Lando Norris may regret striking a long-term agreement with McLaren, according to Jenson Button.
In February, the 22-year-old signed a contract with the team that will last until the end of the 2025 Formula 1 season.
The contract was agreed ahead of Norris’ fourth Formula 1 season, with McLaren looking to build on a promising 2021 season in which they competed with Ferrari for third place behind title contenders Red Bull and Mercedes.
While F1 rivals, Ferrari improved and appear to be on track to fight for the world title after two races, Norris and teammate Daniel Ricciardo have had a more difficult start to the season.
While the young British-Belgian driver finished eighth in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Ricciardo is yet to score, and Norris was stuck in 15th place in Bahrain due to difficulties with his front braking system.
Button questions whether committing his future to Zak Brown’s club was the correct decision.
“For Lando, it was surprising that he signed such a long contract at the start of his career,” Button said in an interview with Sky Sports F1. “We all want to be team players but you never know where the team is going to be in three years.”
“And also, this is going to be a big hit. Five years to go and he is going to be like, ‘Oh, okay’, but all he can do is go back to the team, tell them what the issues are and try and resolve them.”
Norris finished sixth in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship, with four podium finishes, including a career-best second place finish at the Italian Grand Prix.
He finished second to Ricciardo, giving McLaren their first one-two finish since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix. Button had finished second in the 2010 race, only being beaten by teammate Lewis Hamilton.
That was during the first of Button’s seven seasons with the Woking-based company, and he still holds the Woking-based manufacturer in high respect.
“This is a great team,” said the former McLaren driver. “They’ve won multiple championships, they have a lot of new people in place that are also very skilled.”
“It’s about that team building, that team staying together and developing the car as well as they can.”