Many tipped McLaren to be serious challengers at the front of the field in Azerbaijan with the long straights expected to suit its car.

Norris ended FP2 0.9s down on Sergio Perez's top time, while Daniel Ricciardo could only manage 13th fastest in the second McLaren.

With Mercedes struggling for pace, it left Red Bull and Ferrari to dominate the timesheets as their four cars occupied the top four positions in both practice sessions.

Assessing McLaren’s competitiveness this weekend, Norris thinks that McLaren is “too far away to do anything special”.

“In FP1 we were quite good, FP2 not so good. Because of the temperatures or something, we were obviously expecting to be okay,” Norris said. “It was only Carlos [Sainz] who said we were going to be amazing. I don’t have too high expectations, we look decent, we are where we expected to be.

“But quite a long way off of Ferrari and Red Bull. So hopefully tonight we can make some improvements.”

Norris was generally happy with the balance of his car despite lacking the outright pace.

“Hopefully overnight we can make some improvements and find something, but it is not too bad,” Norris added. “The car is feeling relatively good. Of course some things to improve on overnight, but we look a bit too far away to do anything special. So we will keep plugging away and that is all we can do.”

Ricciardo fared better in FP1 than in FP2, ending the morning session in fifth.

Explaining his day in Baku, Ricciardo said: “I felt better in FP2, in FP1 the scoreboard was better but in FP2 I felt like I made some more steps. We just have to fine-tune the car and put the lap together. We had some disruptions and a few incidents on the softs. But nonetheless it was better, so just keep plugging away.”