While Lando Norris is relishing his Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix, the McLaren driver concedes he’s looking forward to getting his maiden race “out of the way” in order to gain confidence and momentum for his rookie season.

Norris enjoyed a solid pre-season testing programme with McLaren but is bracing for a new level of challenge at his first F1 race at a circuit he’s never competed at before in Albert Park.

Naturally Norris is full of excitement to make his F1 debut – and in the process he will become the youngest-ever British driver in the sport – but accepts he has mixed emotions heading towards the 2019 opener.

“It will be a big moment going into my first race, so I don’t know what I’ll think of after, it depends if I have a great result or not so great result. Hopefully a good one,” Norris said. “I just want to get the first one out of the way and I’m sure I’ll gain more confidence going into the first part of the season.

“I think my aim for now is to make sure I am comfortable and confident going into race one and that I come out the same way.”

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Reflecting on his pre-season preparations, Norris feels he’s maximised his track time at Circuit de Catalunya having notched up 502 laps over the two tests and believes he’s now in a position to target a positive F1 debut.

“I feel pretty prepared,” he confirmed. “If I compare to how prepared I felt coming into the past two weeks compared to how I feel now I feel I am in a much better position in terms of knowing what I need to be doing and what I need to do to achieve a good results if I get the opportunity in Melbourne.

“From that side of things I feel much more confident and I feel I can do the job I need to be doing when I get to the first race.”

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