The British driver, who finished third behind Sainz at the last race in Monaco, was left in the shadows by Red Bull and Ferrari on Friday, finishing 0.903secs off the pace, and is expecting it to be “tough” to challenge them in Baku.
Norris said: “We’re quite a long way off Red Bull and Ferrari both in quail and race pace, so hopefully into tomorrow and overnight tonight we can make some improvements. We look a bit too far away to do anything special.
“It was only Carlos who said we were going to be amazing, so I didn’t have any too high expectations. I think we look decent. We’re where we were expected to be, so hopefully we can make some improvements tonight.
“We were definitely more competitive in FP1 than FP2. We suffered a little bit with the temperature and track conditions more in P2, but I’m quite confident in the car. [We are] there or thereabouts, but not quite where we want to be.”
Norris has had to adapt to the car after discovering a number of issues in Monaco, details of which did not clarify, but he explained: “It’s not the car’s fault, it’s just the way it is and I am getting more used to it.
“Those kinds of things don’t change overnight or from one week to another. I’m comfortable in some areas, just others not and as soon as you get a few moments in those areas that you’re not comfortable it can just peg you back a bit.“
Norris also changed his helmet during the practice sessions, in an effort to cope with the winds and he added: “My head is bouncing up and down on the straights so just trying to change that a little bit.”