Home Sport Norris admits after Miami GP win that it was about time

Norris admits after Miami GP win that it was about time

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Norris was understandably emotional as he drove to the chequered flag at the 5.4km course outside Hard Rock Stadium, screaming in excitement and ultimately thanking his McLaren Racing team and his parents before dedicating the victory to his grandmother.

McLaren’s British driver Lando Norris. Picture: PEDRO PARDO, AFP

Lando Norris hoisted – even tossed and caught – his first Formula One race winner’s trophy high atop the podium on Sunday at the Miami International Autodrome.

The 24-year-old British driver claimed the win in the Miami Grand Prix, easily outpacing the most dominant driver of the last three seasons, Max Verstappen.

Norris was understandably emotional as he drove to the chequered flag at the 5.4km course outside Hard Rock Stadium, screaming in excitement and ultimately thanking his McLaren Racing team and his parents before dedicating the victory to his grandmother.

“It’s about time, huh,” Norris said with a smile.

“What a race. It’s been a long time coming but finally I was able to manage to do it and I’m so happy for my whole team. Long day, tough race but I’m finally on top, so I’m over the moon.”

After taking the lead from Verstappen on a series of pit stops during a mid-race full-course caution period, Norris easily pulled away from the two-time defending race winner – ultimately extending his advantage to a 7.612-second victory. Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished third – his second podium in the three Miami races.

Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez rounded out the top five.

Verstappen won four of the previous five races this season, having to retire early with mechanical issues in Australia. But Sunday, Norris just outpaced the Dutchman, who at one point radioed to his Red Bull team: “I can’t get the car to turn, it’s a disaster.”

Norris’s win broke Verstappen’s six-race winning streak in the US. Verstappen failed to win in the Miami Grand Prix for the first time in its three races.

Post-race, Verstappen – who started from pole position and won the sprint race on Saturday – was full of perspective and the first to congratulate Norris after climbing out of his car.

“Once we switched up to the hard tire, they just had more pace, especially Lando, he was just flying,” Verstappen said. “If a bad day is P2, I’ll take it, right? I’m very happy for Lando, it’s been a long time coming.”

Norris’s previous 15 career podium finishes without a win were the most in the series. He’d competed in 109 previous F1 races without a win, and this was only the second win for McLaren in the past decade – all of these factors only contributing to Norris’s elation.

“What a drive,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said, still smiling. “Gotta thank everyone back at McLaren and here, all the hard work paid off.”

Reuters

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