The British driver said he studied Daniel Ricciardo’s telemetry between Saturday and Sunday to adapt his driving style to the demands of the new McLaren MCL35M.
During the day on Saturday of the GP of Bahrain, Norris was overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo. In the race, the Briton advanced from seventh to fourth during one of his best races to date.
Norris’s performance drew praise from the McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl, who said that what was exhibited over the weekend is proof that Norris “has taken the next step” as a driver.
“It’s something we can expect from a young driver, especially in their early years, to take these steps because that’s how you become a top competitor,” commented Seidl.
Norris’s performance on race day was achieved after he studied his new partner’s data overnight between qualifying and the race, putting some of the lessons learned into practice.
The drivers have had to adapt to the tweaks of the technical regulations implemented in the cars of 2021, where a reduction of the floor is included. Norris felt that these modifications generated a greater “punishment” with his old driving style.
“I feel like I’ve had to overdrive a lot compared to the last two years. In qualifying especially, that had negative effects and it wasn’t that good,” he explained.
“In qualifying I did a good job, but I feel like I was punishing myself with some of the things I had to do with the car.”
“After understanding a little more I felt that I could put it into practice in the race, that I was winning in areas where I was losing.”
Norris said Ricciardo’s data was helpful because he believes the Australian’s natural driving style is better suited to the McLaren update.
“Although Daniel is new to the car, there are some differences from this year’s car and how you have to drive it,” added the Briton. “At times his driving style is better and he adapts better to the car.”
“The way I had to drive the car in the last two seasons is disappearing in a way, in a good way. It’s something I have to adapt to a bit because the car is different this year. “
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Norris thinks he can get a breakthrough as he gets more time on him MCL35But he is satisfied with the way his racing pace has improved since 2019, the season in which he debuted, so Bahrain was a clear example of this.
“For my part there is room for improvement, especially in understanding how to drive this car.”
“Not just how to learn from Daniel, because I don’t think that’s the goal, but to keep focusing on myself in terms of race pace, an area I was not very good at.”
“I felt like I really did a good job, so I’m very happy.”
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With information from Adam Cooper