On the again of a stable first two seasons within the sequence, the place Norris had at instances doubted himself, the Briton delivered a stellar 2021 marketing campaign as he grabbed a maiden pole place and got here near victory on the Russian Grand Prix.
The way in which that he was in a position to overshadow well-respected team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was proof of his rising maturity and pace, and left his McLaren bosses in little doubt that he’s a future winner.
However whereas the step up he made final yr was spectacular, Norris feels that it was only a case of pure development that each driver enjoys when he will get a run of seasons underneath his belt.
“I at all times hate to depart an excuse as ‘lack of expertise’,” he defined.
“Like, saying ‘oh, I am simply not as skilled’ is such a simple factor to make use of, and I might hate to say lack of expertise.
“I hate having to say that typically, and I did not need to consider that having that break within the winter and coming again realizing every thing a bit extra subconsciously goes to make a lot distinction.
“But in addition, as a result of I’ve by no means accomplished multiple season in any class since beginning in cadets, it was laborious for me to know the variations via the years.”
Norris additionally reckons that his qualities in F1 have been made more durable to guage by going up in opposition to the extra established Carlos Sainz Jr for his first two years.
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“I assume my second yr was good, however Carlos I consider is likely one of the finest drivers in F1 and he did not make me look pretty much as good, as a result of he is a particularly good driver and he did an excellent job,” mentioned Norris about their two seasons collectively. “So truthful play to him.
“I believe I obtained shadowed a bit by him, as a result of he was doing an distinctive job and I believe I’ve taken that subsequent step, which might have been the identical or perhaps a bit higher than him.
“That was via a mix of understanding every thing from the previous few years, having a little bit of a recent begin, completely different team-mate and so forth, and a barely higher automotive beneath me that I am extra assured with.
“Plus that winter off, coming again refreshed and having much more of that have ingrained in me. So I actually noticed that distinction greater than I did perhaps for yr one to yr two.”
Whereas Norris’ 2021 marketing campaign began off very strongly, he concedes there have been a number of extra challenges afterward within the marketing campaign – together with the startline incident with Sainz in Brazil that price him the shot of an honest end.
“I’m very comfortable at the least with the progress I constituted of final season engaged on these weak areas,” he mentioned.
“I believe I turned a few of these into strengths. A few of them nonetheless want some work however general, we’ve accomplished a significantly better job.
“The opposite issues I did properly was particularly the primary half being very robust. I believe we got here out at the beginning of the season extraordinarily robust and I believe we maximised what we did very properly.
Norris had the upper-hand on Ricciardo in 2021
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“We maximised each alternative we needed to get onto the podiums to take advantage of different folks’s penalties and stuff.
“There’s positively been a number of locations the place I’ve made errors for certain, like Brazil, which was in all probability one among my largest errors of the season.
“It is such a small factor however it price us an excellent quantity of factors and a attainable race with Ferrari and to be forward of them in that race.
“Possibly two or three different races the place I simply have not been on it, perhaps only one or two positions down, however I do not assume any of which have put me out. I’ve not had any correct massive crashes which have price me factors I believe.”