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

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

Zak Brown was full of praise for Lando Norris – and the efforts of the entire McLaren team – after the British driver claimed a breakthrough maiden victory in the Miami Grand Prix.

Norris extended his opening stint during Sunday’s race to rise from sixth to the lead and, when a Safety Car was deployed at the halfway mark, took advantage by completing his pit stop with a much smaller time loss.

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

While Red Bull rival Max Verstappen applied pressure at the restart in a bid to reclaim P1, the McLaren man held his nerve and then pulled clear to take the chequered flag and record a first-ever F1 win.

“I mean, this is long overdue,” McLaren CEO Brown told Sky Sports F1 post-race, with Norris agonisingly missing out on victory at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix when he remained on slick tyres during a late rain shower.

“I think this is a very popular win amongst the fans, amongst the drivers… [with] how many drivers went up to him and congratulated him. He drove perfectly, the car was really fast.”

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

Brown went on to thank the McLaren workforce, led by “the best” Team Principal in Andrea Stella, after a whirlwind 12 months that has seen the operation go from backmarkers to front-runners.

“As you know, building up these Formula 1 teams to be successful, it doesn’t happen overnight,” he said. “[It’s] a huge contribution from 1,000 plus people back at McLaren, so I want to thank all the men and women that have worked so hard.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from a dramatic Miami Grand Prix as Norris takes debut F1 win ahead of Verstappen

“Coming out of where we started last year [with no points at the opening two races] to where we are now is just amazing, and it’s all been teamwork.”

Alongside this, Brown expressed his satisfaction at how McLaren’s raft of Miami developments performed, with Norris’s team mate, Oscar Piastri, running as high as second early on in his partly-upgraded MCL38 before being hindered by the Safety Car and then clashing with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with a collision between the pair earning Sainz a five-second penalty.

“I wish I was back at the factory being able to jump up and down with everyone, they’ve just done an unbelievable job,” the American commented.

‘Today was my day’ – Beaming Norris lost for words after taking maiden F1 victory

“We’ve just got to keep going, we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground, and it all goes again [with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix] in a couple of weeks.

“And Oscar drove brilliantly, I feel bad he didn’t get the result he deserved, but he’ll get the full set of upgrades in Imola and let’s see what we can do.”

READ MORE: ‘We did it!’ – Listen to Norris’s emotional team radio as he scores first-ever F1 win in Miami

While on air, Brown offered a touching tribute to two late McLaren figures, advisor and racing legend Gil de Ferran, who passed away in December, and long-time McLaren shareholder Mansour Ojjeh, who died in 2021.

“I think Gil and Mansour had something to do with today,” he said, with the result also falling on the weekend that marked the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death – the Brazilian having won all three of his F1 world titles while racing for McLaren.



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HIGHLIGHTS: Catch the action as Verstappen clinches pole ahead of the McLarens in Emilia-Romagna qualifying