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Lando Norris

Brundle pinpoints nuance in more-than-meets-the-eye Norris F1 win

Ex-F1 driver and commentator Martin Brundle has explained why Lando Norris' first win in F1 was "more nuanced" than mere "Luck" after a safety car intervention at the Miami Grand Prix.

Brundle
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Martin Brundle has contended that Lando Norris' debut F1 victory was "more nuanced" than the McLaren merely being the beneficiary of the safety car intervention during the Miami Grand Prix.

The former F1 driver and current commentator underlined the impressive pace shown following the Woking-based team's upgrade package in his Sky Sports column. 

Norris spent the early part of the race down in sixth position, but showed the performance of the McLaren once Sergio Perez pitted, taking advantage of running long to lead the race when Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant's collision saw the safety car deployed.

"It's easy to say that the safety car on lap 28 was lucky for them, but it's more nuanced than that," Brundle wrote on the Sky Sports website.

"Once past [Perez], Norris had tremendous pace with his upgraded McLaren, as did his team-mate Oscar Piastri in the sister car which had some of the new parts, and who was running in second place and keeping [Max] Verstappen well in sight and both Ferrari's behind initially."

'McLaren could run longer and faster'

Citing the McLaren upgrade and Piastri's early pace as key factors in Max Verstappen's critical error at the Turn 14/15 chicane, the 64-year-old highlighted that the Dutchman was having to "push hard" due to the form shown by Norris' team-mate.

"He [Max Verstappen] made a rare mistake... clouting the bollard marking the apex, and then bouncing across the kerbs and escape route. This damaged his car to an extent and caused a virtual safety car to rescue the errant marker," Brundle wrote.

The British commentator pointed out that whilst Norris fortunate with the safety car situation, the McLaren having the pace and longevity on its tyres afforded the 24-year-old the chance to be in that position in the first place.

"Creating more 'luck', McLaren could run longer and faster which eventually opened up the opportunity to pit when the safety car was deployed," he explained. 

Despite misjudging how to handle the safety car restart, Norris remained ahead of Verstappen and was able to pull out a lead over the damaged Red Bull, ultimately easing to victory, claiming his first win in Formula 1.

"[Norris] then settled down into a supremely confident drive to win by 7.6 seconds at the end of lap 57," he concluded on the race-winner's drive.

"The team feel they had enough race pace to win without the safety car, but we'll never know of course."

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365's Ian Parkes and Nick Golding as they are joined by ex-Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer to discuss the 'silliest of silly seasons' as well as McLaren and Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

Rather watch than listen to our podcast? Click here

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