Norris enjoyed an impressive 2021 campaign with four podium appearances and a pole position, finishing sixth in the drivers’ championship overall.
The British driver’s form in the first half of the season was particularly outstanding, with his results putting him ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the championship standings.
Looking forward to this season, Stella believes Norris now has to be more consistent in delivering his ‘top level of performances’ in F1.
“I think Lando in his third year in Formula 1, he has developed in terms of pure speed,” Stella said during the Abu Dhabi GP weekend. “I am confident to say in terms of pure speed he was one of the strongest drivers on the grid and I think this is true in all conditions.
“It’s enough to think that some performances in wet but also the pole position he scored in Russia was in transitional tarmac conditions. We were in Q3, we shifted from intermediates to soft compounds. With Lando we also worked on improving the racecraft so the capacity to score points and I think this, in a way, is proven by the facts.
“Where I see the opportunity with Lando is on consolidating these very, very high standards that he has achieved every single session. So if you want a matter more for consistency of deploying this level of top performance.”
Conversely, Daniel Ricciardo struggled to get grips with the McLaren car as he was out-performed by his teammate.
Stella is optimistic the Australian will find his form again in 2022.
“On Daniel’s front, I think the progress through the season has been tangible even if we look at Saudi and I want to say that because this might have been not a piece of information but he was very quick in qualifying, you may remember in Q1 I think he was P3 or something and in Q2 actually, there was a damage of the car on a kerb which took Daniel out of contention otherwise I think his performance in qualifying in Saudi would have been very strong throughout, even in Q3,” Stella explained.
“We know that there’s more to come with Daniel. In a way, we have a development plan still and I am looking forward to seeing what we will be able to do next year with Daniel. I am very optimistic from this point of view.”