Christian Horner: We’ve spoken with Lando Norris a couple of times about joining Red Bull

Christian Horner has confirmed that McLaren driver Lando Norris was approached on a few occasions about the possibility of joining Red Bull.

Max Verstappen was signed by Red Bull in 2016 to go on to become their lead driver, but after Daniel Ricciardo left in 2018 to join Renault, now Alpine, it became a struggle for the team to find a decent replacement for the departing Australian driver.

In 2019, Pierre Gasly lasted a half-season at Red Bull before Alex Albon was promoted to partner Verstappen but he also did not last following two crashes with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in Brazil and then in Austria, the following year, to also get dropped after one and a half seasons.

Albon was then replaced by Sergio Perez in 2021, who proved to be the ideal partner for Verstappen helping him claim his first Formula 1 World Championship last year.

Following consistently strong performances, Mexican driver Perez secured a new Red Bull deal recently until 2024, while Verstappen is contracted until 2028 having become the 2022 F1 champion, with two races of the season still remaining in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

In an interview prior to the Mexican Grand Prix, Norris admitted to having talks with Red Bull at one stage, and said: "It wasn't like we were talking heavily.

"Everyone tries to speak to all of the teams at some point so I spoke to them, I spoke to a few other people. But a chat's a chat. It's not like 'What can we do?' straight away.

"Just keeping in touch and things like that. It's as simple as that sometimes," Norris explained.

"But it was just coming to the end of the contract when you select what options are available, you find out what is possible, what might be possible over the next few years.

"It wasn't just Red Bull. Every driver has chats with a lot of the different teams on what could happen and it's as simple as that, basically," he added.

Horner confirmed having had talks with Norris but nothing came of them due to him renewing his contract with McLaren.

"We've spoken with Lando a couple of times over the years," Horner said.

"But every time we've had a conversation, the next day he's signed a contract with McLaren.

"He's on a long-term contract with McLaren and looks like he's going to be there for a few more years," Horner added.

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