McLaren Miami Miracle: Lando Norris Secures First F1 Win, Strategy Plays Into Victory

After Lando Secured His First F1 Win, Is McLaren Making A Run Towards Red Bull/Ferrari?
2024 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix
2024 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix / Anadolu/GettyImages

After a busy weekend in racing, both with horsepower and horses, Lando Norris was able to play the strategy perfectly, securing a Miami victory for McLaren and grabbing his first F1 win.

There was some drama in this weekend for the 24-year-old Brit, especially in the first ever Miami Sprint Race on Saturday but Norris rebounded and played his cards right on Sunday.

Behind Norris, it was still the usual suspects, with Verstappen/Leclerc/Perez/Sainz from 2-5, but Norris had the steady car in the second half of the race which gave Lando a sizeable lead.

In all, let's take a look at the race weekend that was in Miami.

Race Breakdown

Obviously pre-race was what you expected from a weekend of this stature.

It was celebrities galore that filled the circuit in Miami, featuring stars such as Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, both of whom are investors in Alpine, Tom Cruise, Ed Sherran, Camila Cabello and Tom Brady.

Odell Beckham Jr
F1 Grand Prix of Miami / Rudy Carezzevoli/GettyImages

Other celebrities made their appearance as well, showcasing the star power the race brings, but once the lights went out, all focus shifted to the on-track action.

The opening lap truly was the eye-opener to what the race would behold, seeing Sergio "Checo" Perez almost taking out both himself and Verstappen in a very aggressive move to the inside of the first turn.

Both of the Red Bull drivers were able to scurry past the potential catastrophic incident, which in result would lead to highly contested battles for position, especially towards the middle of the pack.

By Lap 24, Oscar Piastri took the first of two leads for the Orange & Black team, overtaking Max Verstappen on his scheduled stop, however, the incident that impacted the race significantly was the full course yellow that came out for the Sargeant-Magnussen incident.

K-Mag was able to continue onward while the hometown kid Logan Sargeant DNF'd once more but this allowed the perfect set up for Norris to make a run for the lead, still needing to take his stop.

Norris truly couldn't have asked for a better time to pit and by doing so, it allowed Lando to go to the top of the grid, practically cruising to the race win.

While this may Lando's first victory, this certainly seems like it shouldn't be his last with the potential for more success to come.

McLaren Magnification?

Everyone knows that Ferrari and Red Bull are arguably the two standards in F1.

Obviously, Red Bull is still on a different level compared to the rest of the field, but Ferrari has shown they can be one of the best teams when in a position of strength.

Nevertheless, the question is: Can McLaren add their name in that list?

Following the Chinese Grand Prix, there were reports that McLaren had made improvements to their machine for the Miami race & beyond and things payed off.

With the future of Red Bull uncertain given their in-house drama and with uncertainty regarding Ferrari with the impending addition of "Sir" Lewis Hamilton, there is no telling were McLaren may shuffle amongst the grid.

The team has what it takes to be a contender and has the strength to push for a podium but this next 3/4ths of the season will be crucial to see were Zak Brown's team heads towards going forward.

Final Thoughts

Overall, looking back at the weekend, it was nothing short of a success.

This year's Miami GP brought in the largest US TV viewership in F1 history, surpassing the previous record set by the same event in its inagural race year.

Miami has set the standard for US F1 races and following an exciting finish for a fan-favorite to win, it created a TV network's dream scenario.

Coming out of this race, there was a lot that it brought as the season progresses towards Imola next weekend, the final race before Monaco.

While Monaco is unique for its style of racing, Imola may be a great chance to see if McLaren can now fight for regular top podium spots.

There is definetaly potential for the Black & Orange brand and following to strong performances by Piarstri & Norris, we know that the team's future looks bright ahead following Miami.