Norris, who was promoted to a full-time seat in Formula 1 for the 2019 season following his successful debut Formula 2 season, has experienced an uplift in the atmosphere for McLaren as the 2019 season has unfolded.
"It was a fresh start with junior drivers, new personnel around McLaren, so a fresher start than it had been in previous years," said Norris.
"The whole atmosphere in the team has been an improvement on last year. Everyone is a bit more upbeat, concentrating more in the right areas," he continued.
The rookie then joked that McLaren's renewed form was down to its all-new driver line up, stating "obviously, there is an improvement in drivers as well" before assessing McLaren's improvements in a holistic sense, declaring that they are "taking steps forward where we need to."
However, Norris did temper this, admitting that McLaren "want to be doing better" despite their improvement in fortunes as the former world champions aim to rekindle their F1-successes of yesteryear and bridge the daunting gap to the top three.
"Eventually we want to be doing better than that but for now, let's say we want to bridge the gap between the midfield teams and the top three teams," Norris said.
"It's going to be tough, there is a lot of things we have to improve on, a lot of teams look really strong when it comes to the race. Trying to be in front of the midfield teams more consistently than we have been is our aim."
Norris also reflected on the Woking squad's budding rivalry with engine provider's Renault for F1's unofficial 'best of the rest' accolade.
"They are a very strong team, I think they're the closest in the constructors at the moment, so I think it is positive for us, we look as a team how we are improving, not just against other people," Norris said.
"How we are working together, how we are improving the car. We are seeing the improvements slowly which is still quick enough compared to the others around us so it's going in the right direction."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing