McLaren CEO Zak Brown has refuted suggestions that Lando Norris could be in line to make a switch to Red Bull any time soon amid increasing speculation.
With Sergio Perez continuously struggling to match team-mate Verstappen this year, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko recently stated Norris would be an enticing option.
Perez retains a deal with Red Bull for next year, but Marko claimed it was not a guarantee he would remain for next year. Meanwhile, the Mexican recently adding he would have to begin thinking about “alternatives” beyond the end of next season.
Despite disclosing that he had previously turned Red Bull down to sign a contract that has tied him to McLaren until the end of 2025, Norris has conceded that he and Max Verstappen have regularly discussed the prospect of becoming team-mates.
The possibility of Norris completing an eventual switch to Red Bull could come as part of an arrangement that would see the Milton-Keynes-based side supply power units to McLaren from the 2026 season.
Red Bull confirmed its intention to set up a powertrains division after Honda’s withdrawal at the end of 2021, announcing this year that it would be partnering up with Ford for the new engine regulations.
But although Brown has admitted to having visited Red Bull’s new facility this year, he has denied that Norris will be released early from his current contract under any terms.
When asked whether McLaren would turn down any approach for Norris, Brown told Motorsport-Total.com: “Correct. Lando will be racing at McLaren through 2025. For sure.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner recently suggested that Red Bull Powertrains had the capacity to supply a further two teams on top of its own two sides in the future.
However, Brown has downplayed that McLaren is desperately vying to become a Red Bull engine customer team.
“We did go visit Red Bull and their facilities and what they’re doing is impressive,” he added.
McLaren returned to Mercedes power in 2021, having infamously parted ways with the German marque at the end of 2014 to pursue a new partnership with Honda.
However, the renewed alliance with the Japanese manufacturer failed to recapture former glories, prompting three uncompetitive and unreliable years before McLaren penned a deal with Renault.
Since striking an agreement to receive a supply of Mercedes engines again McLaren has achieved a solitary win, courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo leading a 1-2 for the papaya-liveried squad at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
The Woking camp’s deal with Mercedes expires at the conclusion of 2025, leaving McLaren to decide whether to extend its current agreement or opt to go elsewhere.
It has already been confirmed that Aston Martin, the third side currently using Mercedes units outside of the works team and McLaren, will partner Honda from 2026.