Miami Grand Prix driver ratings: Perfect Lando Norris and a pitiful Kevin Magnussen

Sam Cooper
Miami GP driver ratings

Lando Norris followed up an impressive China race by going even better.

We had drivers very much at the opposite end of the ratings spectrum in Miami as Lando Norris took home his first Formula 1 winner’s trophy.

A long wait for a race victory came to an end in Florida but Norris was not the only driver to enjoy a good race in Miami.

Lando Norris – 10

A career-defining drive. Detractors will say the Safety Car gave him victory but to suggest that would be to ignore everything that came before and after.

Before the stoppage, Norris’ pace was amongst the best on the grid and having recovered from a difficult start, he breezed past Sergio Perez and began to eat away at the gap to those ahead of them.

By the time he had reached them, the Safety Car was soon to come out but even then, the win was not guaranteed. Max Verstappen was expected to give Norris a battle but the reality was far different and the Dutchman experienced a hopeless feeling that he has inflicted on many drivers the past three years.

A win for Norris always seemed likely at some point but even this will have caught him and the team surprised and after the heartbreak of Sochi, it is ecstasy in Miami.

Max Verstappen – 9

A near-perfect weekend came unstuck with the introduction of the Safety Car but after the green flag was shown, the Dutchman could not close the gap to Norris up ahead.

He looked more at risk from Leclerc behind but kept the Ferrari driver at bay to secure P2, the first time he has finished in that spot since April 2023.

Charles Leclerc – 8.5

There have been a couple of times this season where Leclerc has been rather frustrating to watch and more of those incidents came in Miami.

After surviving the near-chaos at the start, everyone was waiting for Leclerc to have a run at Piastri up ahead but he seemed incapable of doing so, much to Carlos Sainz’s frustration behind him.

Then again later in the race when Verstappen was within touching distance, a rare statement this year, Leclerc again let the opportunity slip through his fingers.

It is another podium for Leclerc but another feeling of what could have been.

Sergio Perez – 6

One of those races that after you go ‘Sergio Perez was racing today?’

Aside from almost knocking out his team-mate at the start, Perez was conspicuous by his absence in Miami. Norris breezed past him and even a Safety Car could not prevent him from finishing 14.65 seconds off the race winner.

Perez has been in a good run of form of late so the next few races will show if Miami is a blip or the start of a familiar downward trend for him.

Carlos Sainz – 5.5

Carlos Sainz’s worst race of the season so far as he seemed more concerned with what Oscar Piastri should do than what he was doing.

Sainz seemed frustrated early on when he was not allowed to pass team-mate Leclerc and that frustration continued into his battle with the McLaren man.

He wrongfully argued Piastri needed to give the place back and then followed that encounter up with a divebomb into the path of the Australian before coming to a near halt and causing front wing damage to the McLaren. That landed him a five-second penalty and a move down the order.

Lewis Hamilton – 8

When Hamilton’s head hit his pillow on Sunday evening, he may well have had the image of a Haas rear wing burned into his vision.

Having finally made his way past Hulkenberg, Hamilton was able to move up the field but he hit a ceiling of quicker cars ahead of him.

Afterwards he described it as his best race of the season, so a positive step.

Yuki Tsunoda – 8

Another very strong race from Yuki Tsunoda to earn some valuable points for his team.

Starting 19th, the Japanese driver battled his way up the field to seventh and even managed to finish ahead of a Mercedes.

Ricciardo may have taken the headlines on Saturday but Tsunoda has again shown himself the more consistent of the two.

George Russell – 7.5

A good drive from Russell and one that was perhaps less eventful than the other drivers around him.

He started P7 but was overtaken by his team-mate early on and was then in a battle for the lower points paying spots.

He was comfortable though and finished a deserved eighth to make it five points scores out of six races.

Fernando Alonso – 7.5

Alonso got fortunate with the Safety Car but he was involved in a fun skirmish with his former team-mate Ocon.

