May 8, 2024

Martin Brundle has hit back at suggestions Lando Norris only claimed his maiden Formula 1 victory thanks to a timely safety car.


The McLaren driver took the chequered flag for the first time in more than 100 races at the Miami Grand Prix. Norris had begun in fifth but pitted after Logan Sergeant had bought out the safety car, affording him a time-saving pit stop to emerge as the race leader.


He held off Max Verstappen at the restart before creating a considerable gap to claim glory in Florida. Norris has had several near misses during his F1 career thus far and some have suggested that his win owed largely to the timing on the safety car – but Brundle isn’t convinced.


He wrote on Sky Sports : “It’s easy to say that the safety car on lap 28 was lucky for them, but it’s more nuanced than that. When making a pit stop while his main rivals are limited to safety car speeds, it only took a ‘cheap’ 11 seconds of lost time to navigate the pitlane and make a stop, rather than the net 20 seconds lost at full speed under normal race conditions.”



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Norris went on to win by more than five seconds and Brundle also commented that “the team feel they had enough race pace to win without the safety car, but we’ll never know of course.”


The win is McLaren’s second in recent years after Daniel Ricciardo took victory at the Italian Grand Prix in 2021 – leading home a 1-2 that day with Norris behind him.


Brundle added on the Briton’s victory: “He’s such a globally popular driver, but I’m sure too that many were pleased to see Red Bull and the mercurial Max Verstappen finally beaten on sheer pace alone in the closing stages.”


The McLaren driver found himself in the lead after a quick pit stop

Norris has been with McLaren ever since he begun in Formula 1 back in 2019 and there had been talk of him moving on in the past, especially when his team struggled to be competitive. Red Bull are among those to be linked with the driver, who is close with Max Verstappen.


The first-time race winner said: “It all just came together. We were quick all day. I had a good strategy, a good plan. I stayed out of the way of trouble in Turn One because it was very close. I just focused on our race and we were quick. Of course, we got a bit lucky with the Safety Car. But even after, the pace was the best on track by quite a long way. I have to say thanks to the team. Without this, it wouldn’t be possible.”


Norris also added: “As soon as the Safety Car came out. Even before I felt very good. The pace was amazing, the pace was better than Max and everyone.”




‘Ferrari to conduct ‘secret’ test with major new F1 upgrade’


Ferrari is to use its permitted Formula 1 filming days to validate its raft of upgrades ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Italian media has reported.


Ferrari’s intention to bring a sizeable package has been known for some time, with the team keen to focus on a new sidepod design inspired by the Red Bull RB20, as technical expert Paolo Filisetti explains here.


Private in-season testing with current cars is banned, but every team is permitted two 200km filming days throughout the year, ostensibly for promotional work, although they are often used to shakedown a car for the first time ahead of pre-season testing. has reported that on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th May, Ferrari is to head to its Fiorano test track with race-drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to validate the upgrade package planned for its home race at Imola

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