2024 Italian GP: Lando Norris records first win in 110 race starts

Lando Norris and McLaren create history together. The young Brit took his maiden win in style ahead of Max Verstappen!
(bottom) Lando Norris
(bottom) Lando Norris

It was McLaren’s first win since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix and a British driver or a Mercedes-engined car’s first win since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix!

More importantly, it was Lando Norris’s first win in 110 race starts! He and Giancarlo Fisichella share this undesirable stat. Norris’s amazing career saw him sign for McLaren at 17 whilst still competing in F3, debut in his first F1 practice session at 18, and race as a Grand Prix driver at 19!

Most fairy-tale spor ting debuts keep throwing up unbelievable statistics in a driver’s initial years, and though Lando began racking up podiums he couldn’t make it to the top step in 109 attempts.

(bottom) Lando Norris
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The talent was evident but his machinery had been outclassed by Mercedes and Red Bull’s dominant years. He came close to changing all that in Sochi, but an ill-timed decision to stay out on dry tyres during the rain saw him lose the lead.

Lando has been a social media star off-track. But social media can be a dangerous world if one’s ontrack record lacks victories. Fans began to wonder if his F1 career was jinxed and if he would ever break into the ‘winners’ list, especially since his younger Aussie team mate, Oscar Piastri, quickly notched up a Sprint win at Qatar last season.

McLaren’s form has been on the up of late as Norris and Piastri have been dicing regularly with the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. The upgrades the English team brought to Miami worked.

“Once they also switched onto the hard tyre, they just had more pace, especially Lando he was flying” said Max Verstappen postrace. He added: “I’m very happy for Lando, it’s been a long time coming and it’s not going to be his last one, so he definitely deserves it today.”

(bottom) Lando Norris
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The papaya-orange-coloured team should take encouragement from the fact that after the Safety Car pulled in everyone expected Verstappen’s RB20 to cruise past Norris’ MCL38 — but it wasn’t to be as Lando built an unassailable 7 second lead!

Young Norris has broken the jinx. He can now pause, reset, recalibrate and begin to better Mika Hakkinen’s achievements after 96 win-less race starts! And Imola this Sunday is a perfect stage to start that performance.

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