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Formula 1

Winners and losers from F1's 2024 Miami Grand Prix

8 min read

Formula 1 desperately needed some thrilling on-track action in 2024, and McLaren challenging Red Bull on merit provided just that.

The safety cars and strategy diversions made it all the more intriguing and for the icing on the cake there was no shortage of contentious incidents.

No doubt Lando Norris, McLaren and its upgrade package will get a lot of attention in the aftermath, but we've also scoured through the rest of the grid to pick out the winners and losers from the grand prix.

Winner: McLaren

A second win in 12 years - with Daniel Ricciardo’s 2021 Monza success being the other - meant there was no doubting the celebrations for this one.

However, that victory three years ago came with a crucial dose of good fortune. This did not.

It seems - at least on circuits like Miami - McLaren’s new upgrade package has made it Red Bull’s closest challenger when that looked like a feat only Ferrari could achieve mere races ago.

Dare we even consider if this McLaren team and Norris and Piastri can be a rival for Verstappen far more often? McLaren’s more even driver line-up must be a worry for Red Bull at least for the constructors' championship right now if the team can maintain this type of form through the year.

Once again, when other teams have struggled in this area, McLaren has proven it can bring huge upgrade packages and make them work. It’s another blow to Mercedes who look set to be battered by its own customer if this form can be maintained.

Back to McLaren though, and with the 30-year anniversary of Ayrton Senna's passing and the shock loss of Gil de Ferran earlier this year, it feels fitting that the team is back to winning ways and can dedicate the victory to them. - Jack Benyon

Loser: Red Bull

It’s been a rollercoaster weekend for Red Bull and it unravelled quickly in the Miami Grand Prix.

First Max Verstappen struggled to make his customary enormous early gap at the head of the field and the fact that Oscar Piastri and Charles Leclerc set race fastest laps at a critical early stage of the race hinted that Verstappen didn’t have his usual prodigious pace.

The late safety car that gave Lando Norris a pitstop was just the nail in the coffin as opposed to the deciding factor, and the team will no doubt be worried after McLaren has turned poor form here last year into an impressive race win.

Mere millimetres made the difference between this race being 10x worse as Perez’s “torpedo” as Carlos Sainz called it at Turn 1 almost ended in disaster. He struggled for pace also and was fortunate to a) not to lose out to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in the closing stages, something unthinkable earlier in the weekend, and b) take back fourth from a penalised Sainz.

Work to do for Imola and beyond. The season might not be over yet. - JB

Winner: Lando Norris

There was a big sense of 'I've silenced my critics' amid Norris's reaction to his first F1 win.

That was best encapsulated by: "I go on Instagram and like all the comments of people abusing me, I freaking love it. 'Lando no wins' has become the thing. For me to prove those people wrong has put an even bigger smile on my face today."

Norris has always taken it in his stride but it will be no doubt nice for him to finally put to bed the three years of 'when will you win a race' that the Sochi 2021 near-miss created.

It's also the greatest vindication of his commitment to McLaren so far and a proper window into why Norris is so invested in McLaren.

Yes, the safety car timing helped, but it was a big win for McLaren's new upgrade and it arguably hints that further victory opportunities for Norris are just around the corner. - Josh Suttill

Loser: Daniel Ricciardo

The second half of the Miami GP weekend offered little more than a sobering reality check following Ricciardo's outstanding - but brief - return to form with fourth place in the sprint.

He seemed unfazed by his Q1 exit and didn't think it was due to "something we f***ed up", instead suggesting there was something wrong with his set of tyres - even though he conceded "it's kind of a s***ty thing to say, because there is no facts behind it".

But if the level of competitiveness RB has enjoyed this weekend offered some hope for the last-place starter, that quickly evaporated in the race. Ricciardo was only ever mired in the midfield in the grand prix proper and never looked like escaping that.

OK, he got off the mark for 2024 in the sprint, but once again when the big points were on offer it was Tsunoda doing the heavy lifting. Time's ticking before that becomes the natural trend, rather than coincidence. - Jack Cozens

Winner: Esteban Ocon

We've already coined Ocon the biggest winner from F1 2024's worst team and Miami was yet further proof of that.

He was behind team-mate Pierre Gasly in qualifying (for the first time in a 2024 grand prix) and behind him early in the race, but he burst past him on the virtual safety car restart and the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg.

That set Ocon up nicely for a 10th place finish and while he lost out to Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri's misfortune cancelled that out and left Ocon to secure Alpine's first point of an otherwise miserable 2024 season.

