Norris recounts all-nighter and Augusta among post-Miami celebrations

Lando Norris says he didn’t sleep until Monday night after winning the Miami Grand Prix and celebrated with drivers, friends, teammates and two rounds of golf at Augusta National.

The McLaren driver secured the first race victory of his Formula 1 career in Miami, beating Max Verstappen after being able to make a pit stop under a timely safety car period. Arriving at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as the latest race winner, Norris elaborated on how he marked the success in the days following the race in Florida.

“I just had a good night out with some of the drivers and friends and some of the team,” Norris said. “I went to see the team. And of course, everyone was having a little drink and having a good time, which I think is definitely allowed and it was accepted. I had a little moment with the team and went to go and see them for a bit and then went to go and have even more fun with some friends and so forth, but not a lot more than that.


“I went from there straight to Augusta and played Augusta. I didn’t wake up until Tuesday morning. The first time I slept was Monday night. So it was a long couple of days, but all worth it. And I think, accepted, I should say. Then I played Augusta for two days, then flew back.

“I scored my best day of golf that I’ve had, which was like even better than the win almost! So I just had a great few days with friends, with family, that kind of thing. And for me, that’s as good as it gets.”

Norris says the victory gives him more hope of challenging Red Bull in the future, as he feels McLaren is particularly close to matching the constructors’ champions and Verstappen’s performance level.

“100%. I mean, we had an upgrade there. It definitely helped us. I think anyway, we seemed good there, even if we had no upgrade. I think we still would have been decent, but maybe not quite as quick. I know Max had damage and all of this, and people like to use that, but even before he had damage, we were still quicker than him by a fairly big chunk.

“Another question the other day was, ‘Can we challenge for the title next year?’ You can never please everyone. If I’m not confident, people say I’m not confident enough. Now I have a bit of confidence, people say I’m overconfident; but we’re getting closer and closer.

“We were there because we had good pace. I feel like we should have been on pole at least on Friday afternoon — maybe not Saturday. I think that’s where we deserve to be. But we’re getting closer and I know as soon as we can attack some of these issues that we have, like I know we can…”

Norris doesn’t have Verstappen in his sights as consistently as he’d like, but is confident McLaren is steadily closing the gap. Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Even now, Norris feels that McLaren is closer on outright pace than it’s generally given credit for.

“We’re close,” he insisted. “Sometimes we’re one or two tenths off. And as much as that is, that’s a little bit in two or three corners on the circuit and we’re there — we can be on pole and we can challenge for a race win. As much as some people might doubt it, we’re close, but we know that other people are improving and that kind of thing. It’s not an easy task to keep going at it.

“With the progress we’re making, with the developments that we’ve had, there’s no reason to say no. But I do know it’s a whole other task to do it consistently, every weekend. And when you are there, to deliver under pressure every time and qualifying in races, to battle for these positions more than what I have done, that’s still something I look forward to — racing against Max a bit more and racing against the Ferraris a bit more and that kind of thing, which is something we’ve not done. I’ve not done a huge amount over the last few years.

“So, I’m not overconfident. I’m not underconfident. I feel like I’m at a good balance of accepting where we are. I still think we’re the third-best team at the minute, but that could change if we have another good weekend here. And I’m confident with how the team is doing with our rate of development — which is better than any other team on the grid — that by next year we can challenge a lot more often for wins. In the big picture, hopefully, a challenge for a title.”

Story originally appeared on Racer