Lando Norris says increased confidence and self-belief has been the biggest gain he has made so far in his fledgling Formula 1 career.

The 19-year-old British rookie has scored points in half of the F1 races he has contested in his maiden season with McLaren, finishing sixth in Bahrain and adding to his tally again last time out with eighth in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Norris admits he was struggling for confidence at the season-opener in Melbourne but his debut nerves quickly evaporated in time for the next race in Bahrain.

Asked for his biggest takeaway of the season so far, Norris replied: “Probably confidence in myself. That’s the thing I probably struggled with the most going to Australia.

“It was much better going to Bahrain, [I was] much more relaxed and enjoying it a lot more. I enjoyed Australia but I was so tense, thinking about so many things, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

“Didn’t make it as fun as Bahrain or China. I think confidence in knowing I can do a good enough job.”

Scoring an early breakthrough result in Bahrain went some way in providing Norris with a timely confidence boost, something he described as a “bonus” to get so early in the season.

“It’s always a bonus to do it [early in the season],” Norris explained.

“It’s not like I had to do it or something but if there is an opportunity to do it I need to make the most of it and make sure I am there to maximise that opportunity, which is what I did [in Bahrain].

“I couldn’t have done much better than sixth, maybe if I didn’t drop back so much in the beginning and if I was a bit higher up I could have been ahead of [Sebastian] Vettel had he still had the same incident at the end.

“But apart from that, it’s good that I’ve done well for people on the outside but also for my own confidence from knowing I can do the job, which is mainly from the job I did in Bahrain.

“It’s important but it wasn’t the end of the world if it didn’t happen.”



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