Miami GP: Lando Norris wins his first Grand Prix after beating Max Verstappen

In his 110th race, Lando Norris made history by winning the Miami Grand Prix. He did it by taking full advantage of a timely Safety Car and convincingly holding off Max Verstappen.

In his sixth Formula One season, Norris broke the record for the most podium finishes without a victory. Although he started the race only sixth, McLaren’s decision to extend his first stint was wise because on lap 29, the Safety Car was called for a crash involving Williams’ Logan Sargeant.

Norris was vitally able to pit while the rest of the field raced at the restricted speed behind the Safety Car and re-emerge still in front, having already inherited the lead with all others ahead of him having pitted by then, including race leader Verstappen.

With 24 circuits remaining and Verstappen, the resounding winner of four of the season’s opening five races, right behind him for the restart, the task was far from over.

However, Norris made light of that seeming difficulty to complete his first Formula One victory. In the laps that followed, the 24-year-old continually moved away from Verstappen and eventually triumphed, negating the need to concentrate on defending from the world champion behind him.

Norris wins the Italian Grand Prix in 2021, giving McLaren their first victory since Daniel Ricciardo’s and just their second in the previous 12 years.

Refusing to cry, Norris exclaimed, “About time!” as his ecstatic McLaren team launched him into the air in the pit lane as wild celebrations got underway. What a race. It has taken a very long time.

“Finally I’ve managed to do it.”

Verstappen was forced to settle for an unusual second place after the restart, his only defeat on the track in his previous 23 race finishes. Norris was his friend and opponent, and he had no response for his speed.

Ferrari qualified second and third, raising hopes that they would pose the strongest threat to Verstappen. However, their challenge was dashed at the start of the race when Oscar Piastri’s other McLaren passed both of their cars.

Two seconds behind Verstappen, Charles Leclerc eventually claimed the final podium spot. Carlos Sainz, driving the sister vehicle, finished fourth.

However, Sainz was given a five-second time penalty after the race, which caused him to fall to fifth place behind Sergio Perez of Red Bull. This was due to an earlier incident at Turn 17 with Piastri that resulted in a broken front wing for the McLaren and required the Australian to make an emergency pit stop.

Piastri finished 13th after dropping out of the points.

After a great race for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton finished within two seconds of Perez in sixth place, his highest finish of his challenging season thus far.

At the beginning of the race, Perez almost took down his teammate Verstappen after locking up and running wide into the first corner.

In Miami, Fernando Alonso bounced back from a poor qualifying effort to gain ninth place for Aston Martin, while Yuki Tsunoda defeated George Russell’s second Mercedes to claim eighth and increase RB’s total of points.

Esteban Ocon gave Alpine their first point at the sixth attempt in 2024, charging all the way to 10th.

Verstappen, the Sprint race winner on Saturday, has a 33-point lead over Perez in the world championship standings as he leaves Miami, but Norris, in fourth place, is now only 20 points behind the Mexican.

Miami GP Result

Driver Team Time
1) Lando Norris McLaren 1:30.49.876
2) Max Verstappen Red Bull +7.612
3) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +9.920
4) Sergio Perez Red Bull +14.650
5) Carlos Sainz* Ferrari +16.407
6) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +16.585
7) Yuki Tsunoda RB +26.185
8) George Russell Mercedes +34.789
9) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +37.107
10) Esteban Ocon Alpine +39.746
11) Nico Hulkenberg Haas +40.789
12) Pierre Gasly Alpine +44.958
13) Oscar Piastri McLaren +49.756
14) Zhou Guanyu Sauber +49.979
15) Daniel Ricciardo RB +50.956
16) Valtteri Bottas Sauber +52.356
17) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +55.173
18) Kevin Magnussen Haas +64.683
19) Alex Albon Williams +76.091
Logan Sargeant Williams Did Not Finish
*5-second time penalty

Other posts by