Red Bull eyes both McLaren drivers ‘for the future’

Fri, 19 April 2024, 10:00

Apr.19 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko admits Red Bull is keeping an eye on McLaren’s contracted driver duo “for the future”.

Heading into Shanghai, McLaren boss Andrea Stella sounded hopeful the team will not only cement its status as the third-fastest team in 2024, but perhaps even win races later this season.

“If we deliver the same type of development that we did last year, then why not?” he is quoted by France’s Auto Hebdo.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but this is certainly the mindset that everyone at McLaren has.”

The Woking based outfit has taken some minor developments to China, but both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are predicting a tough weekend.

“The long corners,” Norris said, when asked why he is pessimistic. “This type of corner is just not good for us.”

As for his boss’s prediction of potential race wins later in 2024, the 24-year-old is also not overly optimistic.

“Not anytime soon, that’s for sure,” Norris insisted. “Right place, right time, if we improve the car how we need to, then I think Andrea is right. But that’s an if.

“You know, some of these certain areas have been a big challenge for us over the last many years – not just years, but the last many years.”

The British driver signed a contract extension early this year, cementing him in place at least for 2025 and possibly longer.

And just a few months earlier, McLaren also locked up impressive Australian Piastri, 23, until the end of 2026.

But with the driver ‘silly season’ already in top gear, Red Bull’s top F1 consultant Marko admitted he is keeping his eye on the orange-clad pair.

“Norris has a contract at least until 2026,” he told Kleine Zeitung, “so he is not an option in the short term, nor is Oscar Piastri.

“But both drivers are certainly interesting for us for the future.”

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