Formula 1: Surprise move in the cards for Lando Norris?

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Lando Norris, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Lando Norris, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Lando Norris has turned into one of the stars of Formula 1 since joining McLaren in 2019, but he was very close to driving for Toro Rosso instead.

Lando Norris came into Formula 1 at quite a young age and has nicely turned into one of the sport’s best drivers. His development at McLaren has gone very well over the last five seasons, but it very nearly never happened.

The Brit, who joined McLaren’s junior driver program in 2017, had actually reached an agreement to drive for Red Bull sister team Toro Rosso going into the 2019 season. However, in his junior driver contract with the Woking-based team, there was an option for a full-time seat, and he ended up taking it, replacing the retiring Fernando Alonso.

Now as Sergio Perez is bound to be replaced by Red Bull eventually, Norris forming a partnership with Max Verstappen is something that could very well happen down the road.

Sergio Perez’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2024 Formula 1 season, while Lando Norris’s isn’t set to expire until the end of 2025.

But there is potential for the 23-year-old to make the move a year early, depending on McLaren’s performance going forward. Additionally, Norris might feel that he now has an opportunity to make good on the previous agreement he had with Red Bull.

Norris has developed into a very good driver who is highly rated by many, and the opportunity of a special pairing with him and Verstappen definitely has to be on his mind. The two are very good friends off the track and could produce some magic on the track as well.

Norris is already in Helmut Marko’s sights as well.

"“Perez is not consistent, he is not always focused. Perez has a contract until 2024 and Norris until 2025, unfortunately it is that long. On the one hand, the Red Bull seat is one of the most sought-after. But on the other, you have Max as an opponent.”"

Being a teammate to someone who is turning himself into an all-time Formula 1 great brings some pressure, so the question will always be whether or not that pressure can be handled.

Next. All-time Formula 1 wins list. dark

The odds of Lando Norris making the switch to Red Bull are not very likely at the moment, but a year or two down the road, they could absolutely improve, depending on a number of factors. A Verstappen-Norris duo could certainly bring plenty of wins, world championships, and more to the Milton Keynes-based team.