Maiden F1 victory for Norris in Miami Grand Prix

Maiden F1 victory for Norris in Miami Grand Prix

McLaren’s Lando Norris scored his first Formula 1 race win in the 2024 Miami Grand Prix, benefiting from a mid-race Safety Car to jump ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and then power to a convincing victory seven seconds clear of the championship leader. Charles Leclerc took third place for Ferrari ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz and the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez.

 

“About time,” said Norris after winning at the 110th attempt. “What a race. It's been a long time coming, but finally I've managed to do it, so I'm so happy for my whole team. I finally delivered for them. And, yeah, long day, tough race, but finally on top, so I'm over the moon.”

 

When the lights went out at the start, Verstappen got away well to take the lead on the short run towards Turn 1. However, just behind him, Leclerc got away badly and under pressure from Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz, the Monegasque driver moved right to try to fend off the attack. Pérez, tried an ambitious move down the inside but he outbraked himself and slide across the track in front of Sainz. That allowed Leclerc to recover and retake second but as the Sainz and Pérez rejoined, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri took advantage to edge past both and take P3. 

 

At the front, Verstappen began to pull away from the pack, but Piastri, showing the first signs of McLaren’s strong pace, began to close in on Leclerc. And on lap four the Australian used DRS to power past the Ferrari driver on the long run to Turn 17. 

 

The leaders then began to settle into their first stint and by lap 10 Verstappen had carved out a three-second lead over Piastri, while the McLaren driver had a similar advantage over the Ferrari’s of Leclerc and Sainz. Pérez, meanwhile, was holding onto fifth place, 1.7s behind Sainz and just ahead of Norris.

 

At the end of lap 18, Pérez became the first of the front-runners to make a pit stop, switching to Hard compound Pirellis in a 1.9s stop. Leclerc was next in, two laps later, but Verstappen, Paistri, Sainz and Norris stayed out. Verstappen then had a moment when he took too much kerb in Turn 14 and after bouncing across the chicane he hit an off-track bollard. 

 

The collision appeared to do minimal damage, but the bollard was on the racing line and a VSC was briefly deployed. As the caution ended, Verstappen pitted for checks on his front wing and for a set of Hard tyres, a move that put Piastri into the lead ahead of Sainz and when they made stops on lap 27, Norris inherited the lead ahead of Verstappen. 

 

With Norris requiring a fresh set of tyres, the expectation was that Verstappen would soon return to top spot, but on lap 29, Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant collided at Turn 2. Sargeant went off backwards and the Safety Car was released.

 

The race restarted on lap 33, with Norris having to defend hard as Verstappen attacked but the McLaren driver 

Held on to the lead and in the following laps he carved out a 1.5s gap to Verstappen.

Behind them, Sainz began to put heavy pressure on Piastri and on lap 39 the Ferrari driver muscled his way through. There was contact and the front wing damage sustained by Paistri allowed Pérez to pounce and he roared past the struggling McLaren to get back fifth place. Hamilton, too, got past Piastri who was forced to pit for a new wing. 

 

At the front, with Verstappen again complaining about a lack of front-end grip, Norris began to tighten his grip on the lead. But lap 45 he was four seconds ahead of Verstappen and with the champion eventually settling into management mode ahead of Leclerc, Norris was able to stretch his lead to seven seconds at the flag. 

 

Behind Verstappen, Leclerc took third place ahead of Sainz, while Pérez took a battling fifth place ahead of Hamilton and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda. George Russell finished eighth in the second Mercedes ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and the final point went to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. 

2024 FIA Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix – Race
1 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 57 1:30'49.876 
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 57 1:30'57.488 7.612
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 57 1:30'59.796 9.920
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 57 1:31'01.283 11.407
5 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 57 1:31'04.526 14.650
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 57 1:31'06.461 16.585
7 Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 57 1:31'16.061 26.185
8 George Russell Mercedes 57 1:31'24.665 34.789
9 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 57 1:31'26.983 37.107
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 57 1:31'29.622 39.746
11 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 57 1:31'30.665 40.789
12 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 57 1:31'34.834 44.958
13 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 57 1:31'39.632 49.756
14 Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari 57 1:31'39.855 49.979
15 Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 57 1:31'40.832 50.956
16 Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 57 1:31'42.232 52.356
17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 57 1:31'45.049 55.173
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 57 1:31'54.559 1'04.683
19 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 57 1:32'05.967 1'16.091
     Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 27 43'03.540 Accident


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