Perhaps it was the ability to finally mix it with the front of the midfield again, or perhaps it was the arrival of Andreas Seidl and James Key, either way the mood at McLaren was a lot better in 2019 than witnessed during the doom and gloom era of the Honda partnership.
While the professionalism of the pair was rarely in doubt, some said that Norris spent a little too much time on social media, claiming that the youngster might have been a little too preoccupied with entertaining fans with jokes and images.
Though he denies this, heading into his second season, the Briton has vowed to be a little more serious… but just a little.
“Things can get portrayed quite differently from what I know and see from doing myself compared to the outside world,” he told reporters. “People see me make jokes and whatever and therefore they turn and put a lot of blame and mistakes I do on me having fun, and seeing me look like I’m not focusing compared to other drivers.
“Other drivers don’t post funny videos or whatever and therefore critics think that’s the reason why I make mistakes sometimes,” he continued, “and they put the blame on the fact I have fun and enjoy things more than other people.
“I’m not going to change a lot,” he insists, “just small things here and there to make sure I look focused.”
“It’s quite different being in the world we’re in in the paddock from what people see on TV or social media,” he added, “things can still look very different. It’s just trying to get the balance right and try and put them together as well as possible, how people see me on social media and vice versa.”
As part of his ‘serious new approach’ to the job in hand, the youngster has move home in order to be closer to the team’s Woking HQ.
“I have changed places in order to be even closer to McLaren,” he said. “I timed it the other day. It took me 3 minutes 20 seconds to get from here to my new place. That’s driving within the speed limit.
“It’s even more convenient,” he added. “I’m closer to the airport and so on. I like everything how it is now.
Reflecting on his rookie season, and what he has learned from it, he said: “There’s a lot of things I had to learn, one of the biggest probably being the time and effort you have to put into improving on things.
“There’s things I obviously wanted to work on and do better in, you have that, but then it’s a lot down to how much time I’m here working with my engineers, or mechanics, or whoever I need to, to work on those problems and limitations and the weaknesses of myself. It’s not just spending a day a week and working on it, it’s spending two-and-a-half days or three days a week or whatever, or whenever I need to, to focus and improve on those things. Carlos will do the same, and a lot of other drivers do the same.
“It’s obvious and easy for me to come into the factory whenever I need to, to work on the things I need to, it’s a lot of time and effort to work on those things, and that’s something completely different to working on F2 and F3 and other categories really.
“Time and effort of self-improvement is probably one of the biggest things I’ve had to change.”