Norris’ lack of mistakes influenced early contract extension

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has said that Lando Norris’ ability to avoid making mistakes contributed to his early contract extension.

Earlier in the week McLaren announced that they had extended Lando Norris’ contract for an additional year meaning their 2020 driver line-up is now complete as Carlos Sainz was already signed on a multi-year deal.

When asked for the reasons why Norris’ contract extension was so early in the season in Friday’s press conference, Brown said: “Carlos has been extremely quick every weekend and then Lando specifically, he also is extremely quick, a quick learner.”

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“He’s not making some of the mistakes – knock on wood – that you maybe anticipate from a rookie driver.”

Norris has been one of the stand-out drivers this season and recently impressed in France, when he put in an impressive display with an injured car, and last time out in Austria where he crossed the line in sixth.

“He [Lando] drives quite mature, his feedback’s good, he gets along with Carlos very well” added Brown.

“He now has enough races under his belt that we’ve seen him under pressure, we’ve seen him having to race his team-mate, we’ve seen him at the front of the field.”

“We’ve seen enough rounded elements to his driving to know that he’s one of the future stars of the sport.”

Alonso free to race for rivals

With McLaren having now confirmed their line-up for next year, it means there is no place for Fernando Alonso.

Alonso had previously said that he would consider a return to Formula 1 in the future but only if it meant he was capable of fighting at the front.

The Spaniard still holds an ambassador role at McLaren but Brown said that he wouldn’t have an issue if Alonso signed for another team.

“With Fernando he remains an ambassador with McLaren, we’ve got a great relationship with him and we are speaking with him about some racing programmes in the future that are nor Formula One-related.” said Brown.

“But we are happy for him, if he wants to get back into Formula One, because we don’t have a seat available to go race for another team”

“We will very much support with that if that’s what he wants to do.”