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Lando Norris

Chandhok names driver likely to seek move to Red Bull or Ferrari

With McLaren having started 2023 in less than impressive form, might Lando Norris be looking at a move elsewhere?

Norris Bahrain GP
To news overview © XPBimages

Ex-F1 racer Karun Chandhok says McLaren's underperformance may prompt Lando Norris to seek a move to Red Bull or Ferrari.

After having fallen from fourth to fifth in the Constructors' Championship in 2022, McLaren seem to have regressed further in the early stages of 2023.

At last weekend's season opener in Bahrain, Oscar Piastri was the race's first retirement on Lap 16, pulling off with an electrical issue, while Norris was the last classified runner in 17th place, after having to pit several times during the race to manage an issue with his MCL60's engine pneumatics.

Having signed a contract extension in February 2022, Norris is contracted to McLaren until the end of 2025.

However, Chandhok suggested that the Briton might agitate for a move further up the grid, adding that Norris' contract may contain get-out clauses that could be activated if the Woking squad's performance does not improve.

A way out for Norris?

"I tell you who will be thinking about a move to Ferrari or Red Bull though, is young Lando Norris," Chandhok told Sky Sports F1.

"Looking at where they're [McLaren] at, and we were talking before the season of McLaren locking him in and [McLaren CEO] Zak [Brown] doing an amazing job of contracting him [Norris] in for that four-year period.

"I do wonder, and if they're smart they would have created some sort of exit clauses.

"For example, McLaren don't finish in the top four of the Constructors' Championship two years in a row, is there an option for Lando to look elsewhere?

"Because outside of the traditional top three teams, you've got Fernando [Alonso] and Lando who are your top two drivers on the grid, aren't they? And the fact he [Norris] is fighting to even get a car into Q3, there's got to be a bit of frustration there I would imagine."

Norris' McLaren journey

Having debuted in F1 with McLaren in 2019, Norris scored his first podium in 2020, and followed that up with two impressive seasons in which he comfortably outscored teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

After finishing a career-best second behind Ricciardo at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, Norris was desperately unlucky not to take his maiden win at that year's Russian Grand Prix, when a late-race rain shower caught him out while he was leading.

However, with McLaren slipping back in competitiveness in 2022, the Briton has not subsequently come close to scoring his first Grand Prix win.

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