Lando Norris ends Max Verstappen’s winning streak with maiden victory in Miami

Lando Norris Ends Max Verstappen’s Winning Streak With Maiden Victory In Miami
The 24-year-old became the 21st British Grand Prix winner when he crossed the line for his maiden victory. Photo: PA Images
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Phillip Duncan, PA, Miami

Lando Norris ended Max Verstappen’s crushing winning streak by claiming the maiden victory of his career in Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix.

In his 110th Formula One appearance, the 24-year-old from Bristol, who started fifth, took advantage of a safety car period at the Hard Rock Stadium to move ahead of Verstappen before holding his nerve to take the chequered flag.


An emotional Norris crossed the line seconds clear of Verstappen, who had no answer to the British driver’s brilliant pace as he claimed McLaren’s first victory in nearly three years.

Verstappen had to settle for second as Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari, one place ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz. Lewis Hamilton claimed his best result of the season, crossing the line sixth.

Norris, who has emerged as one of the grid’s brightest stars following his debut as a teenager in Melbourne in 2019, has so often been the nearly-man.


Just last month, he became the first driver in F1’s 74-year history to finish on the podium 14 times, having never taking to the top step. And in China a fortnight ago, he drove brilliantly only to finish runner-up to Verstappen.

But the race here in Miami – with former United States president Donald Trump a visitor in the McLaren garage two hours before the lights went out – belonged to Norris.

Verstappen cruised to sprint victory on Saturday, and then secured his sixth pole in as many rounds and looked on course for a comfortable win when he nailed the start to assume the lead.

Miami F1 GP Auto Racing
Lando Norris has won his first Grand Prix (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

He also escaped damage when he clattered into a red and white traffic bollard at the chicane on the 22nd lap.

Verstappen pitted a lap later for new tyres to relinquish the lead but the race dramatically turned on its head – and in Norris’ favour – with 30 laps remaining when Haas driver Kevin Magnussen clattered into the back of Logan Sargeant.

Norris had assumed the lead of the race by virtue of not stopping for tyres and when the safety car was deployed to retrieve Sargeant’s damaged Williams, Norris was handed a golden opportunity.


With the chasing pack neutralised, Norris dived in for his only change of rubber to keep hold of his lead. Not only was he at the sharp end of the pack, but he had fresher tyres to boot, too.

After four laps, the safety car peeled in, and Norris’ nerves were put to the test with Verstappen, in his superior Red Bull machine, breathing down his neck.

Miami F1 GP Auto Racing
Max Verstappen’s winning streak is over (AP)

Verstappen followed Norris on the 180mph drag to the opening corner, but the British driver put his papaya orange machine on the apex of the right-hander to keep the Dutchman at bay.

Norris then turned in the fastest lap of the race so far to establish a one-second lead over Verstappen, crucially putting him out of DRS-reach.

Suddenly the improbable looked possible with Norris continuing to increase his margin. One second became two, which became three and with 10 laps to go he was four seconds clear.

Norris’ mind might have cast back to Sochi in 2021 when a late downpour and a refusal to switch to wet tyres cost him the win.

But the contrast could not have been greater here under clear blue skies in the Sunshine State as Norris came of age to take the flag, raising both hands in the air as he crossed the line 7.6 seconds clear.


“Whooooooooooo, whooooooooo, I love you all,” yelled Norris over the radio after becoming Britain’s 21st Grand Prix winner. “Thank you so much. We did it, Will (Joseph, Norris’ race engineer). We did it.

“I guess that is how it is done. Finally. Oh, I am so happy. I knew it when I came in this morning. I said today is the day, full of opportunities. I nailed it, you nailed it, thank you so much.

“Thanks mum, thanks dad, this one is for my grandma, thank you very much.”

After stepping out of the machine that carried him to victory, Norris put down his yellow crash helmet before running and leaping into the arms of his mechanics.

Miami F1 GP Auto Racing
Daniel Ricciardo was quick to congratulate Norris (AP)

They hoisted him into the air as a host of drivers – including George Russell and Daniel Ricciardo, the last man to win for McLaren in Monza in 2021 – came over to congratulate Norris.

“About time, huh,” said Norris, who was interviewed by 2009 world champion Jenson Button.

“What a race. It has been a long time coming. Finally I have managed to do it. I am so happy I have delivered for the team. I am finally on top. I am over the moon.”

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