Lando Hope and Glory

Tuesday 07 May 2024

Lando Norris has become the 21st British driver to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix race since the FIA World Championship was introduced at Silverstone in 1950.

The UK’s first winner was Mike Hawthorn at Spa in 1953 and, since then, Britain has racked up more GP victors than any other nation. For the record, Italy is second on the F1 winners’ list with 15, one more than France has mustered. The 21 UK winners have also between them amassed an unrivalled 309 F1 victories further emphasising this country’s pre-eminence at the pinnacle of global motorsport.

Norris’ breakthrough success in sunny Miami was long-overdue, if unexpected in a season dominated to date by Reb Bull’s reigning champion Max Verstappen.

In his previous 109 grand prix starts since joining McLaren as a 19-year-old in 2019, Lando had stood on the podium 15 times without ever reaching the top step – a F1 record which he put to bed in Florida.

Having shown good pace all weekend, Norris maximised the intervention of a mid-race safety car to make his pit-stop and re-join at the head of the field. From there he was simply uncatchable, finishing nearly eight seconds clear of Verstappen.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he admitted. “Finally I managed to do it and I’m over the moon.

“To get that first victory is always incredible. Of course, I’ve had my moments where we’ve been close, and I’ve never been able to convert it into the win. You dream of these days sometimes but you never know when they’re going to come towards you. But today was that day!”

Born in Bristol, Norris started racing karts at the age of seven. He switched to cars in 2014 competing as rookie in the Ginetta Junior Championship before winning the coveted F4 British Championship title the following season.

Thereafter he won the European F3 Championship in 2017 before swiftly becoming a winner in the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship. He then joined McLaren as Britain’s youngest-ever F1 driver at the start of the following campaign – a flourishing relationship he predicts will bear even more fruit in the months and years to come.

“I would like to say it’s the start. And now I’m already hungry for more!” he revealed.

Lando Norris is a graduate of the Motorsport UK Academy, the performance pathway run by Motorsport UK to unlock the full potential of this country’s top young motorsport talents.

Image courtesy of Pirelli