Lando Norris’ “only mistake” during impressive drive to first F1 win identified

Martin Brundle has identified the "only mistake" Lando Norris made on his way to victory in Miami.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day. -
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6,…

Lando Norris’ “only mistake” during his maiden F1 victory drive in the Miami Grand Prix came at the Safety Car restart, according to Martin Brundle.

The McLaren driver capitalised on a timely Safety Car to jump into the lead, before pulling clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the final 25 laps to secure his first-ever grand prix win in Miami.

Norris was in total control of the final stint but did come under some pressure from Verstappen at the Safety Car restart.

Writing in this latest post-race column for Sky, former F1 driver turned pundit and commentator Brundle highlighted what Norris should have done differently.

“Once the Safety Car eventually picked up the new leader, Lando's only mistake on the day was on the restart,” Brundle wrote.

“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.”

Race winner Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix,
Race winner Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates on the podium. Formula 1…

Norris himself admitted he could have done a better job of the restart, describing it as being a “bit rusty”.

“I’ve not done many Safety Car restarts from the front for a good amount of years,” Norris explained. “Just a bit rusty, that was all. I’ll make sure I work on it a little bit more for next time.

“But as long as I defended well into turn one and kept the lead in turn one, I was quite confident I could go from there.”

Brundle said he has “rarely witnessed a universally popular victory in Formula 1 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,” he added.

“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.”

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