Is Red Bull planning to poach McLaren’s star duo?

Red Bull’s senior F1 consultant, Dr. Helmut Marko, has disclosed that they are closely monitoring McLaren’s driver pair “for the future.”

As the Formula 1 circus made its way to Shanghai, McLaren’s Andrea Stella expresses optimism about the team solidifying its position as the third-quickest on the grid this year, and even contemplates victory in upcoming races.

“If we deliver the same type of development that we did last year, then why not?” he commented to France’s Auto Hebdo, with an air of confidence.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but this is certainly the mindset that everyone at McLaren has,” Stella adds, underlining the team’s ambition.

However, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, piloting the Woking-based team’s cars, foresee challenges at the Shanghai circuit. Norris elaborates on the difficulty saying, “The long corners,” and adds, “This type of corner is just not good for us.”

Regarding his boss’s projections of winning races later this year, Norris remains cautious, suggesting, “Not anytime soon, that’s for sure,” but acknowledges, “Right place, right time, if we improve the car how we need to, then I think Andrea is right. But that’s an if.” He also mentions the team’s historical struggles, noting, “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.”

Both Norris and Piastri have recently secured their positions within McLaren, with Norris signing through at least 2025 and Piastri until the end of 2026.

Despite the firm contracts, the interest from Red Bull persists as the ‘silly season’ of driver transfers intensifies. “Norris has a contract at least until 2026,” Marko told Kleine Zeitung, indicating that “so he is not an option in the short term, nor is Oscar Piastri.” However, he confirmed, “But both drivers are certainly interesting for us for the future.”

GMM

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