Lando Norris reckons McLaren benefitted from remaining grounded about its chances heading into the 2019 Formula 1 season and not “overhyping things” as it had done in previous years.

Following years of disappointment in the V6 hybrid era, McLaren turned in its best season since 2012 to secure fourth spot in the constructors’ championship, beating engine suppliers Renault in the process.

The team was spearheaded by a new-look management led by team principal Andreas Seidl, while its new driver line-up consisting of Norris and Carlos Sainz impressed throughout the campaign.

McLaren had a tendency to hype up its prospects throughout the early years of the V6 era but entered 2019 with a more grounded approach, something Norris feels paid off for the Woking squad.

“I think one of the biggest things that changed is just having a fresh start,” Norris said.

“Two new drivers, new people within the team, new management with Andreas [Seidl] coming in.

“There were a lot of changes in the team which kind of refreshed everything but also at the same time because the last few years had been so bad - coming into this year for a good reason - we didn’t overhype things as much as previous years.

“Always coming to Abu Dhabi, everyone was so excited about how McLaren was going to do the following year because as a team we said too many things that were making people overly confident. We didn’t do that, which was a good thing.

“People worked hard over the winter and with that we then started testing and we weren’t super happy with how testing went but then as the races went on then the environment and everything started coming together more and more.

“I think there’s been a lot of key things but two new drivers, new management and new people looking after everyone, I think just putting it all together has made it all more enjoyable for the drivers and the team.”

Despite enjoying a much-improved season, Norris remains wary about getting “ahead of ourselves” for 2020, insisting McLaren still has many areas to improve on before it will be in a position to challenge the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull on merit.

“I think it speaks from itself where we were last year, where we ended up in the constructors’ and where we were on average in qualifying and the races,” he explained.

“The contrast to this year has been pretty huge, so I think that says enough. There’s been a lot of very good things but there’s still a lot of things which have not been so good and things we need to improve on.

“I think we can be happy but there’s still a long way to go to be able to race with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. We can be happy but not overly happy and get ahead of ourselves ahead of next year.”