Following his best season in Formula 1 to date, Lando Norris has confirmed his commitment to the McLaren team through 2025.
After two years of steady improvement within a competitive midfield package, Lando Norris has cemented his status as a star of Formula 1 not only for his work on-track but also for his magnetic personality that has drawn so many fans to the sport.
Finishing 2021 with four podium finishes and only two races outside of the points (Hungary and Belgium, both due to variables out of his control), McLaren’s young centerpiece exhibited a superior feel for the British outfit’s machinery and its new Mercedes power unit.
Having officially signed an extension with McLaren through the 2025 season, Norris has made a statement of loyalty to the organization that gave him his chance in Formula 1 and shown his faith in the personnel around him to provide a competitive package throughout these new aerodynamic regulations.
While a four-year deal is a massive bode of confidence from both parties in regard to a driver contract, the tenure of the contract conveniently ends in the offseason preceding the expected arrival of new power unit regulations, which will look to reduce the cost of development to attract new manufacturers to the sport.
So Norris has kept his options open to potentially switch teams before the next major regulation change.
According to enginetechnologyinternational.com, the four primary components of the regulation change will be:
- “Retain the 1.6-liter V6 engine”
- “Increasing electrical power to 350kW”
- Currently approximately 120kW
- “Eliminate the MGU-H”
- “Introduction of a power unit cost cap”
These central principles to the new regulations continue to make the sport more attractive to potential entrants who are unable to match the fiscal might of the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari, whether that be new teams on the grid or new power unit manufacturers. Sadly, Formula 1 fans will be forced to continue their wait for the return of roaring V8s.
The most important changes will be to the electric powertrain and continuing to achieve a balance between combustion and electrical power. The first of these is the goal of achieving 350kW of power from electrical power. The current power produced from Formula 1 batteries resides at approximately 120kW, according to Mercedes public engine figures, which outputs about 161 hp.
This would mean the new engines should be able to add as much as 470 hp at the press of a button.
Finally, the complementing measures of eliminating the most expensive component and implementing a power unit specific cost cap are the core pieces which could potentially attract major automotive manufacturers such as Audi and Porsche.
The MGU-H is one of two energy recovery devices which recovers heat from the car and converts it into electrical power. This component is extremely expensive to develop and enables the FIA to introduce a more restrictive power unit cost cap.
Despite the surface-level presumptions of Norris’s loyalty to and faith in McLaren and their inevitable future success together, the young Brit has prepared himself to make a Lewis Hamilton-esque move in the future to a more capable manufacturer who can dominate the new era of power units in 2026.