Norris achieves his first victory in the Miami Grand Prix

Lando Norris finally scored his first Formula 1 race victory in the 2024 Miami Grand Prix, thanks to the mid-race safety car which helped the McLaren driver to beat Max Verstappen.

The victory ends Lando’s streak as having the most podiums without a Grand Prix victory, with McLaren scoring its first such win since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix after Oscar Piastri’s 2023 Qatar sprint race success.

At the start, Verstappen made a smooth getaway while Leclerc fell backwards off the start line and got swamped before the late-braking Sergio Perez nearly wiped out Verstappen and pushed others including Norris wide at Turn 1, which allowed Leclerc back to second.

As Verstappen escaped to a healthy lead of a few seconds, Piastri edged ahead of Sainz as the first corners of lap one of 57 unfolded to run third behind Leclerc.

The Ferrari driver then slid around more on the mediums all the leaders had started on and without DRS to Verstappen ahead Piastri was able to pass by and then led the Ferrari drivers for much of the first stint.

Behind, Perez held up Norris a bit further back from the fight for second before he became the first of the leaders to pit for hards on lap 17.

Leclerc, who Sainz wanted to be waved by, then pitted at the end of lap 19, shortly after which Verstappen made a mistake at the chicane, knocking a bollard off the kerb and carrying it through his car until he reached the exit of Turn 16.

When this fell off a virtual safety car was called so the marshals could retrieve the bollard, after which Verstappen stopped at the end of lap 23.

Four laps later, Piastri and Sainz pitted, which meant Norris, who had been reducing Sainz’s previous advantage with a string of fastest laps, moved into the lead.

His race was then transformed when Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant collided at Turn 2, with the Haas driver penalised for leaving his nose alongside the right rear of the Williams as they headed off to Turn 3, with the contact pitching Sargeant off backwards and the wreckage having to be cleared under the safety car.

McLaren was able to pit Norris then, although he did a full lap at the safety car delta speed before coming in to switch to the hards and subsequently getting out ahead of Verstappen, who had been picked up by the safety car before he and the rest were waved through.

The race restarted on lap 33, with Norris having to defend hard at Turn 1’s inside against Verstappen’s attack before the McLaren driver was able to shoot clear to escape DRS over the first lap back at racing speed.

Leclerc was close enough to Verstappen to have a look to Turn 11’s inside on this lap before he dropped back out of DRS to the Red Bull and it became a fight at the front.

But Norris’s hards being six laps younger provided a critical advantage, as ten laps later his lead had reached the three-second mark – his rival ruing his RB20 understeering on the hards, a situation Verstappen called a “disaster” over his team radio.

With five laps left, Norris’s lead was up to 6.1 seconds and he continued to pull away to a final winning margin of 7.6 seconds, with Leclerc 2.3 seconds further back in third.

Sainz ended up fourth after two controversial battles with Piastri post-restart. Then first involved both drivers going deep at Turn 11 on lap 34, with Sainz feeling he was pushed off but the stewards not deeming the incident worthy of a penalty.

On lap 39, Sainz attacked at Turn 17 at the end of the back straight but lost the rear of his car and, as it swung around it, hit Piastri’s front wing and broke it, with both drivers able to continue battling to Turn 1 where Piastri went deep and Sainz could run clear.

Piastri was then passed by Perez and a resurgent Lewis Hamilton at Turn 11 shortly afterwards, with McLaren soon pitting him to replace his front wing and dropping him to the back of the field.

Oscar battled back to finish P13 – McLaren warning him during fights not to have another clash and risk the safety car reappearing and erasing his team-mate’s lead.

Another safety car stopper, Yuki Tsunoda, finished seventh, ahead of George Russell and Fernando Alonso, who fought his way by Esteban Ocon late on.

With P10, Ocon scores Alpine’s first point of the 2024 season.

So congratulations to Lando Norris in winning his first Formula 1 race. Been a long time coming and yet fully deserved it. Brilliant team effort by McLaren and this result is an excellent reward for the hard work. Hopefully the first of many for Lando.

Miami Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lando Norris McLaren 1:30:49.876
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull +7.612s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +9.920s
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +11.407s
5 Sergio Perez Red Bull +14.650s
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +16.585s
7 Yuki Tsunoda RB +26.185s
8 George Russell Mercedes +34.789s
9 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +37.107s
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine +39.746s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Haas +40.789s
12 Pierre Gasly Alpine +44.958s
13 Oscar Piastri McLaren +49.756s
14 Zhou Guanyu Sauber +49.979s
15 Daniel Ricciardo RB +50.956s
16 Valtteri Bottas Sauber +52.356s
17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +55.173s
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas +64.683s
19 Alex Albon Williams +76.091s
Logan Sargeant Williams DNF

5 thoughts to “Norris achieves his first victory in the Miami Grand Prix”

  1. McLaren driver Lando Norris added his name to the list of Formula 1 race winners with a sensational breakthrough victory in Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix, overhauling Red Bull rival Max Verstappen to take the chequered flag.

