Max Verstappen brands Lando Norris deal ‘not smart’ as Red Bull links linger

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen speaking with Lando Norris after qualifying. Britain July 2023

Max Verstappen has revealed whether he’d be interested in racing alongside Lando Norris at Red Bull, should the circumstances arise.

Rumours, albeit not very serious ones, have abounded recently about the possibility of Lando Norris suddenly jumping ship to join Red Bull from McLaren to become Max Verstappen’s teammate.

The reason it’s not very serious is the fact that the British driver is on a long-term deal with McLaren, which takes him through until the end of the 2025 F1 season.

Lando Norris open to Max Verstappen pairing

Speaking to the media, including, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix weekend, Norris was full of praise for Verstappen and indicated he’d be willing to be teammates at some point.

“It’s definitely something I would be open to in the future,” he said.

“我想我可以happily say that Max is probably one of the best drivers ever in the history of Formula 1.

“I never raced against him until I was into Formula 1 but I was always in the category below. In karting, I already knew him reasonably well.

“Back in 2013/2013 was the first time I got to meet him and get to know him and things like that, so I’ve been able to witness what he’s doing and I think it’s not just that he’s in a good car and he’s able to perform.

“I think, no matter what car he’s in, he’ll be able to perform at a similar level. Maybe with different results, but still a similar level.

“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.”

但诺里斯slammed the door shut on a Red Bull switch, saying it would have to be a move for Verstappen if it’s to happen any time soon: “I invited him to McLaren the other day so if he wants to come anytime he’s very welcome!”

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has also not closed off the possibility of Norris being teammate to Verstappen at some point.

“With Norris, I could well imagine that,” he said.


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Max Verstappen: McLaren deal wasn’t a smart thing to do

Verstappen was asked about Norris’ comments later on Thursday’s media day at Monza, and welcomed the idea of the British driver arriving as his teammate.

While Verstappen has an extremely long contract that takes him through until 2028 with Red Bull, the Dutch driver said the length of Norris’ contract probably wasn’t a great idea given the fact McLaren’s form has been sporadic in recent years.

“Well, I mean, he signed a very long-term deal with McLaren a few years ago,” he said.

“So that was probably not a smart thing to do, from his side. We have a good relationship and we get on very well.

“I know he’s one of the best drivers out there at the moment and, for sure, it would be very interesting to team up with each other. But, at the moment, of course, that’s not possible.”

McLaren, of course, aren’t blind to the flirtation going on between Norris and Red Bull, with team boss Andrea Stella saying it’s in their interests to keep the British driver interested.

“It’s natural,” Stella told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera,when he was asked about the Norris to Red Bull rumours.

“If I was in another team I would try to understand how to get him as well. What we want to do is prevent that from happening to us.”

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