Lando Norris was recently spotted wearing Red Bull gear, which naturally prompted speculation about his Formula 1 future.
McLaren’s Lando Norris is generally viewed as one of the more talented drivers on the Formula 1 grid, one with world championship potential if given the right equipment.
While maybe not as highly touted as Max Verstappen was a few years back, the belief is similar: if Norris is in better equipment, there is no telling what he might achieve.
Norris and Verstappen are close friends off the track, and amid the current two-week break between Formula 1 races, Verstappen reportedly lent his jet ski to the McLaren driver to enjoy. The jet ski is Red Bull branded, and in multiple images, Norris can be seen wearing a Red Bull life vest.
The fact that Lando Norris was spotted wearing Red Bull gear in the water has naturally set off speculation surrounding his Formula 1 future.
Specifically, it led to the rumor that he could replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull at some point in the near future, even though the equipment he was using obviously belongs to Verstappen.
More than likely, it’s nothing to take all that seriously. But one has to at least wonder why he didn’t wear a different life vest, especially in a day and age when drivers are all but programmed to promote one of their partners or sponsors at every turn.
A fun jet ski trip on an off week obviously might not qualify as far as this standard goes, but just think about it. At the very least, you certainly have to believe that he knew exactly what he was starting by wearing it.
The Red Bull team even commented, “That Jet Ski looks familiar”.
Norris remains under contract with McLaren through the 2025 season, but there is growing speculation that the two parties could decide to part ways earlier than that, should a better opportunity arise for the 23-year-old British driver.
As for Perez, he is under contract with Red Bull through the 2024 season after signing a multi-year extension early last year. While the made-up rumors that Verstappen wanted Perez replaced made the rounds after Perez’s Baku victory, there is no reason to believe that the 33-year-old Mexican won’t be back for the 2024 season.
But what about 2025? What if McLaren haven’t shown what they need to show to retain Norris for the long haul? Is Norris a viable candidate to pair with Verstappen at the Milton Keynes-based team?
Nothing can be ruled out. Even in late 2020, not many people saw Perez as a future Red Bull driver, yet he is now in his third season with the team — five wins and a third place world championship finish later.