Norris glad Miami GP win has proven doubters wrong
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By Robert Hansford profile image Robert Hansford
6 min read

Norris glad Miami GP win has proven doubters wrong

The McLaren driver took his first race win at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix

He’s done it. On his 110th attempt, McLaren driver Lando Norris has finally added his name to the list of Formula 1 world championship race winners.

And not only has he broken his race-winning duck, but Norris is also glad that’s he’s proved his doubters wrong.

Norris’ first opportunity for a race win came way back in 2021 at the Russian Grand Prix. Mis-management of Norris’ strategy when the weather changed meant he lost a near-certain victory. 

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Since then opportunities to win have been few and far between, but given how close Norris came on that occasion and the length of time that’s past since, questions have regularly been raised about Norris’ ability to win a grand prix.

The Miami Grand Prix resolved any lingering questions though, and speaking after the race, Norris said that he was happy to have silenced his doubters.

“To get that first victory is always incredible. And I've, of course, had my moments where we've been close, and I've never been able to convert it into the win. But I wasn't worried,” said Norris. 

“As much as a lot of people doubted that I was going to be able to put it together and win a race, I wasn't worried. 

“I've kind of been more confident than ever this year that I've got what it takes and the team have got what it takes and I was patient with it. 

“I've just been doing my job and executing my races, executing my qualis, and doing what I can do best. And I knew my time was coming. 

“I said it this morning. It's not often that I'm optimistic about things. But actually, all weekend, there's been something, you know? Like, already practice, qualis. We've been close.

“We were very good on Friday, and there was kind of that spark. And we maybe lost it a little bit into Saturday. But today, it definitely came back and turned into a little fire. So yeah, it was an incredible race.”

While Norris is understandably happy to get the doubters off his back, he also doesn’t really understand where they’ve come from, believing that apart from Russia, the Sprint Race at the Qatar Grand Prix was really the only opportunity for a victory that’s passed him by.

“There was one, one opportunity, and this was Qatar last year. 

“To win the main race was maybe a bit more of an ask. I think Max - I don't know what Max’s gap to Oscar was - and I was like five seconds, six seconds, I think. So you can't go against that and put that ever away. 

“But as a Sprint race, the Sprint race was the loss.

“I don't know if there was a main race that I've missed out on, to be honest. And that's obviously the more valuable one, the one that means a lot more to you. 

“So I kind of want to say no. I kind of want to say I don't think there was a Sunday where I've thrown stuff away. 

“I've thrown away maybe a podium or a P2, but I think every opportunity where I've been there to try and take a win, I've been there. 

“There's a couple of times when I've been blocked to those opportunities. One was Singapore last year, and Carlos took it. And another one was Australia this year, where the two Ferraris were ahead. Apart from that, there wasn't a Sunday. 

“And as much as people want to say there was this and that and, yeah, Russia and whatever it was, Qatar, there wasn't a Sunday. 

“I've not missed out on a win because of something I've done wrong. There were pole positions. There was a Sprint race win. But nothing more than that. 

“And I think that's why I never lost faith. I never didn't believe in what I could go out and do. 

“So I’m happy to put that to bed and prove a lot of these people wrong because, yeah, as much as I love to see it and I go on Instagram and I like all the comments of people abusing me, I freaking love it. 

“It makes me smile more than anything, especially Lando No-wins. That's become the thing. 

“And yeah, for me to finally prove those people wrong and prove to people that didn't think I could go out and do it, it's put an even bigger smile on my face today. So I thank all of them.”

Last year, McLaren really struggled in the Miami Grand Prix - a complete contrast to last weekend - but Norris has cited that as evidence to prove just how far the team has come in the space of a year.

When it adds new parts to its car, the McLaren seems to respond, and for this year’s Miami Grand Prix, Norris had 10 new parts on his car. 

And given the team’s rate of progression, Norris firmly believes that more race wins could realistically just be around the corner.

“I said at the beginning of the year we could win races,” he said. 

“A lot of people doubted what I could say and the fact that I said that. I think they doubted that McLaren could win races. They doubted that I could win races. But I was confident. 

“Deep down I knew that we had our time coming. 

“The team has done an amazing job. We weren't even into Q2 here last year. So now the fact we're on top, we've won a race, the team have done an insane job to kind of go from where we were to where we are now. 

“And we've chipped away, especially the last couple of months. There's been a lot of hard work. And whenever you bring an upgrade, it's not easy to kind of just go out and execute and just show that it's better. 

“But little things come together and when you have all these little bits coming together, it turns into a perfect day like it did today. 

“So, of course, I have to say a big thanks to all of McLaren, everyone back in the factory, everyone that's here, because I doubt… It would have been a lot less likely that I won today without these upgrades and without the hard work that they've been putting into everything. 

“So, I would like to say it's the start. And now I'm already hungry for more. But, yeah, we'll keep our heads down. We'll keep pushing and I'm sure we can be here a lot more often.”

By Robert Hansford profile image Robert Hansford
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