Lando Norris backed to quit McLaren to become Verstappen’s team-mate

Lando Norris says champagne celebration can 'go wrong'

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Lando Norris has been tipped to quit McLaren after the British manufacturer enjoyed a nightmare start to the season. The 23-year-old has been tipped by Sky Sports F1 host Karun Chandhok to join Ferrari or Red Bull after McLaren’s struggles.

Chandhok claimed Norris was one of the “top three drivers” on the grid and stressed it was likely he would have an “exit clause” in his current deal.

If his thoughts are true, it could allow Norris to walk away from McLaren ahead of his 2025 contract end date if the team remain uncompetitive. Speaking on Sky Sports F1’s Vodcast, Chandhok said: “I tell you who will be thinking about a move to Ferrari or Red Bull though, is young Lando Norris.

“Looking at where they’re [McLaren] at, and we were talking before the season of McLaren locking him in and Zak [Brown] doing an amazing job of contracting him in for that four-year period. I do wonder, and if they’re smart they would have created some sort of exit clauses.

“For example, McLaren don’t finish in the top four of the Constructors’ Championship two years in a row, is there an option for Lando to look elsewhere?

“Because outside of the traditional top three teams, you’ve got Fernando [Alonso] and Lando who are your top two drivers on the grid aren’t they? And the fact he is fighting to even get a car into Q3, there’s got to be a bit of frustration there I would imagine.”

Last year, Red Bull boss Christian Horner revealed he had held exploratory talks with Norris. He admitted he had spoken to Lando “a couple of times” but revealed Norris had opted to stay loyal to McLaren the next day.

However, Sergio Perez’s deal at Red Bull is set to expire at the end of 2024 making a move theoretically possible. Norris and Verstappen also enjoy a good relationship off-track with the Dutchman describing the McLaren star as his” best friend” on the grid.


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Lando Norris hits back at Jenson Button ‘talking c***’ about McLaren [INSIGHT]
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The relationship could be music to Horner’s ears who will want to avoid a repeat of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel’s tense relationship when the team were last successful. Chandhok has previously suggested Red Bull “should be going hard” to try and secure the services of Norris.

He made the remarks at the end of last season with Sky Sports host Simon Lazenby agreeing with the comments. However, seats could still be available at Ferrari with Carlos Sainz’s deal also due to end after 2024.

Lewis Hamilton is also yet to sign an extension at Mercedes to keep him on the grid beyond 2023. Chandhok has previously tipped Norris to be the team’s “number one pick” should Hamilton walk away.

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