Formula 1 Racing

“He fully deserves it” – Rivals united in praise for Norris’s breakthrough win · RaceFans

Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

Lando Norris’s breakthrough grand prix victory was warmly received by his fellow drivers.

The McLaren driver became the 114th grand prix winner in Formula 1 in the Miami Grand Prix, ending the fourth-longest win drought for any of the 20 drivers on the grid.

Norris beat championship leader Max Verstappento win the race with help from a fortuitous Safety Car deployment. It is the first time the Red Bull driver has been beaten to the chequered flag in a race he has finished all season.

Verstappen was one of the first to congratulate the newest member of the exclusive club of F1 winners. “I’m very happy for Lando,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming and it’s not going to be his last one. He definitely deserves it today.”

Third place finisher Charles Leclerc believes Norris had proven himself a threat for the race win across the weekend.

“I’m really happy for Lando. He deserves it,” Leclerc said. “Very often he [got] very close to it, but for one reason or another, he didn’t make it. But today he did an incredible job.

“The whole weekend he has been on it. Already in Q2, I think, there was a lap where I was like, ‘okay, they are very, very strong’. We were expecting them to be strong, maybe not as strong as what they’ve shown today, but he fully deserves it.”

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Norris’ former team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr expects he will go on to win “many, many races in F1.”

“He’s been driving at an exceptional level,” Sainz told Sky. “Today he was on the lucky side, but I think luck comes to the people who deserve it and today he deserved to win.”

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who has praised Norris on several occasions in the past, said he was equally happy to see McLaren back on the top step of the podium.

“I feel really happy for Lando,” said Hamilton. “I just told him he needs to stay [in Miami] tonight. He’s going to try and change his flight. He’s got to, he just won a race.

“But it’s such a special moment to win your first grand prix. Obviously I started at McLaren so really happy to see them back at the top.”

Among those to congratulate Norris after the race was another of his former team mates, Daniel Ricciardo, who was the last driver to win a race for the team at Monza three years ago.

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