Lando Norris: McLaren chief Zak Brown says British driver does not have exit clause from contract


Lando Norris is signed with McLaren until the end of 2025

McLaren chief Zak Brown has revealed Lando Norris does not have an exit clause in his contract and believes the Briton will be “along for the journey” as the team looks to improve.

The 23-year-old has established himself as one of the most highly rated drivers in the sport, but he is yet to claim a race win, and will do so before the start of the 2023 season with struggling McLaren Looks farther away. ,

Norris is linked with the team until the end of the 2025 campaign, having signed a contract extension to February 2022, but with McLaren in trouble his future remains a major talking point.

Despite almost constant chatter about Norris’ future, McLaren chief executive Brown insisted the driver’s current focus was on the team’s aim to build a “championship-winning car” over the next two years.

Norris says he has confidence in the team's decisions following his parting ways with McLaren technical director James Key as part of a series of organizational changes.

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Norris says he has confidence in the team’s decisions following his parting ways with McLaren technical director James Key as part of a series of organizational changes.

Norris says he has confidence in the team’s decisions following his parting ways with McLaren technical director James Key as part of a series of organizational changes.

“He has zero exit clauses,” said Brown. Sky Sports F1 on Thursday in Melbourne ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

“Ultimately, when his contract is up next, if we’re not performing and he doesn’t feel he can win races and compete for the championship, I think anybody, driver or team member for that matter For [would be considering leaving]We are all here to win.

“He’s got a contract with us and the most important thing is he’s very happy here and seeing the progress we’re making, and he’s a team player.

Ride onboard with Oscar Piastri and Norris, both McLaren drivers battling for position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Ride onboard with Oscar Piastri and Norris, both McLaren drivers battling for position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Ride onboard with Oscar Piastri and Norris, both McLaren drivers battling for position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

“So, even contracts aside, it’s about whether he’s in a happy environment, he’s along for the journey, and we’ve got some time to prove to him that we can win him.” I am going to give capable car.

“It’s very simple right now but if we’re sitting here in two years’ time and his contract is about to expire, it’s a different situation if we’re not performing and I’ll figure ‘I need to go into a .Winning a Race Car’.

“But, right now, I think we’re all focused on working together to get that car, so I think it’s too early to be worried about anything other than having a good weekend. “

After a worrying start to the year in Bahrain, Sky F1's Martin Brundle reflects on Norris' position at McLaren.  You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 podcast now

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After a worrying start to the year in Bahrain, Sky F1’s Martin Brundle reflects on Norris’ position at McLaren. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 podcast now

After a worrying start to the year in Bahrain, Sky F1’s Martin Brundle reflects on Norris’ position at McLaren. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 podcast now

Brown also praised Norris’ rookie team-mate Oscar Piastre, who will be making his home F1 debut at Albert Park.

“I’m very pleased with our driver line-up. I think Lando has tremendous experience,” said Brown. “Now it’s his fifth season which is crazy to think how young he is.

“Oscar looks to be a sensational rookie and we are very excited and he has done a great job in Saudi and he has made it through the trial.

“I think our driver line-up is one of our great strengths right now and I’m excited to work together to give them a car, because I think we have two drivers who are championship calibre.”

‘Stella has the right qualities to oversee the new structure’

The renewed vision to build “a winning race car” at McLaren comes on the back of structural changes, with the departure of executive technical director James Key and the introduction of three new specialized technical director roles, all reporting directly to team principal Andrea Stella. .

The technical executive team will include Peter Prodromou, who has been promoted to the role of technical director of aerodynamics, David Sánchez, who will be responsible for the car’s concept and performance after a decade with Ferrari, and Neil Houlde, who will remain with McLaren. Have been together since 2006, and have been promoted to the newly created role of Technical Director of Engineering and Design.

Despite the shake-up being perceived by many as a reaction to a poor start to the season, Brown insisted that they are changes that have been in the works for a long time.

Brown said, “I would characterize the start of the year as things are not as bad as they seem, but not as good as they should be.”

“We’ve had some issues in testing for the second year in a row, which is unacceptable.

Karun Chandok shares his most memorable moments and looks forward to a big weekend for Piastre in his first Australian Grand Prix

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Karun Chandok shares his most memorable moments and looks forward to a big weekend for Piatri at his first Australian Grand Prix

Karun Chandok shares his most memorable moments and looks forward to a big weekend for Piastre in his first Australian Grand Prix

“Bahrain, we weren’t nearly as competitive as we would like to be. We had two technical issues, one under our control, one not.

“Then in Saudi, we were quite competitive in practice and qualifying. Had a short and unusual event for Landau and Oscar had a great qualifying run, which was great to see how competitive he is.

“So, that means the changes are not in response to a bad start to the year, they were actually back in the second half of last year when I saw some things I wasn’t happy with.

“The progression of our race car and our performance, we had a team principal change, and then as soon as Andrea started, which is very technical, the first thing I asked her to do was review where we were and Why weren’t we performing at a high level.

Piastri finds entire track blocked during flying lap in P2 of Saudi Arabian GP

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Piastri finds entire track blocked during flying lap in P2 of Saudi Arabian GP

Piastri finds entire track blocked during flying lap in P2 of Saudi Arabian GP

“He started doing a lot of consulting and luckily he stayed with the team for a while and eventually he decided that we needed a new model and so we proceeded to develop it.

“We announced it last week, but these things are always a little in the works.”

A lot of faith is being placed in Stella, but for Brown, his technical ability coupled with his “rich racing history” leaves no doubt that he is the best man for the job.

Brown said, “He has a lot of qualities. One, he already knows what winning looks like.”

“He has a rich history with some of the best racing drivers in the world.

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“He’s a very culture-driven person so he really knows how to rally a team and we’re a great team of people and he’s very technical.

“So, I thought he had the best combination of understanding technically what we needed to change and how to put together a high performing team.

“We are at the beginning of the journey of Andrea’s vision which I fully support and there is great enthusiasm within the racing team.”

Watch the Australian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with Sunday’s race live at 6am ET. get sky sports

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