In an interview with McLaren, Lando Norris expressed his belief that the team’s mid-season resurgence has brought them closer to securing a Formula 1 race victory than ever before since he joined the team.
After a challenging season that saw McLaren slip to fifth in the standings, the team initially struggled at the start of the current season, missing crucial development targets with their MCL60 car.
This setback left McLaren as the only team without a point after the first two rounds, marking their worst season start since 2017.
However, a revised car introduced from the Austria Grand Prix onwards has led to a remarkable turnaround for McLaren, with Norris achieving consecutive podium finishes at the British and Hungarian Grands Prix.
Norris applauded the significant progress McLaren has made this year but also issued a challenge to the team to build upon their recent achievements.
He stated, “We would’ve been happy with half the step we’ve done.
“To make as big of a step as we have, which I would say is one of the biggest steps taken by any team in the middle of the season, has impressed me the most.
“We want to continue with the improvements that we’ve made so far, maximise our opportunities, and make a couple fewer mistakes from both my side and the team’s.”
While Norris has amassed two podium finishes this year, bringing his career total in F1 to eight, he is still chasing his maiden Grand Prix victory in his fifth season.
Notable near-misses include a second-place finish at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix and a strategy mishap in mixed conditions that cost him a win in Russia later that year.
Reflecting on McLaren’s current form, Norris emphasised his growing confidence, stating, “It’s made me feel a lot more confident that we’ve been able to continue in a much better way than we have in the past.
“Whereas, in the past, there were always times when the hopes were raised, but we didn’t continue on some of the improvements we made.
“I would say we’re also the closest we’ve been ever over the last five years.
“So, if there’s any time to believe we’re getting closer to winning races, it’s now.”
However, Norris acknowledged that McLaren’s renewed competitiveness and heightened expectations have intensified the pressure internally during every race weekend.
He noted the shift in mentality when competing for higher positions and how it affects decision-making under pressure, emphasising the team’s ability to perform well even when facing tough situations.