Karun Chandhok: Red Bull should do everything they can to sign Lando Norris

Former Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok feels Red Bull should look to the future by bringing Lando Norris into the team.

The British racer is currently tied to a multi-year contract with McLaren, this deal running until the end of the 2025 season.

However, with Norris intending to fight at the front of the grid sooner rather than later, 2024 is a season in which McLaren said they had no excuses as their infrastructure would be up to date, leaving Norris to admit that the 2022 campaign fell short of expectations.

He secured the team’s only podium of the season, P3 at Imola, as McLaren slipped to P5 in the Constructors’ Championship. Norris has been on the podium four times in 2021, and without a late rain shower at that year’s Russian Grand Prix, he could have become a first-time Grand Prix winner.

Speaking of the 2022 campaign, Norris told Sky Sports Formula 1: “From where we were in the first race… [Bahrain]I think we did a good job, we recovered well.

“If you think before the season, did we achieve in 2022 what we should have done as McLaren? Frankly not. If we want to do well and we want to be champions at some point and we want to win races, we can’t be satisfied with where we’ve been this season.” .

But if Red Bull follows Chandhok’s advice by reviving interest in Norris, the Briton could find himself fighting at the front at Red Bull in the years to come.

Max Verstappen, the two-time world champion at Red Bull, has not hidden the fact that once his solid contract with the team expires at the end of 2028, he is taking a very serious interest in continuing his career outside of Formula 1.

So, with teammate Sergio Perez and Red Bull third driver Daniel Ricciardo both north of 30, Chandhok feels Red Bull should cover themselves for the future with the acquisition of Norris.

“I think they have to go very hard to try and buy Lando Norris,” Chandhok told Sky Sports F1 in their F1 2022 review presentation.

“Exactly, not at all,” said Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft in response to that suggestion.

Lando Norris would be perfect for Red Bull

Verstappen is of course under contract with Red Bull until 2028, but well before then it would be solid business for the team to enlist Norris’ services.

In a car comparable to the standard Verstappen has been driving for the past two seasons, Norris is a driver who believes he has what it takes to join the fight for wins and titles, and his time with McLaren hasn’t done much to suggest otherwise.

Verstappen and Norris are friends off the track, which hopefully means they can get along as teammates, and we’ll of course drop star-mark Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in there.

Of course, the other key question concerns whether Norris could be the next to fall victim to ‘teammate killer’ Verstappen? Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon and now to a slightly lesser extent Sergio Perez have all been left scratching their heads most of the time when it comes to getting the same level of performance out of Red Bull’s machines that Verstappen can.

Verstappen is known to have a rather unique driving style, but Norris also has experience driving very special cars at McLaren. The MCL36 for example was the exact opposite of what Norris said he wanted from a car, yet he got the better of it, while Verstappen’s former teammate Ricciardo struggled massively and lost his seat.

With Red Bull releasing Gasly a year before his contract to join Alpine expired, the team showed that Formula 1 contracts can be escaped, so now Red Bull can look to show how that works in reverse by bringing Norris into the fold.

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