He got the better of him eventually, remarking later that he was inspired with the pace of the Alpine, but was unable to catch Russell up ahead so had to settle for ninth.

Esteban Ocon – 8.5

Alpine have scored a point klaxon!

There would have been plenty of hearts in mouths on the Alpine pit wall when Ocon and Gasly were battling fiercely at the start but they played fair and in the end, it gave them both a platform to build on.

For Ocon, that meant pushing up and challenging the points and the Safety Car also played a part by moving Hulkenberg down the order.

In the end, the German was within a second of Ocon but he kept his nerve to earn his and his team’s first point of the season.

Nico Hulkenberg – 7

Hulkenberg looked likely to add to his points collection but Haas maybe got a little unlucky with their choice of stops in Miami.

After Albon initiated the first wave of tyre changes, Hulkenberg stopped on Lap 13 but then the VSC came 10 laps later and he opted to stay out.

But then when the full Safety Car came out, he pitted again and lost places to Ocon, Alonso, Tsunoda and Zhou.

He couldn’t quite make up the gap and ultimately finished just outside the points in 11th.

Pierre Gasly – 7.5

Having out-qualified his team-mate for the first time this season, Gasly was not quite able to keep that up during the race even after an opening battle with Ocon.

From then on, Gasly was amongst those in points contention but never really managed to move up the order.

Still though, P12 is his best result of the season so far and another step of his forward momentum.

Oscar Piastri – 8

A driver who was incredibly hard done by and on another day would be joining in the celebrations of his team-mate.

He started the race very well as he crept up the inside into second place and did well to hold back the Ferraris behind for a number of laps.

But he pitted at what turned out to be the wrong time and later when he was battling with Sainz, the Spaniard decided to park his car in front of Piastri.

That gave Piastri front wing damage and ultimately sent him out of contention but his fastest lap showed the kind of pace had during the race.

Zhou Guanyu – 7.5

Not a bad day at the office for Zhou Guanyu but not one that was even likely to end in him scoring a point.

Started 19th and finished 14th but his wait for the first points of the season goes on.

Daniel Ricciardo – 7

If this was rating just his sprint performance, he would be around a 9 but given it is the whole weekend, with more emphasis placed on the race, Ricciardo’s quali performance has pulled him down to a 7.

Starting dead last due to a leftover China penalty, points were always going to be an impossible task for the Australian but in fairness he did well to move up to 15th at least.

The Ricciardo of Saturday was the best we have seen so far this year so he will need to channel that as we head into the European run of races.

Valtteri Bottas – 5.5

Somehow got 14.6% of the Driver of the Day vote but you suspect that may be a well-orchestrated prank considering Bottas started 16th and finished 16th.

It was an uneventful race for the Finn and his wait for a point goes on.

Lance Stroll – 5

Never really in contention for the points and then ended his weekend with a 10-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining last advantage when battling Albon. recommends

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Alex Albon – 5

It really does seem like Williams and Albon are on a downward trajectory right now.

It has been a long time since we have seen the kind of performance from Albon that has him challenging for a points spot and he was well off the pace in Miami, made all the worse by a late lock-up that sent him second last, ahead of only his retired team-mate.

Kevin Magnussen – 2

Can someone check what Kevin Magnussen’s weekend plans are for the next race? Something about the Dane’s performance would suggest he has something better to be at.

If Saturday’s penalties were tactical, Sunday’s were downright bizarre including driving through the pit lane but not stopping for tyres.

Logan Sargeant – 7

Logan Sargeant often gets criticised for any time he ends up in a wall but in Miami it was not his fault.

The American was the unlucky victim of Magnussen’s quest to pick up as many penalties as possible in a weekend and having led into the corner, Sargeant was unaware of where the Haas driver was as he turned into him.

Cruelly, it was Sargeant that came off worse and his first home race of the season ended early.

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