signed a multi-year deal.

Read more: Lando Norris ends Red Bull speculation with McLaren contract extension

Lando Norris reveals extent of Red Bull talks

Norris has admitted “little discussions” took place with other teams before signing a new McLaren contract, but the decision to stay was an easy one for him.

With Sergio Perez’s contract due to expire at the end of 2024, Norris had been linked with a move to Red Bull as Max Verstappen’s team-mate.

But when asked outright about whether or not a move to the reigning World Champions was of interest, Norris said his team’s trajectory means he is in the right place.

Read more: Lando Norris opens up about Red Bull ‘interest’ before signing new McLaren deal

Zak Brown hails McLaren driver lineup

Zak Brown believes McLaren have the best driver combination in Formula 1 in Norris and Oscar Piastri – and is hopeful the pair can “knock the winners off their perch” in the coming years.

Red Bull are the team to beat after a record-breaking year in 2023, but McLaren were resurgent after a raft of upgrades were brought to the MCL60 mid-season – scoring more points than any other team besides Red Bull after the summer break.

With Piastri and now Norris tied to long-term deals at the team, McLaren now have the combination of the youngest and most settled driver line-up in Formula 1 for the years ahead.

Read more: Lando Norris new contract: McLaren fire warning shot to F1 rivals with ‘best driver lineup’

McLaren target F1 title glory with Lando Norris

Andrea Stella is hopeful that Norris can become World Champion with McLaren after signing a new deal.

Stella, who was appointed McLaren team principal in late 2022, is hopeful that McLaren and Norris can challenge for the title in the near future.

Read more: Lando Norris new contract: McLaren set ambitious target with Red Bull in sight

Haas confirm F1 2024 car launch

Haas have announced that the VF-24, their 2024 challenger, will be launched on Friday 2 February – becoming the first F1 car to be unveiled ahead of the new season.

While McLaren have already released their new livery, Haas were the final team to confirm their launch date but will be the first team to break cover on their car for 2024.

A time of 9am EST [2pm GMT] has been confirmed for the Haas launch, which will be the team’s first of the post-Guenther Steiner era.

Read more: Final F1 2024 launch confirmed as Haas give short notice for VF-24 reveal