Lando Norris says he is happy to have “proved myself wrong” after having initial doubts about whether he would be competitive enough during his rookie Formula 1 season.

Norris impressed throughout his maiden campaign with McLaren and finished the year 11th in the drivers’ championship, just three points behind Racing Point’s Sergio Perez after being beaten by the Mexican in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Briton scored 47 points fewer than teammate Carlos Sainz but lost a number of big points with reliability issues, most notably retiring on the final lap in Belgium while running in fifth place. Norris won the qualifying head-to-head battle against Sainz 11-10.

“I think I can be very happy from how the whole season has gone from myself and from the team,” Norris said.

“Coming into the season, I wasn’t very confident with how I was going to do, so I’m happy I kind of proved myself wrong and have done a good job and been able to give myself more confidence and improved as a driver.

“I’m very happy about that. I got some good results. There’s still a lot of things I need to improve on but on the whole I’m very happy.”

Asked what doubts he had heading into the season, Norris replied: “If I was going to be good enough, as simple as that.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be quick enough going up against a driver whose done four years in F1 in McLaren and just in F1 against so many good drivers, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do a good enough job every time.

“I just didn’t believe in myself much but already after Australia and Bahrain, I already gained a lot of confidence. It was simply not knowing if I was going to be able to keep up.”

 

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