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Norris surprises and achieves his first Formula 1 win at the Miami GP

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Finally, after 110 Formula 1 races, Lando Norris has made his star shine. Seizing his chances and leaving Max Verstappen behind, the McLaren driver finally claimed his first win by taking pole position at the Miami GP on Sunday (5).

On the grid, without any surprise, it was Verstappen who lined up in position of honour. Alongside him, it was Charles Leclerc who closed out the front row, while Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez completed the top four positions in the field.

In the first period of the race, the vast majority of participants chose to start on the medium tire. The exceptions were Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in Hard Mode, the two drivers at the back of the field with Valtteri Bottas, 18th, choosing Soft Mode, and Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo, penultimate and last, also in Hard Mode.

An approved start and without any major surprises, Verstappen remained in first place in the field. Meanwhile, Perez managed to make a good jump and take second place, but he pushed too hard and made a mistake and dropped to fifth place.

On the second lap, the order on the track was such that the Dutchman from Red Bull leads the line, followed by Leclerc, who was already 1s681 behind the clock, followed by Oscar Piastri, Carlos Sainz and the Mexican from the Austrian team.

The Australian from McLaren had a great start to the race. After lights out, he moved up three places to finish third, and at the start of the fifth lap, he went side-by-side with the Ferrari Monaco driver at Turn 17 to finish second. However, he maintained the fastest lap and was spinning faster than Verstappen.

When he comes in third place, Charles faces problems with his race. The Ferrari driver suffered from slipping of his rear tires throughout the lap, while Sainz, who ranked fourth, began to get closer and closer.

The good battle that escalated and crystallized was for seventh place. Nico Hulkenberg took advantage of Lewis Hamilton's mistake to leave the seven-time champion behind, but the Mercedes driver began chasing the German to try to regain his position, as he was only 0s425 behind his rival Haas.

Therefore, the Briton used the dirty part of the track, so that he could leave Nico behind and return to seventh place. Now, he started to chase Lando Norris who was in front of him.

Eleven laps were completed in Miami and the order had Verstappen in first place, 2.765 seconds behind, and Piastri in second place. Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, Norris, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Russell and Tsunoda completed the scoring area.

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Two laps later and the drivers started to stop for the first time. It was Alexander Albon who opened the pit window, and Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly then went to change tyres.

The chase that took place on the urban track around the Miami Dolphins' stadium was Norris' pursuit of Perez. The British driver from McLaren was less than 0.5 behind the Mexican driver from Red Bull, who was suffering due to his mistake at the start.

With 17 laps completed, only six drivers had stopped: Hulkenberg, Gasly, Lance Stroll, Albon, Logan Sargeant and Bottas. Everyone was between 15th and last. Shortly afterwards, it was Perez's turn to make the change and return to the track in ninth place.

On lap 20, it was Charles's turn to go to the Ferrari circuit, where he stopped in just 1s9 and came back in sixth place. Meanwhile, Norris set the fastest lap on the track with a time of 1 minute 32 seconds (476 minutes).

An unusual situation happened to Verstappen. On lap 22, the Dutchman ran over the Red Bull and tore up a traffic cone at Turn 15 and asked via radio to check if the front wing had sustained any damage – the piece was left lying in the middle of the track.

The race management then provided a virtual safety car to clear the middle section of the track. Hamilton even complained over the radio, saying he was being moved to the racing line.

A number of competitors then took advantage of the short period without being able to accelerate to head to the pit lane, such as Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen. But it didn't take long for the green flag to be raised.

On lap 24, Verstappen was called to the Red Bull pit stop and, therefore, Piastri was the new leader with Sainz in second and Norris in third – none of the top three had made a pit stop visit. Max returned to the track in fourth place.

With 24 laps completed, using the intermediate compound, Lando was able to set the fastest lap again. Now it was 1min31s982.

It's time for Piastri, the leader, and Sainz, third, to be called upon by their teams to make saves. There, Norris took the lead, but still needed to pit – where he was 11 seconds and 550 seconds ahead of Verstappen, the second-place finisher.

On lap 29, it was necessary to deploy the first real safety car of the race. The reason was that Magnussen ended up hitting Sargeant in a fight for position and it was the American who got the worst of it, standing in the escape zone and needing help to get him off the ground.

