Marko on Norris: “He is by far the best of the younger drivers”

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has sparked speculation around Lando Norris’ future after the Austrian was seen talking to the manager of the 23-year-old Brit. Although the seven-time podium finisher has a contact with McLaren until the end of 2025, speculation about his future is ramping up.

Norris performed admirably at Silverstone, enjoying the benefits of McLaren’s upgraded MCL60 to finish second ahead of Lewis Hamilton as the Woking-based team jumped Alpine in the standings.

Red Bull has dominated the 2023 season, taking victory in all 10 races as Max Verstappen holds a commanding 99-point advantage in the championship.

The Dutchman’s team mate Sergio Perez, has suffered an inconsistent season, winning two of the first four races but scoring just one podium at the last five events.

Perez has come under increasing pressure after his lacklustre results and failure to maximise the RB19’s blistering raw speed.

Marko spoke to Austrian outlet Kleine Zeitung and heaped praise on Norris:

“Lando has a contract with McLaren until 2025, but he is by far the best of the younger drivers,” adding that there had already been “intensive talks” between Red Bull team and Norris’ management.

“With his youthful character, he would also be the best fit for Red Bull, and it’s no secret that Max and he are good friends.”

Verstappen has already surpassed three-time world champion Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 wins at just 25 years old and is firmly in control of this season’s title race.

The Dutchman scored his first British Grand Prix win last time out, ending a run of poor form at Silverstone.

The Hungaroring will provide a very different test next time out, due to it’s highly technical nature on the 23rd of July.

Marko said his driver has catapulted Red Bull to new heights in recent times: “Of course he belongs in this league. I would even say he is redefining it.

“His successes have taken us to the ranks of the greats in the sport, which is reflected in the number of victories right now.”

Marko also spoke on Perez’s future and the team’s desire to claim the top two spots in the world championship. Although the Mexican has struggled in qualifying since Miami — so much so he’s failed to make Q3 on five successive occasions — Checo still holds P2 in the standings.

“We really want to finish second in the drivers’ championship too. If we change drivers, the points are gone, so for us it’s not even an issue.”