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May 9 - May 15, 2024
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From Trump to Verstappen, everyone celebrates Norris’ maiden win in Miami

 It is doubtful there has been a more popular winner of a Formula One race in recent years than McLaren’s Lando Norris, who was celebrated by everyone, from Max Verstappen to Donald Trump, following his victory at the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

It was a long overdue triumph for Norris, who held the record for most podiums without a win (15), including an agonising eight runner-up finishes, in 110 grand prix making the likeable Briton easy to root for.

Even Verstappen, Red Bull’s triple world champion who hates to lose and was denied a hat-trick of Miami wins by the McLaren driver, was among the first to congratulate Norris, who was mobbed by his team and crowd-surfed along pit land.

“It was a long time coming, and I’m very happy to be beaten by Lando today,” said Verstappen.

“He definitely deserved it.

“It’s great winning your first race. It’s always quite emotional. It brings you back to all the days that you worked towards your dream of being on the podium.”

Former US president Donald Trump, who visited the McLaren garage prior to the race, was delighted to back a winner, telling Norris later he was his lucky charm.

“He saw me after and he came to congratulate me,” said Norris, who had told his grandmother before coming to Miami that he was going to win a race. “He (Trump) said he was my lucky charm because it was my win, but I don’t know if he’s going to come to more races.”

Norris’s mother and father were ecstatic, though they weren’t in Miami to witness the moment.

“A big celebration,” Adam Norris told Sky Sports. “I was working out it’s probably about 900 races I’ve been to over the last 16 years.

“It’s interesting knowing as a parent how many hours you put in, supporting them.

“I counted out 350 weekends away and all the races on different weekends. It’s brilliant. So happy for him.”

Anthony Hamilton, another father instrumental in the success of his son - seven-times world champion Lewis - also texted Norris with congratulations.

While Norris was long overdue for a maiden win, his wait was not the longest. World champions Jenson Button needed 113 races before his first win and Nico Rosberg 111.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez holds the record of 190 races before his visit to the top of the podium and it took Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz 150 and Mark Webber 130.

Norris was still finalising plans on how he was going to celebrate his maiden victory, but he was already thinking about a second win.

“This only happens once when you take your first win. Tonight is going to be a good night,” said Norris.

“I would like to say it’s the start, and now we’re really hungry for more. We’ll keep our heads down and keep pushing.”

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund has recently taken full ownership of the McLaren Group, which builds high-end sportscars and owns a majority stake in the McLaren F1 team. The Bahraini fund, Mumtalakat, was already McLaren’s biggest shareholder.

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