Zak Brown issues crystal clear response to Lando Norris and Red Bull rumours

Michelle Foster
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.

Zak Brown has made it crystal clear McLaren won’t release Lando Norris from his contract amidst rumours Red Bull are interested in signing him as Max Verstappen’s next teammate.

With a mixed bag of comments coming out of the Red Bull camp regarding Sergio Perez’s position within the team and if he’s guaranteed a 2024 race seat, speculation about who could replace him continues to make headlines.

And of late Norris is the one said to be leading the running, so much so Nico Rosberg hinted a deal has already been done.

McLaren adamant Lando Norris is not for sale

Speaking on Sky Sports at Monza, he said: “Where’s he going? Next year already, I hear there’s a switch coming.”

This, however, has been rubbished by McLaren CEO Zak Brown, who insists the Woking team won’t grant Norris an early release with the Briton under contract through to the end of the 2025 season.

Asked by if McLaren would reject offers to release Norris, Brown said: “Correct. Lando will be racing at McLaren through to 2025. Absolutely.”

However, after 2025 anything is possible with Norris revealing he’d like to team up with his good friend Verstappen, who he rates as “one of the best drivers ever”.

“It’s definitely something I would be open to in the future,” Norris told media including’s Thomas Maher, adding: “I think it’d be great to work alongside someone like that and, at the same time, see where I can really stand against him. I’d be open for it.”

He, however, invited Verstappen to join him at “McLaren”, adding if “he wants to come any time, he’s very welcome.” recommends

F1 2024 driver line-up: Who is confirmed for next season’s grid?

F1 2023 title permutations: When can Max Verstappen win the World Championship?

Christian Horner weighs in on Norris to Red Bull rumours

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was also asked about the ongoing Norris rumours with the Briton saying Red Bull will “respect” his contract with McLaren.

“Lando is a great driver, there’s no doubt about that, and you can see his potential is growing,” he told the media on Friday. “But he’s a McLaren driver, and 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 ’24.”

That’s not the first time Horner has assured Perez of a Red Bull seat for next season, but after that, it’s anyone’s guess who’ll partner Verstappen.

“In ’25 we have one seat open and, as you can imagine, there’s not a shortage of interest in that seat. But it’s a long way away at the moment,” he added.

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