Lando Norris surprised by confidence level after early nerves

Lando Norris in action for McLaren

Lando Norris says he did not expect to “be as confident as I am now” during his rookie Formula 1 season, after admitting to nerves earlier in the campaign.

McLaren promoted junior driver Norris to a race seat for 2019 alongside ex-Toro Rosso and Renault pilot Carlos Sainz Jr. to form a refreshed line-up at the team.

Norris, runner-up to George Russell in Formula 2 last season, has scored 24 points across six grands prix this year and has made Q3 on eight occasions, the most of any midfield driver, including on his debut in Australia.

“I don’t think we thought we would be as… I don’t think we are still completely the fourth-fastest car, but I think the team are doing a very good job,” said Norris.

“The pit stops, the starts, all areas that we weren’t so good in last year, they’ve improved a lot for this year, and we’re generally better than a lot of the teams.

“That side has been much stronger, and that has helped us be as good as we are in terms of the Constructors’ and so on, it’s got us a lot of points, so a big thanks to all of the guys for working on those areas. It’s been a big help.

“From my side, I didn’t think I’d be as confident as I am now in this part of the season already, or halfway through.

“From how nervous I was in the beginning of the season in Australia, I’m a lot more confident, a lot more knowledgeable I think, with what I need to do and not do and so on with what I need to do and not do and so on. We’re getting there.”

McLaren holds a solid fourth in the Constructors' Championship while Norris is 10th in the Drivers' standings.