Upset! McLaren's Norris beats Red Bull's Verstappen at the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix

David J. Neal, Miami Herald on

Published in Auto Racing

A fortunately-timed crash involving a Fort Lauderdale driver. A three-time world champion suddenly looking like an impatient Miami driver on Interstate 95. An upgraded car helping a driver with zero grand prix wins end one of the most dominant driver runs in a sport of dominant runs.

That was Sunday’s 2024 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, won by McLaren’s Lando Norris at the Miami International Autodrome at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

A gleeful Norris screamed ecstatic joy into his radio afterwards, then jumped into a crowd of the Team McLaren personnel. He had run 109 F1 races with eight second-place finishes before Sunday.

Said Norris, who started fifth: “It’s about time, huh? What a race! It’s been a long time coming, but finally, I’ve been able to do it. I’m so happy for my whole team, I finally delivered for them.”

McLaren presented Norris with an upgraded car this week, but even CEO Zak Brown said he thought the upgrades would just get the team close to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. But, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished third, saw a lap Norris turned on Friday and thought McLaren looked strong for the weekend.

“I said on Friday, it felt good. I was confident on Friday,” Norris said. “Today, that feeling came back to me. A lot of Sundays recently, I’ve been strong. Today, I stepped it up even more.”


And, Norris flat outran by 7.6 seconds Verstappen, who either DNFs (Did Not Finish) or wins these days, and Leclerc. Verstappen won 17 of the last 18 races last year, had won the four races he had finished this year and qualified on pole for all six races this season.

The last time Verstappen got outraced, he started 11th after problems during qualifying and finished fifth last year in Singapore, ending a 10-race winning streak. When he sounded unhappy after winning Saturday’s F1 Sprint race from pole, most observers dismissed it as Verstappen being his grumpy self.

“I never felt comfortable all weekend with it,” Verstappen said of his car. “I think on the medium (tires) it was okayish, but on the hard, it was quite a disaster. Low grip, just very tricky balancing the low speed, I couldn’t lean on the rear. While at the high speed, I was understeering a lot. When you have these two issues, you can’t also balance it out because you’re chasing two different things.”

Still, Sunday, he rolled along with about a three-second lead on Lap 22, when he jumped the Turn 15 curb and ran over the kind of orange post that separates the express lanes from the general lanes on I-95.


swipe to next page

©2024 Miami Herald. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus