Lando Norris quashes McLaren exit talk and gives insight into future after contract deal
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Lando Norris has dismissed any suggestion he was in talks with other Formula One teams before deciding to sign a multi-year deal with McLaren.
Though the length of the contract was left undisclosed, it’s clear that Norris has extended his relationship with the team until at least 2023, as the team made the announcement ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Norris started his Formula 1 career at the Woking-based team, making his debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2019, and says remaining at the team was a no brainer.
“I think it was more from my interest in being with the team, and just not getting into that stage of talks with anyone else,” explained Norris.
“I’m very happy really with where I am, I’m enjoying it, which from my interest is more important than anything else, just that I enjoy where I am at the moment, I enjoy the people I work with and so on.
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“Which is something that I want more than anything, that was my number one priority.
“Secondly it’s the performance, what everyone’s doing, how we improved over the last three, four, five years, and what the future holds for the team and myself.
“These were the two factors for me at the moment, both aligned in order to continue with the team, nothing else happened, because this was my focus and this is what I wanted to do.
“There was no interest from my side to have talks with other teams and get that far with anything because I’m just very happy with where I am.
Norris has impressed so far this season in the McLaren, claiming the second F1 podium of his career in Imola and consistently scoring points in every race.
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He is currently sitting fourth in the standings heading into the fifth round in Monaco, just six points behind Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
However, the Briton did admit it was the first time ever in his F1 career he had to weigh up the options.
“It’s the first time I’ve been in this position of being, not uncertain, but not knowing what my future was,” Norris continued.
“I guess my first year in Formula One, it was just getting the first year out of the way, and then I was relatively confident that I was going to sign with McLaren again and do another few years until now.
“This was more the first time coming to an end of a contract and thinking, what was my future going to hold?
“So it was more me sort of thinking at this stage, what’s the best for me, is it just to keep pushing on with the season, or to kind of get it out of the way early doors, like I have done now, and be confident with the rest of the season and going into the future, that I’m going to be here and going to continue working, and so on.
“It’s a conversation me and Zak [Brown, McLaren Racing CEO] brought up not too long ago, but from McLaren’s side as well, they wanted to get it done early as well, so it was in both of our interest to get it done and out of the way nice and early in the season so we can focus on the job we need to.”
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