Formula 1: Could Lando Norris be on his way out at McLaren?

Lando Norris, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Lando Norris, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

As talented as Lando Norris may be, the 23-year-old has been struggling with McLaren and may look to move elsewhere for the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Two races into the 2023 Formula 1 season, McLaren’s Lando Norris has had a tough start. The young Brit has finished in 17th place in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, making some start to question whether he is better off elsewhere.

The idea of the 23-year-old departing McLaren has been steadily gaining steam over the past year or so. Though he is still under contract through 2025, now the chances are more genuine.

Many say McLaren has failed Norris in providing him with a car that would help him compete with the best. The talent Norris possesses is undeniable, but it seems like it is not being put to the best use.

The concern is that Norris is McLaren’s number one driver, yet the car is not tailored to his skillset in any way. For many teams with a clear number one driver, the car is built to suit that driver much better than the teammate. But that is not the case here and has seemingly been costing Norris the chance to even finish in the points.

While the situation is not so urgent for Norris, he could very well depart if the right opening becomes available. His potential prospects for next season are quite limited, but if his vision can be satisfied elsewhere, then there is no saying he will not make the move.

Just weeks ago, Norris made some remarks regarding what his future could hold.

“I’m not the most patient man,” he said.

It is understandable, as he has high aspirations and would not be pleased to see the team taking a step back from last season.

So if Lando Norris were to go elsewhere for the 2024 Formula 1 season, where would it be?

Currently, the two genuine options for Norris are Mercedes and Alfa Romeo. Joining Mercedes is a big “if”, and it all depends on what Lewis Hamilton chooses to do with his future. If the seven-time world champion does choose to depart, then Norris could potentially be the frontrunner to replace him. It is a fully a possibility, but it is solely reliant on Hamilton.

Alfa Romeo could be a potential fit for Norris as well. Guanyu Zhou’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and Alfa Romeo could look elsewhere to fill his seat. The team have made improvements from last season and look to be in a battle with Alpine for fifth place in the constructor standings.

The idea of Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris pairing up could turn out to be very interesting. It could potentially give Alfa Romeo the push they have been needing. Given the improvement they have made with the C43 this season, the C44 could turn them into the best midfield team on the grid.

This seems like the most realistic option for Norris, as it could branch off in different ways. He could commit his future to Alfa Romeo and be the face of the team from 2026 onwards, once Audi take over. It seems like a fairly good option, given the prospect of Audi joining Formula 1.

Another option is Norris taking a one-year deal with Alfa Romeo, then looking elsewhere for 2025 as his options become more enticing. He could end up at Alpine, Red Bull, Ferrari, Aston Martin, or potentially even Mercedes. Or he could always re-sign with Alfa Romeo.

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Regardless of what Norris chooses to do with his future, there is a visible path to him racing for a championship-contending team. Although it may not result in him winning the driver championship for himself yet, he could be someone who wins races and finishes on the podium regularly.