Lando Norris feels surprised by his growing level of confidence through his first half-season racing in Formula 1, having battled early nerves upon joining the grid for 2019.

Norris, 19, stepped up from F2 into a McLaren seat for this year and has quickly adjusted to life in F1, scoring 24 points and a best finish of sixth through his opening 12 races.

Norris’ contribution has helped McLaren pull clear in the race to be the top midfield team in F1 this year. It sits fourth in the constructors’ championship, 39 points clear of fifth-placed Toro Rosso.

Asked by if McLaren had exceeded his pre-season expectations, Norris said: “I think so. I don’t know about the team and what they all thought.

“I don’t think we are still completely the fourth-fastest car, but I think the team are doing a very good job. 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.”

Looking at his own development, Norris identified his growth in confidence as being one of his biggest surprises this year. The Briton revealed earlier in the season that he had worked with a mind coach to help deal with the mental challenge of racing.

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

“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.

“We’re getting there. So I really want to race at Spa - but I have a holiday now.”



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