Helmut Marko has three words for Lando Norris, who is still searching for his first F1 race win

summary

  • Red Bull’s interest in Lando Norris and Oscar Piastre intensified after Norris’ standout performances in China.
  • Helmut acknowledges the talent of Marco Norris but notes the contractual hurdles Red Bull have to consider in the future.

Lando Norris’ podium finish in China has fueled speculation once again, making him a hot pick for Red Bull’s future driver lineup. Norris’ consistent excellence has not escaped the Red Bull camp, with his talent constantly challenging their dominance over the past few seasons. Red Bull advisor, Helmut Marko can’t contain his praise for the young driver.

Marco recognizes the hurdle posed by Norris’ long-term McLaren contract, but he can’t help but ironically suggest that a move to Red Bull would be the missing piece needed to secure Norris’ first victory. However, Marco is a realist. He readily admits that young Britons like Oscar Piastre are unavailable in the immediate future due to their existing contracts.

Helmut Marko sees Lando Norris and Oscar Piastre for Red Bull

In 2018, the Austrian team considered him for his debut with their junior team, Toro Rosso. This lingering interest suggests they see Norris as a potential long-term partner for Max Verstappen, especially as Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull remains uncertain beyond 2024. Norris has yet to reach the top step of the podium, but her collection is impressive. 15 podium finishes, including the most recent one in China.

According to Marco, “He is [Norris] Young and definitely our focus. His father always jokes that Lando won’t get his first Grand Prix win until Max retires. I asked him to come to us, so it must be quick.” However, in a conversation with Klein Zeitung, Marco stated, “In any case, Norris has a contract until 2026, so he’s not a short-term option like Oscar Piastre. But both drivers are certainly attractive for us in the future.”

Red Bull are keeping a close eye on both him and his Kiwi teammate, with their future performances likely to play a key role in whether the team makes a move to secure their services. While the immediate future may belong to McLaren, Red Bull appear to be laying the groundwork for a potential future partnership with Norris, demonstrating their long-term vision for driver development.

Lando Norris ascends to elite performance levels

The 24-year-old driver and his impressive second-place finish in recent races have thrust him into the sport’s elite. While the reigning world champion reigned supreme in his Red Bull, Norris stole the show for the rest of the grid with a superb performance in his McLaren. This podium finish redeemed him for a qualifying error in the sprint race, where he attempted to overtake Lewis Hamilton.

Right after the race in China, Norris revealed, “Whenever I finish behind Max, I feel like it’s a win. A great day, a surprise really, never expected a day like today. So very happy for myself and for the whole team, more importantly. Certainly exceeded our expectations but many things went our way. Happy to be wrong with myself.”

McLaren team principal, Andrea Stella, sees this as an important step as the driver enters the second step of the drivers’ hierarchy. He highlighted Norris’ advanced racecraft and understanding of tire management, with the team working diligently with him during the off-season. Overall, his performance in Shanghai is a testament to his progress and potential for greater success in the future.

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