It was a worthy point and both a mark of marginal Alpine progress since Bahrain and Ocon's stellar start to the year - something that won't go unnoticed as the pieces of F1's 2025 silly season continue to fall into place. - JS

Loser: Oscar Piastri

What could have been a victory challenge or some sort of 1-2 or 1-3 for McLaren ended with 13th for Oscar Piastri.

He kept Verstappen within three seconds for the opening stint and that in itself was impressive, after he’d opportunistically risen from sixth to third on the opening lap and then passed Charles Leclerc to make that second.

Pitting just before the safety car put Piastri in a fight for fourth with Sainz and the pair clashed on two occasions, once with the stewards not taking action as Piastri defended robustly at Turn 11 despite Sainz’s annoyance, and again which resulted in front wing damage after which he pitted.

A case of what could have been and good points dropped in a very aggressive battle with Sainz. Without the full McLaren upgrade, a fifth would have been an adequate result but instead Piastri can only imagine what was possible. - JB

Winner: Yuki Tsunoda

Not for the first time this season, Tsunoda was the class of the midfield.

Nabbing a point in the sprint - assisted by Kevin Magnussen's antics and a Lewis Hamilton penalty - was a good save following a below-par sprint qualifying, and the weekend only took off from there.

Unlike Hulkenberg, whose race seemed to be undone by a reactionary early pitstop, Tsunoda and RB bided their time and were rewarded for extending the opening stint when the safety car presented the opportunity for a cheap pitstop to run seventh.

Keeping the Mercedes at bay was never a realistic expectation - yet while Lewis Hamilton sure enough came by, Tsunoda didn't even need to defend from George Russell; he had enough in his arsenal to pull away in the closing stages.

It was yet another accomplished drive that's hoisted him into the top 10 in the championship when an RB driver has no real business being there. - Jack Cozens

Loser: Kevin Magnussen

"It wasn’t a good day, again."

It's hard to argue with Magnussen's assessment of his Sunday (and weekend on the whole).

Wherever you stand on his actions in the sprint, the penalties he earned there were the result of deliberate actions with a clear goal in mind (to help Hulkenberg earn points). The one he earned in the grand prix proper was simply the result of a misjudged move that had race-ending consequences for Logan Sargeant.

The move was entirely unnecessary and the penalty entirely justified - and puts him on the brink of a race ban, a situation that should've been wholly avoidable. - JC

Winner: F1 and Miami

The first two Miami Grands Prix weren't exactly classics and it left the event in a weird middle ground between the great racing Austin produces and the great show (and racing) Vegas's debut mostly offered.

But the 2024 Miami GP weekend was stellar from start to finish. The McLaren and Norris factor is significant given the race itself was wall-to-wall great action, but it did provide a tense race and the layout meant most of the battles in both the sprint and grand prix were far from foregone conclusions.

Not every overtake was decided before the braking zone and (usually via Kevin Magnussen) there were some lovely elongated battles to enjoy throughout the order.

That's a much-needed boost for Miami as it tries to stamp its authority as more than just the unnecessary third-American race.

So too for F1, after most of the headlines generated in 2024 have been for off-track matters, this was a wonderful on-track story with a fantastically visibly emotive story.

Wild 2025 silly season developments are fascinating but nothing compares to a proper pure sporting moment like this. - JS

Loser: Nico Hulkenberg

A great qualifying and first 10 laps of the race (where he was dicing with the Mercedes for the minor points-paying positions) ultimately came undone when an early stop married with the VSC and safety car timing handed the advantage to his rivals.

Haas did pit Hulkenberg under the safety car for a second set of mediums but Ocon had enough to keep Hulkenberg away from the final point on a day where it felt like there was at least one there for the taking on home soil.

This was a drive far more reminiscent of its 2023 backsliding than some of its strong points-earning 2024 drives thus far. - JS

Loser: Lance Stroll

Magnussen's second indiscretion in two days spared some of Stroll's blushes as a 10-second penalty for passing Albon off-track dropped him to 17th in the classification.

Stroll gets a bit of leniency for being among the midfielders considering the safety car allowed some of those he'd been ahead of in the first stint a cheap pitstop. And it's not like the Aston Martin was mustard in Miami either.

But even with that in mind it looked fast enough that he should have been slicing through those cars with far more ease.

That's now two points finishes from six races (eight including the sprints) - team-mate Fernando Alonso has a 100% record, extended in Miami by a safety car-assisted climb up the order from 15th on the grid. Stroll's even been overtaken by Tsunoda in the drivers' championship.

The picture that paints just isn't good enough. - JC

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