“We’re on the right track”: Lando Norris ‘excited’ to race in 2024 F1 season as McLaren welcome new signings to team

F1 Las Vegas Auto Racing
Lando Norris, of Britain, speaks during a news conference for the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix auto race, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Lando Norris is excited for the 2024 season as he feels McLaren has all the tools to begin to challenge the front. Speaking to media, including Sportskeeda, after the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP, the Briton said that the Woking squad have turned around their performance. He reckons they have a better platform to start in 2024.

Starting the 2023 season at the back of the grid and at the bottom of the standings, McLaren turned around their performance in the second half. The Woking squad eventually finished fourth, ousting Aston Martin to fifth place, with both their drivers gathering a majority of the points in the last 10 to 13 races.

Zak Brown had mentioned earlier in the season that the team had undergone various changes. These include a new rookie driver Oscar Piastri, new team principal Andrea Stella, and many other hirings that would reflect proper results in 2024.

Asked by Sportskeeda if he was excited for the new season with all the changes to his team, Lando Norris said:

“Yeah I am very excited. I mean the thing is you know if we’d just started the season how we were in the middle, with P2 in the constructors and P2 in the drivers. I know its not that and doesn’t always work like that. But we are on the right track and thats just what Im trying to say.
"We have had some new hirings and the guys coming in will be coming in 2024. So not everything they can bring top us we can have on the car straight away but some things that we already know now and we’ve learnt over the four five six months."

He added:

"From the progress we’ve made we’ve leant a lot. So yeah I’m excited just cause we are finally on the right track and we know which direction to push and I just want to start the season off well. If we can start well in Bahrain then I will be a lot more excited.”

Lando Norris believes that if they had the same car that was improved earlier in Bahrain, they would have finished second in drivers.

After the performance turnaround midway through the season, the Briton feels that they are confident of the direction of the development of their car. He reckons the new hirings and many others coming in 2024 will add to the momentum of McLaren’s surge to the from of the grid.

Lando Norris feels having a clear direction to start on a high in Bahrain does make him excited for what lies ahead.

Lando Norris is proud of where McLaren ended up in 2023

Proud of the progress made by McLaren, Lando Norris said that many wouldn't have fathomed their eventual 2023 finish back in Bahrain at the first race. The Briton believes the Woking squad figured out the weakness of their car and are moving in the right direction.

Reflecting back on the weekend in Bahrain in March, he claimed he dreaded the season ahead with the difficulties the team faced. Lando Norris said about his team's progress since Bahrain:

“For us to catch Mercedes, for us to catch Ferrari in terms of pace, we’ve been behind them for two years. They’ve really not taken any steps forward and we’ve taken a massive step forward and plenty more things that we know we can improve on.
"I think it’s a good time for us, few more bits of the puzzle to put together, but we found the key pieces. And yeah I think we know what direction to go into."

Lando Norris expressed his pride in the team and also his excitement for next year, saying:

"And I’m proud of the whole team because, like you said if I were in Bahrain now and I looked I was dreading the season already. To come away with seven podiums and all the moments we’ve had were definitely not expected and we got to thank the team for all that. World record pitstop and so many things, the team have done a good job in so many areas.
"Maybe not the weekend we wanted to end the season with, but Im proud and I’m excited for next year.”

Considered to be the better team after Red Bull in terms of car concept and performance, the McLaren team scored solid points in the races after summer break. They even managed to oust Mercedes engine counterpart Aston Martin to fifth, a team that had a better start to the season almost second in the standings.

Lando Norris finished the season sixth in the drivers standings. He finished the 2023 season with a career-best points tally of 205 points. He was just a point behind Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc who were tied at points and finished fourth and fifth respectively.

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