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Lando Norris

Norris: Miami win has banished ghosts of Russian haunting

Lando Norris banished the demons of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix with victory in Miami.

Norris win Miami 2024
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Lando Norris believes he has finally banished the ghosts he faced from the 2021 Russian Grand Prix with his victory in Miami.

At the 110th time of asking, Norris claimed his first F1 win in Miami, becoming the 21st Briton and 114th driver overall to win a grand prix, defeating Max Verstappen.

Norris's ability to win a grand prix had been called into question following high-profile failures, most memorably being the Sochi race in 2021 when he was leading with a handful of laps to go from a chasing Lewis Hamilton as rain closed in.

Both Norris and the team elected to stay out on dry tyres as Hamilton pitted for intermediates, which proved the correct decision as the rain got heavier, and Norris eventually finished seventh from pole position.

But he felt the victory in Miami was a monkey off his back.

"Russia 2021 was a very, very different situation, a lot of people talk crap about Sochi and the things that went on," Norris told media including RacingNews365.

"Yes, I lost out on a victory. I and we. I never want to drag the team down but I didn't do the best of jobs and as a team we didn't. So that happened.

"As much as people like to continue to use that and say, even after China when I made a mistake in Turn 1 on Lewis [in the sprint race], I mean a lot of people doubted that I could go out and win races and perform under the pressure of leading the race, especially with Max behind you and those types of things.

"But really this year I felt more confident than ever. I wasn't thinking of these things. Like, probably last year would have thought of it. But this year I've been much better with just kind of keeping my mind focused and focusing on my job.

"I'm doing a good job. I'm fast and I'm executing things exactly how I want to do."

Working on weaknesses

Norris has been close in the intervening period to challenging for a race win, finishing second seven times and claiming three third places.

He did hold the record for most podiums without a win, and spoke about how he thought about what he would say and do after crossing the finishing line.

"I've improved on a lot of my weaknesses and all that hard work has paid off. So no, I wasn't thinking of [something going wrong]" he added.

"I was smiling, I was thinking like: 'How am I going to celebrate? What am I going to say?' I'm not very good at kind of just coming up with these things and improvising when that situation comes.

"So I was rehearsing my lines. But when I went over the line, I just turned into something else. I don't know what it is. It's just you're just happy.

"My voice hurts a little bit. My throat hurts, but you just forget about it.

"You don't really care what you're thinking of. You're just looking at the track. You're focusing on that. And once you cross the line, then you just let go."

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