McLaren’s past five years have been a big struggle for the Woking based team after splitting partnership with Mercedes in 2014 to engine issues filled seasons with Honda between 2015 and 2017, before working with Renault.
Norris joined the team as a junior in 2017 later testing for the team and being promoted to a Formula 1 seat alongside new recruit Carlos Sainz for 2019, while the internal structure and hierarchy underwent changes.
“I think one of the biggest things that changed is just having a fresh start,” said Norris as quoted by MotorsportWeek.
“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, I don’t think coming into this year for a good reason, we didn’t overhype things as much as previous years.”
In 2018 Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne helped McLaren to sixth but Norris and the team were careful to not express their optimism for this year.
“Always coming to Abu Dhabi, everyone was so excited about how McLaren was going to do the next year because as a team we said too many things that were making people overly confident,” he added.
“So I think 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.”
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