Norris now a "miles better race driver" after adopting serious approach
McLaren driver Lando Norris claims he is still having fun in Formula 1 this season, but he has also now learned to be more serious when it matters most.
Since arriving in F1 at the start of last season Norris has earned himself a reputation as not only a very good driver but also as someone who enjoys having a laugh.
The 20-year-old, however, recognised during the off-season that if he wished to make further progress this year then he had to be more focused and dedicated.
"My mentality coming into this season, compared to last year, was quite different," said Norris. "Last year was just trying to learn as many things as possible and take one race at a time.
"So this season I knew what to expect, that I had to work on those weaknesses, and purely my race pace from last year, but also my mentality and how I acted at the race track.
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"I'm still having fun, and so on, enjoying myself and having laughs, but at the same time, dedicating more time to focus on the important thing, which is the racing and the driving, and just be a bit more serious when I've got to be.
"I guess that was the first thing in terms of approaching this year. I did a lot of days at McLaren before the season, before Covid, trying to improve on my weaknesses."
The all-round improvement has been there for all to see, with Norris performing superbly in the first two races in Austria where he finished third - for the first podium of his career - and fifth, before a tricker weekend last time out in Hungary where he was 13th.
Ahead of the next two rounds of the season at Silverstone, Norris is naturally delighted with his performances, adding: "I guess the main thing out of these first few weekends is how rewarding it's been, seeing that progress that I've made, but at the same time, I don't want to get ahead of myself.
"I go to Silverstone and I could do a bad job, or something, on the tyres, and not look after the front left, for example, and I could have a bad race because of it.
"I'm not saying I'm perfect, I'm a miles better race driver than what I was, I've been doing a better job than last year, putting myself in a better position through qualifying, through race strategies, through race performance, and a lot of this has led on to better results, which have been rewarding, seeing that progress I've made.
"It's just keeping in account that I need to continue to work on it if I want to [continue to] see these kinds of results and not relax and slip up and think that I've achieved something all of a sudden just because I've got a podium.
"It doesn't mean that I've achieved everything I need to, and I'm the race driver I need to be. There are a lot of things I need to keep working on, progressing on, and that's the important thing."
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