Lando Norris still has a few areas where his confidence is lacking, but overall this season it is at a “completely different level”.
The Briton has been one of the standout performers in 2021, scoring points in all of the opening 10 rounds, a run which was ended by Valtteri Bottas wiping him out at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
But among that run came three podiums as Norris continues to establish dominance over far more experienced team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
This is though Norris’ third Formula 1 season, and for a driver who has openly admitted his past struggles with self-belief, it bodes well that his increasing confidence has coincided with a new level of performance.
A well-earned Summer break for these two now. 🧘☀️
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 8, 2021
“My confidence level, through a lot of different scenarios this season, has definitely gone up and it’s been very good for me, I think,” he explained to Motorsport.com.
“Especially after the first couple of races, in a way I made a good step, because I did well in qualifying, did well in the races, we had pace, like in Imola and so on, which gave me that big confidence booster.
“Then there’s these little things along the way, which kind of add to it. And Austria was just another thing, which just added to that confidence and allowed me to think, ‘okay, you know, I can do this, and I can do that’.
“And I can have that belief in myself and that confidence in myself. Because I always fret, I’m afraid to have it in a situation that I’ve never been in before.
“So when you experience these different things, and you kind of confirm to yourself that you’re capable of doing something, then I can add it to my bank and that adds to that confidence.
“And through experience, of course you always keep learning more and more, but you get to a point when all this confidence is kind of building up to being in the position you’re in. And there’s no massive ladder you still need to climb to get into Formula 1 or whatever, like, you’re there.
“So yeah, these kinds of things are coming together this season. And there’s still some things I’m not super confident in myself in. But compared to last season, compared to my first race in Formula 1, it’s a completely different level, and I feel much better about it.”