Verstappen surprised by McLaren pace in Miami

Max Verstappen says Lando Norris’ victory in the Miami Grand Prix won’t be his last win, after being surprised by how quick the McLaren was on Sunday.

Norris took the first win of his Formula 1 career in Miami, beating Verstappen after taking the lead by being able to make a pit stop during a safety car period. Even before that, Norris was lapping quickly and then pulled away to win by almost eight seconds, and Verstappen says his own struggles for grip meant he didn’t have an answer to the McLaren.

“I think already on the mediums it didn’t feel fantastic,” Verstappen said. “We were pulling away, but not like it should be. And then once we made the pit stop, and I heard what lap times the McLarens were doing, I was like, ‘wow, that’s pretty quick’.


“Once they then also switched on to the hard tire, they just had more pace. And especially Lando, he was flying. It was incredibly difficult for us on that stint. But if a bad day is P2, I take it, right? And I’m very happy for Lando. It’s been a long time coming. And it’s not going to be his last one. He definitely deserves it.”

Verstappen is expecting more wins from Norris. Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Despite his impressive pace, Norris was likely to emerge in fourth or fifth place after not being able to pit as soon as the safety car was deployed, but still got the chance to retain the lead when the safety car picked up Verstappen rather than the lead McLaren in a move that Verstappen was not frustrated by.

“I didn’t really see [Norris] in the beginning because I was more focused on Oscar [Piastri] behind and the Ferraris. But then I boxed and I heard the pace that he was doing on the used mediums. I was like, ‘I mean, that’s quite insane’. I mean, I would have never been able to do so.

“So I knew even if there wouldn’t have been a safety car that when he would come out on fresh tires that I would have had to push on quite a lot to be able to keep him behind. Then actually, the safety car came… It’s racing. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you.

“And even with that safety car, we still had all the opportunities to win, but we’re clearly not quick enough after that safety car. And once I realized that, I just settled in and tried to come home in second.”

Story originally appeared on Racer