Lando Norris’s new contract to drive for McLaren over the next four seasons gives both sides complete assurance they are committed to each other, says team principal Andreas Seidl.
McLaren has invested heavily in developing its infrastructure as it bids to return to championship contention for the first time since taking Lewis Hamilton to the 2008 drivers’ title.
The team and Norris have extended their previous deal, which was announced in May last year, to continue throughout the rebuilding period. However Seidl pointed out the new contract also includes watertight commitments between both parties which he expects will inspire confidence within the team.
“The beauty of this new agreement that we have in place is that there’s no get-outs on both sides,” he said, “which is simply this important message that we wanted to give to the team as well.
“That shows that we are in this together and there is strong belief on both sides: From our side in the talent Lando is, but at the same time from Lando’s side in believing that we can actually get there these next four years.”
Norris produced the best performance of his career to date last season. He held third place in the championship as late as the 12th round of the year, before slipping to sixth by the finale as rivals Ferrari put McLaren under greater pressure.
Seidl said he, Norris and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown were in “permanent dialogue” with Norris about his future during 2021, which led to the decision to extend his deal.
“You obviously have a lot of conversations about where we are as a team, about the plans we have in place. And during one of these discussions it was also clear that there was an interest from our side, but also from Lando’s side in order to to commit for the long-term.
“Obviously conversations are consistently happening then, in steps, and in the end we came to this common view that putting a new four-year contract in place is the deal to make in order to have the best shot in order to achieve these common goals.”
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