Helmut Marko, the CEO of Red Bull Motorsport, says he spoke with Lando Norris before the McLaren driver reaffirmed his commitment to the Woking-based team earlier this year.
Norris joined McLaren’s young driver program in early 2017, which led to FP1 appearances with the team in 2018 and subsequently a race seat alongside Carlos Sainz in 2019.
The 21-year-stock old’s has risen steadily since his entry to the major league, and it has continued to rise this season as a result of his remarkable performance level, which nearly resulted in his first Grand Prix triumph last weekend in Russia.
Marko claims that Norris piqued his interest early on, prompting him to contact the British man and inquire about his future plans.
What did Marko say?
“We had talks with him, but he’s tied to McLaren for the long-term. We stay true to our way,” Marko told Austria’s OE24, according to reports on Motorsport Week.
While Marko admires Norris, the Red Bull motorsport head still thinks Max Verstappen to be the best driver in Grand Prix racing.
“Norris has caught my eye before, but Max is still at the top of my ranking because he can deliver immediately under all conditions and without making a mistake, which he proved again impressively just now in the rain in Sochi,” Marko further added.
“He almost won the race, he just had to come into the pits one lap earlier.”
“I am proud that we dared to bring Max into Formula 1 at 16. He never made me doubt that our path was the right one. He is always super focused and can’t be deterred from his goal of winning.”