Christian Horner has confirmed that Lando Norris has been under consideration for a Red Bull seat on more than one occasion.
The F1 championship-winning team signed Max Verstappen in 2016, with the Dutchman cementing his place as Red Bull's lead driver in the time ensuing.
But after Daniel Ricciardo left to join Renault - now Alpine - at the end of 2018, Red Bull struggled to fill the void left by the Australian.
Pierre Gasly's tumultuous half-season in the hot seat in 2019 came to an ignominious end, with Alex Albon promoted to partner Verstappen later that campaign despite it being his season debut.
Albon showed flashes of what he could do but two collisions with Lewis Hamilton, in Brazil in 2019 and Austria in 2020, summed up the Thai-British driver's luck, with Red Bull moving to replace him after one and a half seasons.
In stepped Sergio Perez to become the first non-Red Bull affiliated driver to join the team since Mark Webber left in 2013, earning a victory in Azerbaijan and assisting Verstappen in his Abu Dhabi showdown with Hamilton last season.
Strong performances then rewarded the Mexican with a deal through to 2024, whilst now-double champion Verstappen is tied in until 2028.
Speaking ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix, Norris revealed the talks but 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.
“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.”
Clarifying Red Bull's position, Horner added: “We’ve spoken with Lando a couple of times over the years.
"But every time we’ve had a conversation, the next day he’s signed a contract with McLaren."
Dismissing any chance of furthering those talks after Norris himself signed a contract extension with McLaren earlier this year, Horner added: “He’s on a long-term contract with McLaren and looks like he’s going to be there for a few more years.”