McLaren revealed earlier this week that it has renewed Oscar Piastri‘s contract until the close of 2026. The focus is now naturally gravitating towards Lando Norris, McLaren‘s other driver, whose contract is set to end in 2025. Particularly given that Norris has already been cued by racing titans such as Ferrari, Aston Martin and Red Bull as a potential recruit.
McLaren‘s team principal, Andrea Stella, spoke at the Japanese Grand Prix recently. He expressed that showcasing itself as a strong potential over the coming years is crucial if McLaren wants to keep Norris on board. Stella said, “We’re certainly having conversations with Lando. They are good conversations; we are happy with how these conversations are going.”
Stella emphasised that beyond showing their affection for Norris, they are also focusing on projections and facts, trying to demonstrate their potential during track events. Stella said, “That is what we say. He realises and [we are] trying to create a sense of: this is going to continue over the coming years.”
In his talks, Stella remarked that he likes to be genuine and grounded, wary of promising too much. He said, “I don’t want to find myself in a situation where a driver said, ‘Hey, you said this would have happened and it is not happening.’” His main point is that they don’t wish to merely purchase drivers’ loyalty; instead, wanting them to staunchly believe in the common journey with McLaren.
The engine selection for the year 2026, corresponding with updates in the regulations, is poised to be an influential factor for Norris’ future stay at the team. McLaren is currently contemplating whether they will stick with their present partner Mercedes or rotate to a different manufacturer.
Stella has stated that the choice of the 2026 power unit has formed a part of Piastri’s contract discussions too. He mentioned that the verdict has become clear since McLaren is inching towards its desired course of action.
McLaren‘s decision to extend Piastri’s contract till 2026 was made earlier in the season after recognising the budding Australian’s potential. Stella said, “The agreement was found pretty early on. Because what we needed to assess, it became clear and apparent to us very soon. And I’m happy to say that the same was on Oscar’s side.”