Although Lando Norris has had a sparkling start to the 2021 F1 season, the McLaren driver stated he hasn't been able to drive the MCL35M the way that he wants.
The 21-year-old has finished on the podium at two of the opening five races, the most recent of which came at the Monaco GP. Norris finds himself third in the Drivers' Championship even though he's had to change his driving style this season.
"This year the car is different and there are different things on the car," Norris told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. "You have to drive it in a different way, and I'm still learning a lot now with every race that we do about the car.
"Monaco was my best qualifying that I've done, and I made mistakes in previous qualifying and races because I've not known enough about the car. I'm still learning a lot of things. Especially in Bahrain, for example, in the first couple of races of the season, I was driving it too much like last year's car, and I had to adapt a lot to this year's car.
"So there are definitely a lot of differences and it's not been easy going from the last two years to this year. I can't just drive it the same way and then just be a better driver, I've had to adapt to a lot of different things. I still can't necessarily drive it the way that I want to, as a preference from how I drove in Formula 3 and Formula 4 and things like that.
"I can't drive it the way that I want to, so a bit of it is just you have to adapt."
As for this weekend in Azerbaijan, Norris isn't expecting McLaren to be fighting out with the likes of Mercedes or Red Bull.
“I think we can be confident and optimistic that we can go well. I don’t think we’ll be anything extraordinary," Norris added. "I think we’ve shown over the first five races that we have a good car on all the tracks.
"I don’t think we can say we’ll be quicker than Mercedes or Red Bull but we’ll keep our heads down and try and get another result like last time.”