MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Lando Norris needed 110 starts and a mistake by Max Verstappen to earn his first ever Formula 1 race on Sunday and end Verstappen’s dominance at the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who started from the pole and won Saturday’s sprint race, was out front when he hit a chicane and knocked a cone out of place on the circuit. It forced the three-time reigning F1 champion to pit and gave Norris the lead.

The 24-year-old driver for McLaren then controlled the race to give the organization its first win since a Daniel Ricciardo victory in 2021. It also made him the second British driver in F1 history to be feted on the podium by “God Save the King.” George Russell in 2022 is the only other British driver to win outside of Queen Elizabeth’s reign; Russell’s victory in Brazil came two months after Queen Elizabeth’s death.

With about 10 laps to go, Norris realized the race was his to lose when his lead over Verstappen hit 5 seconds.

“Five seconds?” Norris radioed his team. “Am I alive?”

Indeed he was as an ecstatic McLaren squad celebrated a rare victory on a weekend in which it debuted significant upgrades on its two cars. McLaren now has 13 wins in races in the United States — tying a record with Ferrari — but it was the first on American soil since Lewis Hamilton at Circuit of the Americas in 2012.

Norris’ final margin of victory was 7.6-seconds over Verstappen of Red Bull.

“I love you all, thank you so much!” Norris screamed on his radio. “We did it! We did it!”

Norris said he knew when he entered the track he’d win at Miami.

“Finally. I am so happy. I knew it. I knew it when I came in this morning,” Norris said. “And I nailed it.”

McLaren has now won an F1, Formula E and IndyCar race in the past two months. Norris is the first driver since Carlos Sainz Jr. to beat Verstappen this season — and Verstappen was eliminated from that race in Melbourne with a mechanical failure.

“You win. You lose. I think we’re all a bit used to that in racing,” Verstappen said. “Is a bad day P2? I will take it. I am happy for Lando, it’s been a long time coming and there’s more to come from him.”

Norris was swarmed by the McLaren crew after the race as team members lifted him and seemed to crowd surf him until he finally got to boss Zak Brown, who wrapped Norris in a bearhug.

McLaren before the start of the race hosted former President Donald Trump, who chatted with F1 officials from inside the McLaren garage. When he made his way toward the starting grid, fans began chanting “USA! USA!” and Trump pumped his first in approval.

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sainz finished third and fourth and was followed by Sergio Perez of Red Bull.

Hamilton was sixth for Mercedes, Yuki Tsunoda of Red Bull’s junior team was seventh and Russell was eighth for Mercedes. Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin and Esteban Ocon of Alpine rounded out the top 10. Ocon did it with team investors Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs in attendance.

About halfway through the race, Logan Sargeant crashed and brought out the safety car that forced the Pompano Beach native out of his car. The 23-year-old and only American driver on the F1 grid is clinging to his seat with Williams as speculation is rampant he could be replaced before the end of his second season.

It marked Sargeant’s second consecutive last-place finish at his home race.

The Sargeant crash handed control of race strategy to McLaren, who held the lead with Norris at the time of the caution. Norris had taken over the lead when Verstappen was forced to pit from the lead after hitting a chicane that knocked a cone onto the racing surface.

As Red Bull was looking for any damage to Verstappen’s front wing, a race marshal entered the circuit and scooped up the cone as F1 avoided having to use the safety car for the incident. But just moments later, Kevin Magnussen made contact with Williams and it gave McLaren the chance to strategize a victory over Verstappen.

For Magnussen, it marked another bad day in a long weekend in which the Haas driver was accused of unsportsmanlike conduct for his strategy in Saturday’s sprint race.


AP F1: