The boss of Red Bull’s driver program has admitted that the powerhouse team tried to sign McLaren Young Gun Lando Norris.
Helmut Marko, the boss of Red Bull’s driver program, has revealed that the team tried to snatch McLaren boy Lando Norris.
The British driver has been vital to McLaren’s resurgence over the past three years, taking five podium finishes since joining the team in 2019.
Norris is currently fourth in the 2021 F1 drivers’ standings with 139 points, narrowly behind Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.
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The 21-year-old has gone on to become one of the sport’s most highly regarded drivers, so it’s no surprise that Red Bull was interested in signing him.
Red Bull has been looking for someone to partner with superstar Max Verstappen since the departure of Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo in 2018.
After testing youngsters Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, Red Bull has settled for the more experienced Sergio Perez, who has had a relatively successful first season with the powerhouse team.
But the Verstappen and Norris combination is undeniably a mouth-watering concept, and Marko has admitted he tried to pull it off.
However, as reported by Planet F1Norris is on a multi-year contract with McLaren.
“We’ve had talks with him, but he’s committed to McLaren for the long term,” Marko . said Sport24 car.
“We stay true to our path.
“I am proud that we dared to bring Max into Formula 1 at the age of 16.
“He never made me doubt that our path was the right one. He is always super focused and doesn’t let anything distract from his goal to win.
“Norris has noticed me before. But Max is still at the top of my rankings because he can deliver immediately in all conditions and without a run-up, which he impressively proved in the rain in Sochi just now. He almost even won the race, he just had to go into the pits one lap earlier.”
Norris came unbearably close to a maiden F1 victory last weekend when a catastrophic strategic blunder at the Russian Grand Prix left him “heartbroken”.
But the tragedy in Sochi is a minor hiccup in what was otherwise a formidable season for Norris and the McLaren team.
The radically revised regulations for 2022 will potentially mess up the F1 hierarchy next year and McLaren will hopefully fight alongside the competition’s heavyweights.
The F1 season will resume next weekend with the Turkish Grand Prix, which kicks off at midnight AEDT on Sunday, October 10.