McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes Lando Norris was simply “responding to a question” regarding his future, when he was seemingly open to partnering Max Verstappen at the same team one day.
Norris was asked outright at Monza if he would be willing to be Verstappen’s team-mate in future, and it’s safe to say he did not discount the possibility, replying: “It’s definitely something I would be open to in the future. I think I can happily say that Max is probably one of the best drivers ever in the history of Formula 1.
“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. I mean, I invited him to McLaren the other day so if he wants to come any time he’s very welcome.”
Zak Brown: Lando Norris ‘just responding to a question’ about his future
When it was put to him by press conference host Tom Clarkson that Norris was “stirring” at the idea of teaming up with Verstappen in future, Brown feels it’s simply a case of hype around such a possibility being made by everybody else rather than the Briton angling for a move.
“I think he was just responding to a question he was asked – I think everyone else is stirring it,” Brown told media in Singapore.
“I think they’re good buddies. I think if you ask any racing driver if they want to race another competitor, I think you’ll always get an answer of ‘oh, I’d love to be Lewis’ team-mate, or Max’s team-mate or Fernando’s team-mate’.
“So, I think everyone has picked up a question he has answered and stirred it a little bit and that’s Formula 1. But that’s alright. He’s in a good place.”
While Verstappen is locked into a deal with Red Bull until the end of the 2028 season, Brown was asked in turn about the hypothetical possibility of a Norris-Verstappen partnership being brought to McLaren instead.
He would happily accommodate the two-time reigning World Champion at his team if there was a seat available, but that is not the case for now.
“It’s the first time I’ve been asked that question!” Brown quipped in response to that scenario.
“I think any time you have a driver of that calibre, if there’s an open seat, of course, but we’re very happy with our two racing drivers.”