Formula 1 Racing

10 things we learned from the 2024 F1 Miami Grand Prix

It has been a long time coming, but Norris is finally a grand prix winner

Prior to Formula 1’s third visit to the Hard Rock Stadium, nobody other than Max Verstappen had won a Miami Grand Prix. And it was set to be the same again, as the irrepressible Dutchman took victory in the sprint race and claimed pole position – albeit by just a tenth – which he seemed certain to convert.

The course of the race’s events were changed irrevocably by the fleeting contact of two bits of tyre matter. Kevin Magnussen’s racing equivalent of ‘leaving a foot in’ with his challenge against Logan Sargeant for minor placings fired the American into the Turn 2 barrier and sounded the clarion call for a safety car.

Lando Norris, who had yet to make his first stop and had gone long, was the primary benefactor. Owing to the timing of the safety car, his eventual switch to the hard tyre effectively came for free and ensured he retained a lead over Verstappen. But we’ve been here before: Verstappen usually finds his way through, and it was that conditioned sense of inevitability that made the final 20 laps so compelling. But the threat of a challenge seemed to evaporate, and Norris kept building a lead that proved more than enough to claim a first F1 win.

The 2024 Miami Grand Prix will forever be “that first Norris win”, but there was far more to it than that. Indulge us, if you will, as we pick our way through the 10 biggest talking points from Florida.

1. Norris can finally put “No-Wins” epithet to bed

It has been a long time coming, but Norris is finally a grand prix winner

Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images

It was the result that dispelled The Ghost of Sochi 2021.

McLaren and Norris had never been allowed to forget the precipitous downpour that produced their collective fumble on that day in Russia, particularly as the agonising wait for retribution had lingered far beyond anything that the team had anticipated. Difficulties in its early interpretations of the 2022-spec regulations suggested that Norris had been too loyal to McLaren, especially when 2023’s awful start came to bear. It seemed like he’d missed the boat.

Under the guidance of Andrea Stella, McLaren has turned the ship around. Equally, Norris kept himself in the game in Miami; an early phase of tyre saving ensured that the Briton could extend his stint, which ultimately yielded the safety car-assisted pitstop on lap 29 that kept him ahead of Verstappen.

The two drivers were evenly matched in the second and third sectors, barely separated by…

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