McLaren driver Lando Norris has challenged his team to come up with the goods and make the struggles of 2022 “worth it” when they line up ahead of the upcoming season.
The British youngster has full confidence that he can taste success with McLaren as he believes that the team has “everything we need to succeed”.
Norris finished last season in 7th spot, four positions in front of his more experienced teammate in Daniel Ricciardo.
it was, however, a disappointing campaign for both drivers and Ricciardo even lost his seat in the aftermath.
It was, however, a financially sweet deal for the Honey Badger, who will pocket his biggest payout since entering the sport over a decade ago.
Norris, meanwhile, at least showed some signs of recovery and will be proud to be the only driver from a team apart from Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull to finish with a podium, thanks to his P3 finish at Imola.
2023 will be Norris’ fifth season in F1 and it is perhaps fair to say that he is now reasonably experienced. It will, of course, also be the first time in his career when he is pitted alongside a younger teammate.
Norris lauded McLaren’s “trajectory” and claimed that they are on the right path.
“Everyone’s smiling now because we’ve had a good season for sure,” Norris said.
“Everyone has done a good job, the mechanics, the engineers, I think we’ve pretty much maximised every opportunity that we’ve had.
“The mechanics have done an outstanding job in the toughest year for pitstops with heavier tyres and worse guns – we had the fastest pitstop this year and multiple fast stops on race weekends.
“In so many areas, we are on a good trajectory and are better than ever.
“It is just the one thing you need to show all of that, for it all to be worth. It is the thing that we are missing at the minute.
“The mechanics and engineers are fired up more than ever and have more energy than ever to go bigger and to make a better car.
“It’s just not an easy thing to do, but they have a good plan in place.”
McLaren has been a consistent team over the last decade and had established itself as a frontrunner in the midfield battle.
While Ricciardo did manage to get the team’s first win in almost a decade during the Italian Grand Prix in 2021, the team seemed to regress in 2022 owing to brake problems.
They were eventually usurped by Alpine for the fourth spot in the constructors’ standings, but Norris saw plenty to be optimistic about.
“It’s just motivation and energy for everyone to finish ahead of Alpine in terms of a result and not the championship,” he said.
“You’re just always happier to be ahead of people and to have a good result.”