Lando Norris has been hot property ever since he made his debut in Formula 1.
The British driver is undoubtedly one of the finest of his generation and it is natural for all big teams to keep a close eye on him, especially when his contract at McLaren begins to wind down.
Before re-signing for McLaren, Norris had confessed that he had had a couple of chats with Red Bull boss Christian Horner over a potential seat alongside world champion Max Verstappen.
However, this didn’t come to fruition and he subsequently signed a deal with McLaren which will see him at the team till 2025.
This will make it one of the longest-standing driver contracts currently on the grid and it comes as no surprise that McLaren was keen to keep him at the team for the foreseeable future.
Yet, the prospect of seeing both Lando and Max compete at the same team would have been rather exciting for most F1 fans and it may come as a touch disappointing that this partnership is unlikely to be seen, at least not in the near future.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner was recently questioned about these conversations.
“We’ve spoken to Lando a couple of times over the years,” Horner said.
“But every time we’ve tried to offer him a deal, the next day he’s signed a contract with McLaren.
“He’s on a long-term contract with McLaren, and it looks like he’s going to be there for a few more years.”
Lando was a hot property even back in 2018, when Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso offered him a deal.
However, Norris chose to sign with McLaren and entered F1 the following year.
Was Red Bull ever an option for Lando?
Norris opened up on these Red Bull chats that seem to indicate a long-term interest and discussed why he felt McLaren was a better option for him.
“It was more just when it came to the end of my contract, and it wasn’t like we were talking heavily,” said Norris.
“Everyone always tries to speak to all teams at some point, so it was just [that] I spoke to them. I spoke to a few other people. But like a chance to chat. It’s not like, you know, ‘what can we do?’ straightaway. Just keeping in touch, things like that. It’s as simple as that sometimes.
“I was just coming to the end of the contract, when you see like what options are available, you just kind of find out what’s possible, what might be possible over the next few years.
“It wasn’t just Red Bull. Every driver has chats with a lot of different teams on what could happen. Simple as that basically.”
Norris recently confirmed that although he had engaged in some talks with Red Bull, he was always happy with how things were at McLaren and felt comfortable at the team.
“Before I’ve ever spoken to anyone else, my talks have always been with McLaren first,” said Norris.
“It’s always how it goes. The best thing for me is signing the contract that I have now, just having that confidence and knowledge that you’re going to be in Formula 1 for whatever, three, four or five years.
“For me, that’s like the best feeling. [It] makes you more relaxed, more comfortable in the environment you’re in. So that’s the best of all of it.”
Read more: Lando Norris doesn’t see personal long-term future in F1 – “I probably won’t be able to come back”