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'Luck comes to the guys who deserve it' – F1 drivers reflect on Norris’ ‘special’ debut win in Miami

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 05: Race winner Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren celebrates with

Lando Norris wasn't the only one in celebratory mood following his maiden Formula 1 victory in the Miami Grand Prix, with several of his fellow drivers sharing words of praise for the Briton upon his achievement.

Five years after making his entry into the sport with McLaren, Norris finally claimed a long-awaited win after taking advantage of a mid-race Safety Car to make a quick pit stop from the lead, allowing him to return to the track in P1 and maintain position until the chequered flag.

READ MORE: Norris beats Verstappen for breakthrough maiden F1 victory in action-packed Miami Grand Prix

The 24-year-old said he was “over the moon” following his breakthrough victory, a feeling echoed by some of his competitors including former team mate Daniel Ricciardo.

“[I’m] very happy for him,” said Ricciardo, who raced alongside Norris at McLaren in 2021 and 2022. “Genuinely I’m proud to see him get his first win. I think when you’re team mates with someone, you get to know them better, you have a closer connection with them.

“[I] obviously saw his talent and ability, and just knew it was a matter of time. Although nothing’s guaranteed in this sport, it kind of felt like it was going to happen sooner or later. Really happy for him to have a day like this.”

Ricciardo ‘knew it was a matter of time’ before Norris’ first win

Carlos Sainz was another ex-team mate to praise Norris. The Spaniard was Norris’ first partner at McLaren back in 2019 and 2020, and the two have since maintained a close friendship.

“I think he’s been doing amazing in Formula 1 for many years now, and he’s deserved a win for a long time,” Sainz said. “Today he was on the lucky side, but I think luck comes to the guys who deserve it and he’s one of them.”

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: Why Norris’s maiden win wasn’t just thanks to a lucky break with the Safety Car

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, could relate to how Norris was feeling, having claimed his own maiden win in the sport with McLaren when he took victory six races into his rookie season back in 2007.

“Massive congratulations to Lando,” the seven-time world champion said. “[I] won my first Grand Prix with McLaren, I know how special it is to get that first one, so huge congratulations to him. He truly deserves it, and McLaren – wow. I’m really, really happy for them, it’s my old family.”

Asked if he could also understand the situation of having to wait some time for the achievement, Hamilton joked: “I didn’t have to wait that long! So I can’t tell you of the length, but it’s unlike anything else. It’s that first time – there’s nothing quite like the first one.”

‘I know how special it is to get that first one’ – Hamilton pays tribute to Norris after his maiden F1 win

With several drivers on the grid having previously competed against each other through the junior categories of motorsport, some have watched the careers of their competitors unfold across many years.

Charles Leclerc admitted that it can be “emotional” to see other drivers finally realising their dreams, with the Monegasque having watched Norris' rise through the ranks.

READ MORE: McLaren boss Brown says maiden Norris win ‘long overdue’ as he praises ‘perfect’ Miami performance

“I’m really happy for him,” Leclerc said. “As much as I want to beat him in every race, just like everybody else on the track, at the end we all respect each other a lot. We have all grown up together.

“I’m a bit older compared to Lando and I was watching him, he was one category below me in karting. I remember we all grew up with the same dream of being in Formula 1 one day, and it’s always emotional, even for me, to see him realising one of his dreams and winning his first race in Formula 1, so a very special moment for him.

“I’m very happy for him, he deserves it. But of course now I’ll work as hard to try and beat him in every race!”

2024 Miami Grand Prix: Norris celebrates with his McLaren team after his maiden Grand Prix win

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