    Norris ran sixth in the early stages of the race, with fast-starting team mate Oscar Piastri the McLaren driver who initially looked most likely to cause an upset, but a Safety Car at the midway point played perfectly into the Briton’s hands after he extended his opening stint.

    Norris emerged from that stop in the lead, with Verstappen demoted to second after pitting under normal racing conditions, and despite an initial attack from the latter at the restart, the Briton managed to maintain the position and then edge clear.

    A cool, calm and collected performance from there, and “terrible” balance problems for Verstappen, meant there was no stopping Norris from banishing the demons of his near-miss at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix and becoming a race winner at the 110th time of asking.

  2. Miami Grand Prix winner Lando Norris dropped a F-bomb live on television after saying it was “about time” he took his maiden Formula 1 victory.

    The McLaren driver capitalised on a well-timed mid-race safety car period to effectively have a free pitstop at the front of the field, and then unleashed some dominant form to head home world championship leader Max Verstappen for an emotional win.

    Having come so close to success several times in the past, perhaps most famously when a late rain shower cost him victory at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, Norris was clearly overjoyed with his success.

    Asked by TV interviewer Jenson Button for his feelings, Norris said: “Oh…about time, huh? F**k!…. Sorry!”

    He continued: “What a race. It’s been a long time coming. But finally I’ve managed to do it. I’m so happy for my whole team that I finally delivered for them. And yeah, a long day, tough race, but I’m finally on top, so I’m over the moon.”

  3. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen believes that Lando Norris’s maiden grand prix victory in Miami ‘won’t be his last’ after the McLaren star inflicted the world champion’s second defeat of 2024.

    Norris beat Verstappen by 7s, after benefiting from making his single pitstop under a safety car – unlike his rivals – for a clash between Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant.

    Verstappen had won both previous Miami GPs but had already made his pitstop when the safety car was required. He earlier caused a virtual safety car of his own by hitting and dislodging the bollard at Turn 15, and admitted he struggled to get his car to turn.

    “I mean, you win, you lose,” Verstappen told Sky. “I think we’re all used to that in racing, right?

    “Today was just a bit tricky. I think already on the mediums, I didn’t feel fantastic. We were pulling away but not like it should be.

    “And then once we made the pitstop and I heard what lap times that McLaren were doing I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty quick.’ Once they also switched on to the hard tyre, they just had more pace, and especially Lando, he was flying. It was incredibly difficult for us on that stint.

    “But if a bad day is P2, I take it. And I’m very happy for Lando. It’s been a long time coming. And it’s not going to be his last one so yeah, he definitely deserves it today.”

  4. McLaren boss Andrea Stella knew his team’s upgraded Formula 1 car was fast, but was surprised Max Verstappen had no answer for Lando Norris’s pace in the Miami Grand Prix.

    A perfectly timed safety car period during his pitstop window allowed Norris to lead Verstappen at the restart, where many would have expected the Red Bull to come through and then pull away.

    Instead, Norris was not only able to stay in front and break DRS on the opening lap, but he then comfortably edged his way out in front as he reeled off a succession of faster laps.

    In the end, Norris came home 7.612 seconds clear of Verstappen, who admitted afterwards that he did not have the car he needed to take the fight to the McLaren.

    Asked about Verstappen having no answer for Norris, Stella said: “We knew that the car was quick, [although] it’s a bit of a surprise. But we take it positively and we take it for the future as well.”

    “Many firsts,” added Stella. “The most important is the first victory for Lando because he deserved it so much.

    “We always said that as soon as we give him the right material, he is going to make it, and he made it. For me, my thoughts are with the men and women at McLaren.”

  5. Lando Norris was left “over the moon” after achieving his first Formula 1 victory in the Miami Grand Prix, with the Briton paying tribute to his McLaren team for putting together the “perfect strategy”.

    It had been a relatively quiet start to the race for Norris, who had lined up in P5 on the grid. However, the Briton was in the lead when a Safety Car was called on Lap 29 of 57 following a collision between Logan Sargeant and Kevin Magnussen, allowing him to make a well-timed pit stop and emerge back on track in P1.

    From there he maintained a gap to Max Verstappen in second and crossed the line to take his debut win in the sport, five years after arriving in F1 with McLaren.

    “About time!” the 24-year-old smiled. “What a race. It’s been a long time coming, but finally I’ve managed to do it. I’m so happy for my whole team, I finally delivered for them. A long day, tough race, but finally on top so I’m over the moon.”

    “I knew on Friday we had the pace, just a couple of mistakes here and there, but today we managed to put it together. We put the perfect strategy [together], it all paid off. Thanks to McLaren, everyone, and have to give a shout out to my mum and dad of course.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *