Lando Norris claims maiden F1 victory at the Miami Grand Prix

Lando Norris claims maiden F1 victory at the Miami Grand Prix

Lando Norris secured his maiden F1 victory at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix after taking advantage of a mid-race safety car stop and eventually got past Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

McLaren’s Lando Norris overcame every challenge to win the Miami Grand Prix, marking his maiden F1 victory after several close calls and countless second-place finishes, edging Max Verstappen as Charles Leclerc completed the podium.

Verstappen held the lead from pole position with ease as the lights went out in Miami, however, his teammate Sergio Perez took a big leap to the inside that caught the cars behind off guard through Turn 1 and the Mexican almost crashed into Verstappen after locking up his inner front wheel.

Leclerc was able to hold onto second place while Piastri moved up into third place after Sainz and Norris had to steer clear of Perez. Therefore Perez dropped to fourth ahead of Sainz and Norris in sixth, followed by Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Tsunoda, and Russell who lost three spots as well.

Most cars were running on medium compound rubber right from the start while Ricciardo, Hamilton, Alonso, and Magnussen started the Miami Grand Prix on the hard tyres, only Bottas opted to start the race on softs.

Piastri proceeded to set the fastest lap on lap three, and right at the end of the lengthy straight into Turn 17 on the next lap, the McLaren driver overtook Leclerc for second-place. The overtake put Leclerc squarely in Sainz’s path, with Perez trailing him by just a second. Although Sainz appeared to have more speed, Leclerc was able to hold him off by sticking within Piastri’s DRS range.

Meanwhile, Hamilton was able to overtake Hulkenberg for seventh place after a very close battle, however at Turn 17, the Mercedes driver misjudged his braking point, allowing Hulkenberg to get past him once more. This was bad news for Hamilton as it was evident that Russell, Tsunoda, Gasly, Alonso, Albon, and Ocon were all following closely behind Hulkenberg, who was clearly much slower than the cars in front.

On lap 10, Hamilton repeated his overtaking maneuver at Turn 12, this time with Hulkenberg’s defense being a little weak. Caught up in the tight traffic, Stroll went into the pits in lap 12 as Sargeant and Bottas followed. All three switched to hard tyres just as Albon did on the previous lap while Hulkenberg and Gasly followed suit a lap later.

Lando Norris posed a strong threat to Perez for fifth place after the latter fell far behind the leading Ferraris. Yet, Sainz persisted in telling Ferrari why he believed a change in strategy was necessary, and sure enough, on lap 16, Leclerc turned in the fastest lap to put even more pressure on Piastri.

Of the top six, Perez was the first to pit for a switch to a new set of hard rubber in 1.9 seconds before exiting the track right in front of Norris in tenth between Alonso and Ocon. Norris picked up the pace right away after exiting the pits and eclipsed Leclerc’s fastest lap, reducing the gap to Sainz by 4 tenths despite the fact that the Spaniard also set a personal best.

Leclerc went in hard tires on lap 20 and returned to the track less than a second behind Hamilton as the top three established personal bests, with Norris once again taking the fastest lap. Leclerc went on to once more improve his fastest time after passing Hamilton a lap later.

Meanwhile, Max Verstappen had a close call after missing Turn 14 and clipping off the cone at the apex as his car dragged it into Turn 16 where it fell onto the middle of the track. The reigning world champion, Ocon, Alonso, and Magnussen were among those who went into the pits as a result of the Virtual Safety Car deployment to clear the track. Russell came in one lap later and lost five spots, dropping to 12th.

Piastri was now leading the way as Sainz, Norris, Verstapen, Leclerc, Hamilton, Perez, Tsunoda, Zhou, and Ricciardo trailed behind. Shortly after on lap 28, the leading duo made their stops giving Norris the top spot, leading Verstappen by 11.5 seconds and Leclerc by an additional 2.6 seconds.

After just one lap, Sargeant was in the wall once more triggering a frenzy of pit stops after the safety car was deployed. Sargeant and Magnussen had made contact as they approached Turn 3 following their duel through Turn 1. Sargeant appeared to be unaware of Magnussen’s approach and the latter received a 10-second penalty after the stewards found him to be at fault. undoubtedly a setback for the Haas driver, who was also forced to pit for a replacement front wing.

As Norris pitted, Verstappen was held up by the safety car along with Leclerc, and Piastri, and Norris went on to lead by half a lap. Race control would later realise the problem and allowed everyone to pass the Safety Car which then waited for race leader Norris to catch up with him.

The safety car exited the track after lap 32 and the race resumed. Verstappen was unable to regain the lead despite his best efforts. Rather, at Turn 12, Leclerc took a leap inside stunning Verstappen and dropping him from Norris’s DRS range right away.

Behind them, Sainz momentarily seemed to have gotten past Piastri for 4th place but the Australian came back under braking and pushed the Ferrari wide to keep his position, a move “noted” by the stewards. Sainz insisted he had to be given the position while McLaren told Piastri to hold position, leaving Sainz with no option but to calm down and try again.

Having expressed his unbelief in the lack of penalty repeatedly, Sainz made another move at the end of lap 39 and eventually got past the Australian McLaren driver in Turn 1 of lap 40. Piastri went wide there and subsequently found himself missing some downforce, losing positions to Perez and Hamilton before pitting for a new front wing. Brief contact with Sainz’s rear wheel damaged the McLaren front wing at Turn 17, resulting in a drop to 19th, or otherwise last.

In front, Norris was simply very fast right from the restart and consistently build up his lead to Verstappen. On lap 42, with 15 remaining, he led by 3.4 seconds. The gap continued to increase slightly every lap, eventually resulting in the first Grand Prix victory for Lando Norris, one that everybody knew was coming sooner or later after a few near misses.

The other McLaren of Oscar Piastri meanwhile recorded the fastest lap of the race but doesn’t get an extra point due to finishing outside the top 10.

2024 F1 Miami Grand Prix race results

14Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL38
21Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB20
316Charles LeclercFerrariSF-24
411Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB20
555Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariSF-24
644Lewis HamiltonMercedesW15
722Yuki TsunodaRB-Honda RBPT01
863George RussellMercedesW15
914Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-MercedesAMR24
1031Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA524
1127Nico HulkenbergHaas-FerrariVF-24
1210Pierre GaslyAlpine-RenaultA524
1381Oscar PiastriMcLaren-MercedesMCL38
1424Zhou GuanyuSauber-FerrariC44
153Daniel RicciardoRB-Honda RBPT01
1677Valtteri BottasSauber-FerrariC44
1718Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR24
1823Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW46
1920Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-24
202Logan SargeantWilliams-MercedesFW46

Leave a Reply