NOVEMBER 6, 2023

Norris issues coy no comment to Red Bull question

Lando Norris gave an interesting answer to a straightforward question about his future in Formula 1.

McLaren team, Brazilian GP 2023
© McLaren

The McLaren driver was already regarded as one of the most impressive young drivers behind Max Verstappen, but given Mercedes and Ferrari's struggle for pace lately, Norris is also quite literally Verstappen's closest rival at present.

In fact, he's not even ruling out taking on Verstappen for the title in 2024.

Maybe, he said after finishing behind the dominant Red Bull at Interlagos.

I've just been just saying to Max, since we bought this upgrade to Austria, I've been the second highest scoring driver on the grid, the 23-year-old added.

Verstappen and Norris are friends, and many believe the young Briton would make the 'perfect teammate' for the dominant Dutchman at Red Bull.

At Interlagos, Norris sat down for an exclusive interview with the Spanish broadcaster DAZN when he was asked if Verstappen would be his own perfect teammate.

I would love to be Max's teammate one day, he admits. "But perfect teammate? Lewis Hamilton would also be incredible, Fernando Alonso would be exciting, Carlos Sainz...

You know, there are always rumours, Norris smiled.

But when asked if he would accept or reject an advance by Red Bull, Norris suddenly becomes a lot more coy.

No comment. I'll pass on that one, he smiled again.

It's conspicuous, however, that Norris is yet to win a single Formula 1 race - unlike his impressive rookie teammate Oscar Piastri who won a sprint race recently.

I would never count a sprint race pole like a proper pole or a sprint race win as a proper win, Norris insists.

For my first victory I'd love to share the podium with Carlos, he added, before joking: It would be the first time I'd see him from above.

And given the way McLaren has surged in performance this year with highly effective upgrades, a win might not now be too far away.

It's been difficult, but we did not expect to go from being left out in Q1 to fighting with the Red Bulls, the Mercedes, the Ferraris. It's been a positive surprise for all of us, Norris said.

Oscar is doing a great job for his year, so it's a guarantee for the team that we put pressure on each other and that's something that not every team has.