[Verstappen urges Norris to keep faith in McLaren amid past Red Bull doubts
The two-time world champion, who looks well on course to take his third title this season, is in the form of his career as rivals are left scratching their heads about how to beat him.
Red Bull’s domination has meant that opportunities for others to win are slim, and it means that rising youngsters like Norris are having to tread water until they can get hold of more competitive machinery.
Although Norris is currently locked into a contract at McLaren until 2026, the team’s lacklustre start to the campaign prompted suggestions that the Briton could be tempted to look elsewhere if things did not turn around.
But Verstappen, who is friends with Norris, thinks that the young Briton should avoid being tempted to think that things could be better elsewhere.
Instead, he cites his own experience at Red Bull, where he stuck at it – despite times he thought he would have to leave – and that commitment is now paying off.
“If Lando was in a race-winning car, he would win races. It’s as simple as that,” explained Verstappen at the British Grand Prix.
“Sometimes you have to stick to the process, and you believe in the process. People can say: ‘Yeah, we believe in it.’ But you really have to believe in it.
“You really have to know and see that you are attracting the right people to make a winning team. And you really have to get everything into place. And I did trust our process around it.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Verstappen confesses, however, that amid Red Bull’s struggles to find the perfect engine partner, there were times when even he pondered if he would be better set somewhere else on the grid.
“Of course, sometimes I’ve been sceptical with a new engine partner, and is this going to work out? But then you can see how much they were determined to make it work.
“Sometimes I had my doubts, and I guessed, is it actually going to work? I didn’t know. Of course, sometimes, I had this sort of[feeling] maybe I should leave. But at the same time in those years, I was also developing a lot as a driver.
“And you never forget who put you in F1 in the first place. You also have to be loyal to that, I find.
“People sometimes say the grass is greener on the other side, but most of the time it’s not. And I think it’s very important to remember these kinds of things in situations like that.”
Speaking earlier this year, Norris said that while it was not ideal to wait so long for his maiden win, he was not desperate to move on.
“At times, it’s tough because I’m a competitive guy and I want to win,” he said. “Of course, at times you think what could you do in order to get into the position earlier.
“But also, I’m very comfortable with where I am right now. I have good confidence in the team… and that’s the most important thing for myself, to give myself that confidence, but also for the team to have it at the same time.”