McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has praised Lando Norris for making an "impressive" step forward in 2022.
The campaign proved to be a slightly disappointing one for the team, with the Woking-based squad having lost out on P4 in the Constructors' Championship following a battle with Alpine.
Norris, though, claimed the 'best of the rest' spot in the Drivers' Championship, having finished P7 behind the drivers from the top three teams.
Seidl believes that Norris – who has a long-term contract with McLaren until the end of 2025 – has displayed continued signs of progress during the year, which marked his fourth season in Formula 1.
Seidl: Norris clearly made another step
"There were different things which were impressing me quite a lot, obviously, in terms of pure performance inside the car, even if it's not so visible in terms of results, because we simply were not that competitive compared to last year," Seidl told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"He clearly made another step. If I see how he's approaching the weekends, how he's pulling off the qualifying sessions, how he's pulling off the races, it's just impressive, knowing that he's only in his fourth year in in Formula 1.
"Obviously, at the same time, [this] is giving us a quite optimistic outlook because we know there's still a lot more to come and we know we still have him on board for many, many more years, which is great to know."
Viewed by others:
Norris stayed positive in 'challenging' times, says Seidl
The start of the 2022 campaign was particularly difficult for McLaren, with the team having experienced technical issues during pre-season testing.
Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix out of the points, though Norris returned to the top 10 at the next event on the calendar in Saudi Arabia.
Seidl has praised the Briton for maintaining a positive attitude during tough times.
"Outside of the car, it was quite impressive how he was dealing with these challenges also of being part of the team this year, where it was a bit more challenging compared to the last three years where we always made these steps forward and could score some great results," Seidl commented.
"Last year he was very important for me as well, especially at the beginning of the season when we had this difficult start, to make sure he helped me also leading the team, staying positive, and keeping motivating everyone within the team in order to fight back as quickly as possible.
"[I'm] just happy to have him on board for many more years."
F1 Podcast: Binotto leaves Ferrari - what now for the Scuderia?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss Mattia Binotto's resignation from Ferrari, and where he and the team go from here.