Wednesday, 09 january 2019, 11:05 , by Martin Macdonald
Formula 1 rookie Lando Norris has admitted that he, and nobody else, knows for sure whether McLaren will be able to improve their fortunes for the 2019 season after an abject campaign last year, as he prepares for his maiden outing in the top level of motorsport.
McLaren had aspirations of trying to break into the triopoly of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull last season, but suffered from engine reliability issues throughout the campaign and ended up finishing sixth in the constructor's championship.
When asked by Autosport if he thinks the changes both on and off the track would catalyse an improvement for the team, Norris responded diplomatically.
“That’s a difficult one, no-one knows," said the 19-year-old.
“They have decent ideas of things they are working on, bits they are trying to improve, all these little things that you’ll say they’ve had lots of data to say is better.
“Things can always change, sometimes it looks good in the wind tunnel, on the aero mapping or whatever, and you get to the track and it does something slightly different to what you expect.
I’ve finally done it guys. It’s been 19 long years but I’ve finally got my first date lined up for Valentine’s Day ?????????????????? #MCL34 #firstdate #love #romance #valentinesday pic.twitter.com/rYIyOHsDWG— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) January 3, 2019
“Of course they are confident they are making the right changes.
“There’s been quite a big change in the team and how they are approaching things, approaching the work for next year, the development.
“I think they’re focusing on making 100% sure they know things are going to be for the good, and not kind of like  and maybe not end up so good.”
Norris has also set himself a personal goal for the upcoming season, and it involves him regularly getting the better of his team-mate.
“My ideal aim is to beat Carlos at every race, and in every qualifying session,” he continued.
“That is an unrealistic goal to set at the moment but I will do the best job I can and complete as much preparation as I can to be ready for it.
“I would like to beat him, and that is my aim, and my goal.”