Martin Brundle highlights Lando Norris mistake that put first F1 win at big risk

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris followed by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

Lando Norris followed by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle analysed what he saw as a botched restart for Lando Norris that could have derailed his drive to a first F1 victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

Norris was at the wheel of the heavily-upgraded McLaren MCL38 for Miami, his team-mate Oscar Piastri showing the performance of the half-upgraded challenger as he ran P2 in the opening stages of the race, keeping the pressure on Red Bull’s race leader Max Verstappen.

Martin Brundle picks out ‘only’ Lando Norris Miami GP error

However, with Norris stretching his opening stint out longer than the leaders, he was presented with a major gift when the Safety Car came out after Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant collided, allowing Norris to pit and come back out still in the lead.

Upon the restart, he was able to pull away from Verstappen and become an F1 winner for the first time, Verstappen’s only sniff of an overtake coming at said restart, where Brundle believes Norris had two options to nail it, though went for a compromising choice somewhere in the middle, which fortunately, did not cost him dearly.

Writing in his Sky Sports column, Brundle claimed: “Once the Safety Car eventually picked up the new leader, Lando’s only mistake on the day was on the restart.

“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.

Red Bull to face McLaren challenge after upset Miami GP win?

👉 Championship on? Change in Red Bull mentality predicted after shock McLaren win

👉 Another big name could leave Red Bull as teams consider management change

“Max’s bad day out netted second place so it wasn’t exactly a shocker, and Charles Leclerc would recover from missing the only practice session of the weekend with a clumsy early spin, to a fine podium in third place for the blue highlighted scarlet Ferrari.”

Piastri is expected to receive the full McLaren upgrades for the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where all eyes will be on McLaren to see if they can once more take the fight to Red Bull.

Read next – Uncovered: The mighty McLaren MCL38 upgrades threatening to dethrone Red Bull’s RB20