I’ve rarely witnessed a universally popular victory in Formula One over the decades such as we experienced with Lando Norris in Miami.

Ayrton Senna winning the 1991 Brazilian GP is right up there along with Nigel Mansell winning at Silverstone in 1992. Others would be Ferrari victories at Monza, but of course they were all home glories.

Even Lando’s greatest rivals were happy for him, and of course it was long overdue for both driver (particularly) and team to win a Grand Prix main event rather than Sprint. He was unceremoniously knocked out of the Sprint on Saturday and so we didn’t have chance to measure him in that 19-lap dash.

He’s such a globally popular driver, but I’m sure too that many were pleased to see Red Bull and the mercurial Max Verstappen finally beaten on sheer pace alone in the closing stages.

Of course, Lando could and probably should have won in Russia in 2021, and maybe Monza that year too, but the cards didn’t fall right for him and the doubt began to set in about if and when it would finally happen.

It’s easy to say that the safety car on lap 28 was lucky for them, but it’s more nuanced than that. Norris had to bide his time behind Sergio Perez in the first phase after he’d lost out to a wild Perez moment on the slippery inside line into the very first corner, which by some miracle and deft driving didn’t eliminate both Red Bulls, or anybody else for that matter.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Miami Grand Prix where Lando Norris became the 21st driver from the United Kingdom to win a Formula 1 race.

Once past, Norris had tremendous pace with his upgraded McLaren, as did his team-mate Oscar Piastri in the sister car which had some of the new parts, and who was running in second place and keeping Verstappen well in sight and both Ferrari’s behind initially.

Max was having to push hard on this day and he made a rare mistake at the turn 14/15 chicane, clouting the bollard marking the apex, and then bouncing across the kerbs and escape route. This damaged his car to an extent and caused a virtual safety car to rescue the errant marker.

Creating more ‘luck’ McLaren, could run longer and faster which eventually opened up the opportunity to pit when the safety car was deployed due to Logan Sargeant and Kevin Magnussen colliding.

When making a pit stop while his main rivals are limited to safety car speeds, it only took a ‘cheap’ 11 seconds of lost time to navigate the pitlane and make a stop, rather than the net 20 seconds lost at full speed under normal race conditions.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lando Norris proved what a popular person he is after so many drivers were quick to say how happy they were for the Brit to earn his first Grand Prix win.

Once the safety car eventually picked up the new leader, Lando’s only mistake on the day was on the restart. He needed to either launch off the apex of the effectively final turn 17, or run slowly to the finish line and then hit the throttle from there given the short run to the first braking zone.

Instead, he did something in the middle and with Verstappen already trying to hustle him along, it was a close call as to who between those two would lead when exiting the first corner. Norris braked late, just kept the car on track, and then settled down into a supremely confident drive to win by 7.6 seconds at the end of lap 57. The team feel they had enough race pace to win without the safety car, but we’ll never know of course.

Max’s bad day out netted second place so it wasn’t exactly a shocker, and Charles Leclerc would recover from missing the only practice session of the weekend with a clumsy early spin, to a fine podium in third place for the blue highlighted scarlet Ferrari.

Sergio Perez would eventually finish fourth but only after Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz managed to spoil each other’s race. They were running in close formation when Sainz made a pass only for Piastri to come straight back at him.

Carlos was incensed over the radio given he thought he’d been run off the road, but the Stewards didn’t agree and felt it was robust racing, which I agree with.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

McLaren’s Lando Norris dedicated his first Grand Prix win to his family after claiming a maiden victory in Miami.

Ironically when Carlos did pass the McLaren into turn 17 he had to correct a rear slide which broke Oscar’s front wing and attracted a five-second penalty for an avoidable collision, which post race demoted the Spaniard to fifth place.

It was a case of what might have been for Sainz as he pitted just one lap before the safety car which put Norris out front.

Lewis Hamilton had a feisty and fine race to sixth place including a couple of great overtakes, one in particular against the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg which was very brave. The Mercedes had good speed in the closing stages, but once again both he and George Russell had a weekend of confusing and highly variable pace.

Mercedes have some upgrades coming which will define the rest of their season and maybe even 2025, and demonstrate whether or not they can define and fix what is wrong with the car.

Here’s hoping they do, because the upgraded McLaren looks to be closer to Red Bull, and Ferrari are eagerly looking forward to their imminent upgrades too.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lando Norris claims his first ever victory in F1 at the Miami GP.

For now, Aston Martin have fallen behind in the development race and we eagerly await their solution too. Fernando Alonso could only make ninth place on Sunday and was 37 seconds behind at the flag despite the safety car bunching the pack on lap 28.

Yuki Tsunoda did a fine job once again in his RB by splitting the two works Mercedes in seventh, ahead of a curiously off the pace George Russell on this particular day.

Daniel Ricciardo in the second RB had a stellar Sprint race in fourth but a poor qualifying left him struggling in 15th in the main race.

This simply underlines how competitive the mid-pack battle is in order to pick up any world championship points which the top five teams leave on the table. Other than Tsunoda, it would be Esteban Ocon taking Alpine’s first point of the season in 10th place.

Kevin Magnussen must have been exasperated with the number of times he was in the Steward’s office after each of the two races. He put up a supremely aggressive defence against Hamilton in the Sprint, sometimes over the limit but nevertheless applauded even by Hamilton.

But in the race Magnussen’s crash with Sargeant was just silly and unnecessary, and created yet another pile of broken parts for the Williams team which is having rather a nightmare start to 2024.

It was a cracking show in Miami, they’ve ironed out the issues from year one, and this third event proved ideal for both the Sprint and Grand Prix format, with its multiple overtaking spots and ultra high speed street circuit layout.

The place was buzzing all weekend with fans and celebrities alike, many with a loud cheer for the 24-year-old ever smiling Brit from Glastonbury, as he finally made the top step for his 16th podium. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this season.

Formula 1 heads to Europe as Imola returns to the calendar following last year’s cancelled race. Watch the Emilia Romagna GP on May 17-19. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

How to book Fury v Usyk on Sky Sports Box Office

Fury vs Usyk

It’s one of the biggest sporting events in a generation. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk collide for the undisputed world heavyweight championship on Saturday May 18, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book the fight now.

Ad content | Stream Sky Sports on NOW

NOW TV image
NOW TV image

Stream Sky Sports live with no contract on a Month or Day membership on NOW. Instant access to live action from the Premier League, EFL, F1, England Cricket, Tennis, Darts and so much more.