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Formula 1: Lando Norris’ Maiden Grand Prix Win Signals Kink In Red Bull’s Armour

Lando Norris staved off a challenge from triple world champion Max Verstappen to win the Miami Grand Prix and score his maiden victory in Formula 1. 

Lando Norris

Lando Norris staved off a challenge from triple world champion Max Verstappen to win the Miami Grand Prix and score his maiden victory in Formula 1

There was an outpouring of emotion from the McLaren driver as he crossed the finish line over seven and a half seconds ahead of pole-sitter Verstappen. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished third ahead of Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz. 

The Red Bull driver complained of understeer and oversteered in a post-race interview with Jenson Button. The Dutch driver also didn’t have the pace to keep up with Norris who quickly built up a lead. 

How He Did It

Starting in sixth position Norris opted to extend his first stint and moved into P3 when a Virtual Safety Car was called due to a loose bollard. His teammate Oscar Piastri and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who were running P1 and P2 pitted. This allowed Norris to pit for hard tyres after a Safety Car was deployed on lap 29 and thus minimised the loss of time. When the race was green flagged the 24-year-old slotted into P1 didn’t look back. 

McLaren came to Miami with upgrades to its MCL38 car and both drivers showed strong pace throughout the Sprint weekend. 

Norris was full of jubilation after the GP: “What a race. It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve finally managed to do it. I’m so happy for the whole team, and what we’ve achieved together. 

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella heaped praise on Norris: “Victory today in Miami is meaningful for many reasons. First of all, for Lando and his first F1 win. I am happy from the bottom of my heart for him. We’ve often said as soon as we give him winning material, he’s going to win. He did it in style”.  

McLaren’s First Win Since 2021

Norris’ win on Sunday marked McLaren’s first GP win since Daniel Ricciardo led a one-two in Monza back in 2021. The team has been on an upward trajectory and finished fourth in last year’s constructors’ standings. 

Stella was promoted to team boss last year and has led from the front. The former Ferrari performance engineer has been at the British team since 2015 and said: “It’s a very important day for the team. We’ve been on a journey for some time, after an incredible turnaround last year. We’ve kept momentum, and today is another very important step and hopefully the starting point for greater success.”

Norris has had a relatively short F1 career, he joined Carlos Sainz at McLaren in 2019 and is widely regarded as having the ingredients to become a future world champion. 

The Bristol-born driver signed a long-term deal that will see him with the Papaya team beyond the 2026 season according to

The Whole Grid Celebrates

Norris’ win proved popular with his rivals, many of whom he raced in his younger karting days. George Russell, Esteban Ocon, and Ricciardo all made a beeline for the British driver. 

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso both congratulated Norris after the race. 

Hamilton scored his maiden F1 victory for McLaren in 2007. 

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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