09 February 2022

Lando Norris dreaming of championship glory after signing new £80m McLaren deal

09 February 2022

Lando Norris has signed a new £80million contract to keep him with McLaren for four more years.

The British driver, 22, put pen-to-paper on his last extension just nine months ago.

But Norris has been rewarded by McLaren following an impressive campaign with a bumper new deal – believed to be worth up to £20m-per-season – which will see him remain with the British team until the end of 2025.

McLaren also moved with Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari all understood to have evaluated signing the Glastonbury-born driver.

Lewis Hamilton, 37, is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of next year, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez operating on short-term deals.

Norris, who is set for his fourth season on the Formula One grid, said: “I am extremely happy – to stay in the sport for another four years is amazing.

“I am happy to do it with McLaren, the team I have grown up with and, more than anything, we want to continue what we have done so far and to reach our dream which is winning races and championships.”

Norris was among the sport’s standout performers in 2021, claiming his first pole position in Russia – narrowly missing out on his maiden win at the rain-hit Sochi race – and delivering four podiums. He finished sixth in the championship.

Lando Norris finished sixth in last year’s championship (Bradley Collyer/PA) (PA Archive)

And Norris, who has recently moved to Monaco, admitted his displays courted the interest of a number of rivals.

He continued: “I had to look at all the options for me and the ones I can be the most successful in and the best for me as a driver and the best for me as a person.

“Did any teams approach? There were little chats here and there, but that is all, and nothing went further than that.

“When something came up that is when I went to (team principal) Andreas (Seidl) and had a conversation about what our future holds. Which teams? That is something I can’t say but you can probably guess.

“The fact that I would have had those opportunities but have chosen to stay with McLaren is a strong message that this is where I want to be.

“Of course, with all contracts, money is something that comes into it and if you do have a good season then naturally it will rise a little bit, especially if there are opportunities from other teams.

“But honestly, it is not the biggest thing for me. My enjoyment and happiness comes above all and for me that is the most important thing and the deciding factor in all of this.”

Norris’ decision to stay with McLaren until he is 26 could be considered something of a gamble given the uncertainty heading into the new campaign which starts in Bahrain next month.

Although McLaren have been on an upwards trajectory since Norris’ arrival in 2019, an overhaul in the sport’s regulations could shake up the pack.

But Norris added: “This new deal is for the solidarity of the team. I see it as a benefit for me and for the team, too.

“It was another opportunity for me to confirm my commitment with the team and for them to confirm it with me. I believe it is a big motivating factor for them.”

Seidl, the German pivotal in McLaren’s recent resurrection, said: “The beauty of this new agreement that we have in place is that there are no get-out clauses on both sides.

“It is an important message that we want to give to the team. It shows that we are in this together and that there is strong belief from both sides – from our side with Lando’s talent and from Lando’s side that we can actually get there in the next four years.”

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