McLaren is already working to secure a contract extension for Lando Norris, even though his existing deal doesn’t expire until 2025.
Among the many drivers with expiring contracts next year, McLaren should find themselves clear of driver market uncertainty. As it stands, both Andrea Stella’s drivers are committed to multi-year deals.
This is a testament to McLaren’s impressive development, with Norris and Piastri confident in their project. After the team’s difficult start to the year, few would have predicted they would assert themselves as a consistent top team.
Moving forward, the British outfit wants to cement its current line-up. Their current duo enjoys a combination of speed and potential, which teams across the field will undoubtedly be envious of.
As a result, Andrea Stella and Zak Brown are working to ensure that rivals cannot tempt their drivers away.
On paper, this isn’t a concern for the foreseeable future. As a rookie in F1, Piastri could hardly have asked for a more competitive car to start his career.
Norris is also clearly fond of McLaren, who are now delivering results that make a move elsewhere extremely unfavourable. After all, the youngster is known to have previously rejected advances from Red Bull.
Whilst this proves his commitment to Woking, it also serves as a warning for the alternatives in the market.
With this in mind, McLaren is already in early talks with the 24-year-old.
“We are certainly having conversations with Lando,” Car and Driver quotes Andrea Stella as saying.
“They are good conversations. We are happy with how they are going…
“I will also feel uncomfortable having a conversation with a driver and trying to convince him by playing cards that I don’t have in my hands.
“I don’t want a situation where the driver says, ‘You said this would have happened, but it’s not happening’.
“So my conversations… are genuine evaluations of the facts.”
It seems reasonable to trust in the evaluations and assessments that Stella makes. After all, even before pre-season testing began, he predicted in near faultless fashion how the 2023 season would evolve.
The conceptualisation and implementation of upgrades at McLaren have been outstanding, catapulting them into regular podium finishers and Red Bull’s closest rivals.
If they can maintain their current trajectory into 2024 and beyond, there is little reason for the team to worry about losing out on their top talent.
Still, the next eighteen months will be a big test for the team.