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McLaren rule out having number one driver after Norris contract renewal

Lando Norris might have signed to McLaren until 2025 but the team have denied any suggestion that this makes him their number one driver.

McLaren have ruled out the idea of having a number one driver, despite extending Lando Norris' contract for a further three years. Norris has signed to stay with the Woking-based squad until the end of 2025 , having already spent his first three years in F1 with the team. This means that he now has a longer contract than teammate Daniel Ricciardo. However, when asked if the new deal means that Norris is the favourite to lead the British outfit to title success, McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl denied that this is the case. "If you are after, 'Is McLaren having a number one driver?', for example, definitely not," Seidl told media including RacingNews365.com . "My job is to go with the team. To make sure we always provide both drivers equal opportunities to do well on track and then battle it out on track."

Extending Norris' contract was "natural" for McLaren

Seidl admits though that the team were keen to sign Norris for "as long as possible", based on his performances so far with the British outfit. "Of course, with Lando now being with the team since 2017, going into his fourth racing season now with us, showing last year that - with the right team and with the right car, in his third year in Formula 1 - he can score pole positions and he can fight for race wins," Seidl explained. "It was just natural for us, that we obviously try to lock him in as long as possible here at McLaren, because, the most important thing is that we are fully aligned also with the timelines in terms of the journey we are in. "And therefore we're very happy to know that we have Lando [for] four more years as a driver, which is the most important thing obviously. "We know he can pull it off when it matters."

Norris as an ambassador outside of the car

Norris has also been praised by Seidl for being a good representative for the team away from the racing track. "At the same time, as we've seen in the last three years, Lando is also a great ambassador for McLaren outside of the car," he added. "Which is very important as well for us as a team, and therefore [we] couldn't be happier with the announcement of [Norris' new contract]." Norris and teammate Ricciardo helped McLaren to launch their 2022 car, the MCL36, at the team's headquarters in Woking last week.

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