Norris: Red Bull F1 “should always carry the advantage that they have” until 2026

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing
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Lando Norris, McLaren’s Formula 1 driver, has made it clear that significant changes in the sport’s competitive dynamics are unlikely before the 2026 season when new regulations are introduced. With Red Bull and Max Verstappen continuing their dominant form from the latter half of the 2022 season into 2024, Norris sees little room for other teams to catch up in the interim.

Despite another year remaining before the 2026 overhaul, which promises a significant shake-up with new car designs and power units, Norris remains sceptical about the gap closing at the front.

“No, I think for things to really shake up, you need to wait until 2026,” he stated. The introduction of new power units is expected to be a game-changer, though.

Currently, Norris expects Red Bull to keep winning championships in 2024 and 2025, “Now there’s not really anything between the power units between teams, but a lot more between cars. I expect Red Bull, being the team that they are, to always carry an advantage.”

While hoping for Red Bull to “run out of ideas”, Norris admits that even McLaren’s substantial improvements over the past year haven’t been sufficient to challenge the Milton Keynes-based squad, crediting them for the job they are doing and the incredibly intelligent people within their organisation.

“They’re just as smart, smarter in many ways, that if they do just as good of a job as any other team, they should always carry the advantage that they have,” he said.

Despite this, Norris is proud of McLaren’s progress from strugglers to regular podium contenders, noting, “Even if you look at our 12 months of progress from last year, we’ve been the team who have developed the most and we’re the best developing team over the last 12 months.”

Yet, Norris is candid about the current state of competition, acknowledging that while every team is making strides, the gap to Red Bull remains significant.

As the F1 community looks forward to the 2026 season with the hope for a more level playing field in most cases, teams like McLaren and drivers like Norris are focused on maximising their development efforts in the meantime.