Lando Norris believes a “more upbeat and positive” atmosphere within McLaren has provided the team with added determination throughout the 2019 Formula 1 season.

McLaren has improved on its sixth-place finish from 2018 and currently holds a comfortable fourth spot in the constructors’ standings with nine races to go this year.

The British squad boasts a 39-point buffer over nearest midfield rivals Toro Rosso after enjoying a promising first half of the campaign with its new driver pairing consisting of Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.

“I think the atmosphere within the team, not because of Carlos or myself, but from everyone, is more upbeat and more positive than what it has been over the last couple of years," said Norris. 

“I would like to say that Carlos and myself have a bit of an effect on this but it’s not all down to us. It’s down to a lot of new members and having new drivers, and a lot of fresh faces, which renews everyone’s determination.”

Norris, who was a serial winner in junior categories and finished runner-up to Williams driver George Russell in the 2018 Formula 2 standings, insists he has not been fazed by having to lower his expectations since graduating to the F1 grid this year.

“It’s different this year knowing that I’m not going to be winning, or it’s very unlikely that I’m going to be winning,” the Briton explained.

“I think it’s good that there’s something fresh and new and I have to work with new people in different years and so on. So I think I would have learned more than someone who was in the same category for three years in a row say.

“But at the same time I’ve always been able to win so I’ve always had the determination to go in and win, which has been a good thing as I’ve always had something to work towards but this year it’s been slightly different.

“But I still have, even if I don’t have the chance of winning yet, I still have the same determination to help the team and help myself and everyone around me to try and get back to winning and podiums in the future.”