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F1: Norris signs new contract with McLaren

Lando Norris

Lando Norris has signed a new contract which McLaren say will keep him at the team “until at least the end of 2026”.

The 24-year-old Briton was already contracted to McLaren until the end of 2025. The team did not reveal the exact duration of his new deal.

Norris, who was of interest to a number of other teams, said committing to McLaren was “quite an easy decision”.

He said he was “more confident than ever” of winning a world title with the Woking-based team.

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Norris and McLaren had an impressive second half to last season. After starting 2023 with one of the slowest cars in the field, they made a massive step with an upgrade at the ninth race of the season, the Austrian Grand Prix.

From then on, for the final 14 races of the season, Norris was the second-highest scoring driver behind dominant world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Norris said he felt an emotional pull to McLaren as the team who gave him his shot at F1, and referred to them as “like a family”.

But he added that their turnaround under new team principal Andrea Stella, who was appointed in December 2022, was key in convincing him to commit so early to a new deal.

“The turnaround was a big part of it,” Norris said in a news conference on Friday.

“Of course, over the last few years there have been a lot of tough ones. I have still enjoyed it, but every now and then you have that little question of: ‘Is this the place to be to achieve that next goal?’

“Every driver has it. ‘Is this the place I want to be, the best place I can be?’ So of course in the back of my head there was: ‘Are we improving as much as we should? Am I giving myself the best opportunities?’

“But with how we and Andrea turned things around and how the whole environment is at McLaren currently, that’s a big thing which swings it in the direction at McLaren because it is also results-led. “

Norris said that without McLaren’s progress through 2023, he would have been likely to wait until 2025 before deciding on this future.

“There are not many other things you can be guaranteed or assured of with any other teams,” he said. “It comes back to where will I be happiest and where will I be most confident I can achieve the World Championship? But now I am more confident than ever in saying it’s going to be McLaren.”

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