Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

Verstappen surprised by Norris’s “pretty quick” pace in upgraded McLaren

Formula 1

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Max Verstappen said he was happy to finish second in the Miami Grand Prix on a “bad” day for him and Red Bull.

The championship leader was beaten to victory in Miami by McLaren’s Lando Norris after a fortunate Safety Car deployment allowed Norris to get ahead of him.

Verstappen struggled to match Norris’s pace on the hard tyres over the second half of the race and gradually fell back, finishing seven seconds behind Norris at the finish. Despite it being the first time Verstappen had finished a race in 2024 without winning it, Verstappen was content with the outcome.

“I mean, you win and you lose,” he said. “I think we’re all used to that in racing, right?

“Today was just a bit tricky. I think already on the mediums, it didn’t feel fantastic. We were pulling away, but not like it should be. Once we made the pit stop and I heard the lap times the McLarens were doing, I was like ‘wow, that’s pretty quick!’.

“Once I had switched onto the hard tyre, 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’ll take it.”

Asked what he was struggling with in his car, Verstappen said he had a generally low level of grip across both of the car’s axels.

“Understeer, oversteer – just very low grip on four wheels,” he said. “That’s something that we have to understand.”

McLaren brought a significant upgrade package for their car to Miami, while Red Bull had only minor adjustments for their RB20. Verstappen believes that his team will have to work on their own car to regain a performance advantage over their rivals.

“I mean, they came with an upgrade,” he said. “For sure, it looks like it works, right? So we have a bit of work to do from our side.

“I think definitely it wasn’t our strongest weekend, in terms of race pace, but we’ll analyse it all and we’ll try to come back stronger.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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2 comments on “Verstappen surprised by Norris’s “pretty quick” pace in upgraded McLaren”

  1. Good. We badly need RB to have to dig deep to keep ahead. We need to have the pressure on them to do the best they can to see if there can be any challenge to their position (no, this year it’s rather unlikely to be more than having a few races where another car might be on par or slightly ahead during either qualifying or the race and take a win or two) for the future.

  2. Max still cruising to the WDC, he gets P2 and his buddy wins.

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