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Lando Norris

Norris 'emotionally proud' of McLaren 2023 transformation

McLaren had one of their worst starts to a season at the beginning of the 2023 Formula 1 season, but ended it on a promising note for next year.

Norris Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris is "emotionally proud" of McLaren for managing to turn around its fortunes during the 2023 Formula 1 season.

McLaren suffered one of its worst starts to a season having got the launch-spec of the MCL60 wrong, with just 17 points from the first eight races of the season.

A huge upgrade package at the Austrian Grand Prix turned the team's fortunes around, with a further package in Singapore transforming the car into the second-best on the grid behind Red Bull.

Between them, Norris and Oscar Piastri scored nine podiums, with Piastri winning the Sprint race in Qatar to boot.

The team finished fourth in the Constructors', with Norris the highest points scorer on the grid apart from the Red Bull drivers between the Singapore upgrade and Abu Dhabi.

Reflecting on his best season in F1 to date, Norris, who finished sixth in the Drivers', heaped praise on his team.

Norris: You never want to start the season thinking it will be long

When asked about his thoughts on the season, Norris told media, including RacingNews365: "Emotionally proud of the whole team that they did such a big turnaround.

"One of the biggest turnarounds in probably the last 10 years in a period of time when it's more difficult than ever because of wind tunnel time and costs and all of these things.

"For us to do that against Mercedes, who dominated F1 a few years ago, against Ferrari who have always been one of the best teams to catch up, and with Red Bull who have had the most dominant car and team combo almost ever in F1, is quite impressive."

After the poor run of form in the opening races, Norris was worried that it would continue throughout the year.

"You never want to start the season thinking: 'Wow, 23 races to go and I can't even get out of Q1!' it just makes you think that it's going to be a hell of a long year," he explained.

"What set us up very well is that it made everyone work very hard to try and achieve everything you could with a bad car, which then set us up very nicely for when we eventually had a good car.

"We've been one of the best teams, maybe not in Las Vegas, but certainly maximising points every weekend, reliability and everything else on top of just having a quick car.

"You realise sometimes that when you're quick, a lot of things are easy and they come easily. You kind of forget sometimes the smaller things when you're struggling.

"But then there's other things you have got to prepare for when you're fighting at the top, it's a different race when you're fighting there compared to at the back."

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