Patient Norris has 'not lost faith' in McLaren

© XPB 

Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet, and Lando Norris still firmly believes that McLaren will carry him to race wins and beyond, but likely not this year.

Last season, the first under F1's new regulations, McLaren performed well in the first half of the year but thereafter, a lack of consistency led to the team losing its fight for 'best of the rest' against top midfield performer Alpine.

For a talented and ambitious young charger such as Norris, whose services would be coveted by the sport's top teams had they not been locked in by McLaren until the end of 2025, racing for a limited haul of points on Sundays can take its toll on a driver's patience.

But Norris is keeping the faith, even though he isn't expecting his team to outperform this season.

"At times, it's tough because I'm a competitive guy and I want to win," he admitted, speaking earlier this week at McLaren's presentation of its new MCL60.

"Of course, at times you think what could you do in order to get into the position earlier. But also, I'm very comfortable with where I am right now.

"I have good confidence in the team... and that's the most important thing for myself, to give myself that confidence, but also for the team to have it at the same time."

McLaren is still in the process of building up its infrastructure at Woking, with the team's new all-important wind tunnel expected to come online in time for it to be exploited in 2024.

Team papaya's 2025 contender will then be the first car to be designed and developed under McLaren's fully operational new resources.

"It's a long way away, but we'll see how the progress can be this season, how we can do at the end of the season when we get things in the new wind tunnel and start to get our first idea," added Norris.

"I want to believe '24, '25 are when you should start to see some bigger changes. It feels like a long time away. We've got the whole year to do. But the beginning of that starts this year."

© McLaren

Last year, McLaren was hoping that the sport's regulation reset would deliver a big opportunity for McLaren to achieve a step forward, à la Ferrari.
Norris was disappointed that things did not pan out that way. But the shortfall has not eroded his confidence in his team's ability to join the fight at the head of the grid.

"Last year was a very frustrating year because the new rules, new regulations was really a chance to pioneer that jump forward. But that wasn't to be," he added.

"I have definitely not lost faith in the team that I'm part of and I'm very happy to continue to work with them and to be part of the journey to hopefully getting back to winning championships and winning races.

"I have the patience this time to kind of wait out those few more years. I feel like I've got many years still to go and those two years.

"Potentially [2025 is] the year when we can be in a position to really fight for things."

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