Lando Norris believes McLaren has achieved their “biggest improvement” as a team after its latest car updates have propelled them to podium success.
McLaren’s start to the 2023 season was one of the worst in the history of the team in Formula 1, with two point-less finishes, including a DNF for Oscar Piastri in Bahrain getting its 60th-anniversary celebrations off to the worst possible start.
Its fortunes improved at the Australian Grand Prix with a double points finish but McLaren was brought back to reality in Azerbaijan by scoring two points and another point-less finish in Miami.
The team brought the first part of its three-part updates before the summer break in Austria, with Norris showing instant improvement by finishing fourth, before banking back-to-back podiums in Britain and Hungary, with Piastri also in the top five both times.
Norris talked highly of their efforts when speaking to media, including RacingNews365: “I do feel like we’re in a better position now with our understandings, with the people we have, our areas of focus.
“The upgrade we brought to Austria is the biggest upgrade – as a team – McLaren has brought in the last five years.
“In terms of having a car, and trying to find improvements over the year, it’s the biggest improvement we’ve ever had, even prior to when the team had the ‘B’ [spec] car in 2012 or something, when they had some other issues.”
Norris was unsure of future at McLaren
This dramatic turn-around in fortune has instilled more confidence in Norris: “I have more hope than I’ve had over the last few years,” he said.
“But also from what I know we’re doing at the minute with the wind tunnel coming along, the simulator, the people we have coming in, the structure we now have.
“I definitely believe we’re at the strongest point.”
The Briton committed his long-term future with the team in a contract that takes him to 2025 but features no release clause.
Norris admitted he pondered whether it was the right decision when speaking to Sky Sports: “In the back of my mind, there’s that impatient game of, ‘do I stick it out for another few years, or is it time to look at something different?’
“The more we achieve things like we have done over the past few weeks, the more I’m very confident with the decision I made to stay until 2025, and the more confident I am that we can achieve our goals together in the future.”