Speaking ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix – where McLaren secured another double podium – Norris asserts that both he and team-mate Oscar Piastri have relayed similar feedback to the team, citing that they always have to push to the limit to unlock the pace.
“I think at the minute, that’s our next target with our development is still to make it a bit quicker, but also just to make the car a bit easier to drive in different conditions because both Oscar and my comments are still, like, you have to drive a car like this, it’s on a knife edge; if you’re not pushing to 100% you’re just slow,” he explained.
“So I feel like we’re doing a good job finding that level, but it’s just very difficult as soon as conditions change to this, we either go one way off this knife and they were just struggling a bit more. Finding that consistency is our next target and I think that all kind of ties together.”
The 23-year-old accepts that McLaren delivering upon his request for a compliant car will prove challenging without compromising on the performance side.
“For where we are, for what I feel like we still want to achieve, for what we have done in the season, before we really focus on the smaller details, even for what we have a lot of it is small details that make this big difference,” he addressed.
“But the smaller details in terms of making the driver a bit happier rather than just making the car quick. But like I said the other day, I’d rather have a quick car and a tricky one to drive than vice versa: a slow car to drive and a nice car to drive.
“But I think this want of making the car a bit more drivable, a bit more rounded, I think that’s almost the hardest task to achieve because it is so difficult to do this without compromise.
“It’s such a difficult thing to have the front end strong here, but then not to be too strong that you struggle on the exit because then the rear needs to be better.
“And, you know, it’s more like a juggling act rather than just adding things everywhere. And the juggling act is the one that’s very difficult to achieve but, it’s tough.”
But amid McLaren’s remarkable progress this year, Norris conveys that he has never been more confident that the Woking-based camp can strike that optimal balance.
“Do I have confidence in it? I would say yes, I would say I have more confidence than ever,” he added. “That the team can look into these things that we want as drivers and actually start to chip away.
“Over the past few years, I would say, I haven’t had that confidence because we’ve had it for the last four or five years. Now, I would say I’ve got the confidence that we can make those next steps in making a quick car, but also making a car which then starts to suit me or us as drivers a little bit more.”