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In this whole situation, it was Norris who overcame it, took the opportunity to stop, and thus was able to return to first place. The green flag was raised again in Miami on lap 33 and the Englishman was able to stay in first place, closing the door on Verstappen, who was still unable to open his wing.

However, in the first few metres, Leclerc tried to attack Max and approached the Dutchman in a threatening manner, but with no chance of being able to overtake. Lando was the one who took advantage of the opportunity to open up more of an advantage, as he was 1s4 adrift of second place and recorded a best lap time of 1min31s157.

The standings at this stage of the race, with 23 laps to go, are Norris, Verstappen, Leclerc, Piastri, Sainz, Perez, Hamilton, Tsunoda, Russell and Ocon who complete the scoring zone in Miami.

Sainz and Piastri were in a feud that burned through the streets of Miami. The Spaniard was attacking the Australian for fourth place, going sideways and sending the McLaren driver off the track, but Oscar remained where he was.

The pair were put under investigation for the fierce fight, but nothing was done and Piastri gradually began to open up Carlos, with 0s6 of breathing room. Meanwhile, at the front, Norris once again set the best lap with a time of 1 minute 31 seconds 074 minutes.

On lap 38 Lando was on his way to his first win in his Formula 1 career, maintaining a 2s5 lead over Verstappen, in second place. Leclerc came in third place.

Sainz's engineer then came on the radio to say there were 20 laps to go until the flag and received a rude response, with the Spaniard saying “Just leave me alone, Ricky, leave me alone.”

The fight between Sainz and Piastri was still very exciting. Carlos managed to leave Oscar behind and stopped on the track, but saw the Australian come back around the next corner. It turned out that the McLaren driver made a mistake, passed directly and left the way open for the Ferrari competitor to continue in fourth place.

Then, due to the collision, Piastri went to the pits to change the front wing and change the tires – and the stop lasted for 10s7.

At the front of the field, the three-time Red Bull champion complained on the radio that the car was not good. “I can't start the car, it's a disaster,” the driver declared, already 3s5 behind Norris, who set another fast lap.

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Norris led the drivers, with Verstappen, Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, Hamilton, Tsunoda, Russell, Ocon and Alonso completing the top ten of the race.

Lando has never won a race or even a drag race. The driver, if he finishes on the podium in second or third place, will break the absolute Formula 1 record as the name with the most podium finishes without ever winning in Formula 1, but that could end on Sunday in Miami.

The fights started to escalate towards the middle of the group. It was now Alonso's turn at the helm of Ocon, with the two-time champion attacking the Frenchman, who closed the door as best he could to hold off his Aston Martin rival. It took some time, but the Spaniard managed to finish ninth.

Piastri was playing catch-up after falling to last place. Being 17th, maintaining the best lap and using an intermediate tire, he tried to pass Ricciardo, but to no avail, with six laps to go until the checkered flag. In fact, Australian Radio said Norris was leading the race and there was no need to call the safety car as the finish approached.

While fighting to defend 14th place, Albon made a mistake at the back of the standings. While trying to hold off Ricciardo, the Williams driver went straight through the corner and went into the escape pit, relegated to last place and then headed to the pits.

The checkered flag finally came. Lando achieved his first victory in Formula 1 by crossing the finish line first, more than 7 seconds ahead of Verstappen II. Leclerc completes the podium on Miami GP day.

F1MANIA.NET follows the Miami GP 'in place' with journalists Victor Di Berto and Rodrigo Franca.

Formula 1 2024, Miami GP, result:

1) Lando Norris (McLaren/Mercedes)
2) Max Versatility-Traded Bull/Honda RBBT)
3) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
4) Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
5) Sergio Perez (Red Bull/Honda RBBT)
6) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
7) Yuki Tsunoda (RB/Honda RBBT)
8) George Russell (Mercedes)
9) Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin/Mercedes)
10) Esteban Ocon (Alpine/Renault)
11) Nico Hulkenberg (Haas/Ferrari)
12) Pierre Gasly (Alpine/Renault)
13) Oscar Piastri (McLaren/Mercedes)
14) Zhou Guanyu (Sauber/Ferrari)
15) Daniel Ricciardo (RB/Honda RBPT)
16) Valtteri Bottas (Sauber/Ferrari)
17) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin/Mercedes)
18) Kevin Magnussen (Haas/Ferrari)
19) Alexander Albon (Williams/Mercedes)
Exit) Logan Sargent (Williams/Mercedes)

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