Brown: We knew Norris would’ve been snapped up

Zak Brown admits that his team had to act fast to sign-up teenager Lando Norris for 2019 because he was aware of a number of teams eager to sign the kid from Bristol (UK) with Toro Rosso the poacher-in-chief.

Speaking to media at Woking, Brown revealed, “We knew he would’ve been snapped up by another team. We were around the summer-break timeline so we weren’t pressured by that, didn’t make a decision driven by that but we’re fully aware that if he wasn’t going to be driving for us it would be someone else.”

“I assume it would have been Toro Rosso. I think, based on the phone calls I got, more than one team was interested in him.”

Asked how he juggles his role of McLaren F1 chief and that of being part of Norris’ management team, Brown said, “I started looking after Lando before I started at McLaren and before he came here.”

“It has all been very transparent from day one with the shareholders what we do. I’m not the first person to have that type of relationship in this sport or in business. Ultimately, you put good governance in place which in this instance is the driver decision, these group decisions go up to ExCom.”

Brown said he was not part of negotiations between McLaren Norris’ minders, “I’m not conflicted in any sort of negotiation and it’s quite relaxed around here. He’s here on his merit and if he wasn’t here he’d be in another Formula 1 team.”