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Norris aiming to avoid repeat of qualifying "rough patch"

Norris aiming to avoid repeat of qualifying "rough patch"

F1 News

Norris aiming to avoid repeat of qualifying "rough patch"

Norris aiming to avoid repeat of qualifying "rough patch"
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

McLaren driver Lando Norris is hoping to perform more consistently in qualifying this season after experiencing what he has described as "a rough patch" last year.

Norris began the campaign in fine form in qualifying, being the only driver other than Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen to qualify in the top 10 in the first eight races until the Tuscan Grand Prix.

The British driver, however, has claimed he then suffered a loss of confidence in mid-season, which has led to him now setting his sights on adjusting better to car developments throughout the year.

“We’ve been reviewing a lot of things from last year, preparing from last year," said Norris.

"I didn’t have a bad end [to the year]. I think Abu Dhabi was the perfect way to end last year both in qualifying and the race. It was not perfect but it was extremely well done from my side and I was very happy with how I ended. “But there was a rough patch in the middle where, from a qualifying perspective, I struggled a little bit more and that was just with my confidence in the car and not setting up the car quite as much as I wanted.

“With the developments over the season you had to drive the car in a slightly different way and it just made it a bit harder and wasn’t as optimised for how I drive the car.

"Towards the end of the season, we biased it back a bit more to what I want in terms of having more confidence in the car again. There are still things I’m understanding."

Norris tested positive for Covid-19 over the winter while in Dubai, disrupting his pre-season training schedule.

The 21-year-old, however, has insisted he is confident and prepared for the new season after performing in a number of private tests.

“I’m already working in the simulator," added Norris. "In the F3 test I did it was just really trying to work on those smaller things.

"I think altogether I’m just that little bit more confident again that I can go into this season, into the winter test, into the first race knowing what I really want in the car.

"Also, knowing what I want from my engineers and we will work just that little bit more in harmony together. That will bring more performance from my side and as a team.”

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