How proud is Lando Norris over McLaren’s progress in 2023?

McLaren driver Lando Norris had his most successful F1 season yet in 2023

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Lando Norris has revealed how proud he is of the turnaround McLaren in 2023, with the team ending the season in a much stronger fashion than they started.

The Woking-based team looked one of the slowest on the grid at the start of the year but were hopeful that upgrades coming to the car would get them up the field.

From the middle of the season, Norris took seven podiums and rookie Oscar Piastri also took a Sprint win in Qatar plus two podiums.

“The beginning was tough, because I didn’t know how much we were going to improve – especially at the very beginning,” Norris told the media.

“Of course, we said we’ll be a bit patient and we know we’ve got some decent things coming. But in the past few years, when you’ve had decent things come in, they’ve not always stood up to be that much of an improvement.

“This year was quite the opposite, and turned out to be almost a bigger improvement than we were expecting. But it’s tough because you never want to start the season kind of thinking well 24 races to go or 23 races and I can’t even get out of Q1.

“It’s tough kind of knowing that so early on in the season. It just makes you think ‘damn it, it’s gonna be a hell of a long, long year.’

“But I think what set us up very well is that everyone worked very hard to try and achieve everything we could with a bad car, which set us up very nicely for when we eventually had a good car.”

Norris proud of McLaren

Lando Norris on track in free practice at the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | McLaren F1 Team

Norris, who finished sixth in the drivers’ championship, had four consecutive podiums from the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix to the United States GP.

The British driver lauded his team and is more confident than ever in his Formula 1 career to challenge at the front from the off when the 2024 season begins at the end of February.

“I think we’ve been one of the best teams,” said Norris. “Maximising points every weekend, and reliability and everything else on top of just having a quicker car.

“I’m proud of the whole team. They did such a big turnaround, one of the biggest turnarounds probably the last 10 years or something in a period of time when it’s more difficult than ever.

“For us to do that against Mercedes, who dominated for five, six years, against Ferrari who have always been one of the best teams and to catch Red Bull, who’ve had the most dominant car/team combo almost ever in Formula 1.

“You’d say every single one of them we have been close to at some races so I think it’s quite impressive and a great achievement for everyone in the team.”

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