Norris seems to be able to count on a significant salary increase: ‘They don’t want to trade him for any amount’

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Norris seems to be able to count on a significant salary increase: 'They don't want to trade him for any amount'

McLaren CEO Zak Brown hopes Lando Norris will sign a new contract soon. The 24-year-old Briton performed very well, especially in the second half of 2023, and so Brown hopes to have Norris’ services at his disposal for longer. Brown also indicates that he is happy with Oscar Piastri, and therefore has no interest in other drivers.

‘As a team you need the best drivers. I think we have the best driver duo in Formula 1,” Brown said at Sky Sports F1. McLaren has the youngest driver duo of all teams. At 22, Piastri is the youngest of Formula 1 drivers, and Norris is only a year and a half older despite his experience. ‘I think we still have some room to grow with both drivers, but Lando is certainly hot property. So we would like to secure him for a longer period soon. I believe he is enjoying his time at McLaren.”

Brown happy with Norris

‘Our dream is to win races and a world championship together. I think Lando would love to achieve that with us,” adds the American, who is then asked for a market value in football terms. ‘I don’t know enough about football to estimate what his value would have been in the football world, but I do know that he is very valuable as a driver. He is very important to our racing team, so we wouldn’t trade him for any amount.”

It seems that Norris, who would now earn about 20 million dollars per year, can count on a significant salary increase with a new contract. “Our resources now are what they should be. We’re a profitable team, which is great. We are at the budget cap, and our resources will not stop us from achieving what we want to achieve, including the drivers,” Brown made clear. The British driver has a contract with McLaren until 2025.

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stella mclaren 2023
Team boss Andrea Stella, CEO Zak Brown, and drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

There would be interest from Red Bull, among others. Although Brown understands that Sergio Pérez’s seat may seem interesting, he does not fear his driver’s departure. ‘When you have a car that wins 21 Grands Prix, it is difficult to say that a driver would not like to drive for that team. However, it is not just about the car, but also about the shape trend and the environment. Lando’s character just fits McLaren very well, and this is the best place for him, of all teams, not just compared to Red Bull.”

Brown especially wants to see stability, and hopes to have found it with Norris and Piastri. ‘When I started at McLaren, I always had in mind to have two long-term drivers, a bit like Mika (Häkkinen, ed.) and David Coulthard, who were here for a long time, or Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. I was never a fan of driver rotation. I hope to keep both of our drivers under contract for a long time to come. I like the age and experience they have.”

No interest in Hamilton and Leclerc

Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull Racing until 2028 and has little reason to move, but Brown indicates that he would also reject any interest from drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc. ‘Absolute. Oscar and Lando are who we want in our car. There is no one who can knock on our door and make us wonder if we would want that person in our car instead of our current drivers. I am very happy with the driver duo and want to continue with them for the time being.’

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