McLaren’s 2024 Miami Grand Prix win is encouraging for more action later down the road

McLaren’s 2024 Miami Grand Prix win is encouraging for more action later down the road

Formula One Las Vegas McLaren Red Bull
Nov 18, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; McLaren F1 Team driver Oscar Piastri of Australia (81) during the Las Vegas Grand Prix at Las Vegas Strip Circuit. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Grand Prix was undoubtedly the best race of the year so far. When you factor in that there was a different winner; this one didn’t come by way of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen had a DNF next to his name. Verstappen, who has been the most dominant driver in the sport for the last three years. He has gotten off to an incredible start in 2024, too, winning four of the six main races.

The first one he didn’t win this season was in Melbourne, Australia, where he had to retire his car as it started to catch on fire. That race saw Carlos Sainz of Ferrari win. Last week, we saw Lando Norris of McLaren win as they brought upgrades to Miami. Both Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris had the same pace or better than the Reb Bull cars all weekend. So, the upgrades were showing to have worked.

Over the past three years, the Oracle Red Bull Racing team has reigned supreme in Formula One, a feat unmatched in any sport. Max Verstappen’s consecutive victories in the driver’s championship and Red Bull’s parallel success in the constructors championship have solidified their dominance.

And this year doesn’t look like it will be any different. Or is it? It’s still very obvious that the RBR team is in full effect to win another title. That is largely due to the exceptional performance of their driver, Max Verstappen. Verstappen is closing in on becoming one of the greatest and is a key factor in their success. However, he may not have long, as a recent development may begin to be the downfall of RBR.

The victory of Lando Norris in Miami is a significant development, signaling a potential shift in the Formula One landscape. This win, which disrupts the long-standing dominance of Red Bull, sets the stage for a more competitive and unpredictable 2024 season.

“For Lando to win the race on pace and to pull away from Max after the safety car, I think that’s a very, very encouraging sign. So, very happy for him and for the whole team. I think we deserve it. Our trajectory in the last 12 months has been towards this moment,” Piastri said.

Lando Norris won the Miami Grand Prix and beat Verstappen outright. Even with the safety car, Verstappen thought that Norris’ pace was too good. He mentioned that Norris would have won the race regardless. Then, Norris ended up beating Verstappen by 7.6 seconds. The upgrades proved to be great, and they didn’t expect it.

The success of the McLaren upgrades in Miami was a pleasant surprise, adding an element of unpredictability to the season. The team’s ability to win a race on pace, despite the fluctuating performance on different days, bodes well for the rest of the year.

Piastri also had an insane pace and was actually keeping up with Verstappen. The Australian started in sixth place and got to second place behind Verstappen. He even led the race for a good bit, but due to a front-wing issue Sainz caused, he had to pit and fall to the bottom of the grid. Still, he somehow managed to get the fastest lap of the race afterward.

Now, McLaren knows what their car with the new upgrades can do, as the Miami track was one of the more difficult ones to manage, and they still won. Not to mention, Ferrari is also bringing some pretty heavy upgrades to Imola this weekend.

Is Red Bull running out of time now with everyone catching on? Only time will tell, but it feels like this season could get a lot more interesting.

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