Lando Norris joins eight drivers who waited longest for first F1 win

Norris won on his 110th start in Miami, but the McLaren star didn't have to bide his time as long as these eight F1 drivers.

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Lando Norris finally ended his five-year wait for a Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix as the McLaren driver felt the relief and joy of standing on top of the podium.

The 24-year-old started his 110th race in F1 from fifth on the grid, but with some help from the safety car and some fine laps inside the MCL-44, he was able to make his 16th podium finish a memorable one.

There are some F1 stars who weren’t so lucky in their careers and never managed to taste success with a race victory, including experienced drivers Romain Grosjean, Nick Heidfeld and Martin Brundle.

Of the current crop, Nico Hulkenberg has the unfortunate tag of going the most races without a win with 209. Along with Kevin Magnussen (169) and Lance Stroll (149), the trio could theoretically still end their barren runs, although the chances of them doing so before the new engine regulations come into the sport in 2026 are extremely slim.

After Norris‘ win in Miami, Total-Motorsport.com looks at some of the longest runs that eventually ended on a winning note.

Lando Norris after winning the 2024 Miami GP | McLaren F1 Team
Lando Norris after winning the 2024 Miami GP | McLaren F1 Team

Giancarlo Fisichella – 110 races

The Italian driver, like Norris, needed 110 races to break the deadlock when he achieved his first victory in Brazil in 2003, which went down in history as one of the most memorable. The race in Interlagos was interrupted due to a series of accidents and the stewards had to check which was the last valid lap of racing after a chaotic crash involving Fernando Alonso. Despite Fisichella celebrating his victory, the stewards announced Kimi Raikkonen was the winner – only for the result to be overturned a week later to hand the Jordan driver his first win.

Nico Rosberg – 111

He finished his career with 23 race wins, but it was a patient wait for Rosberg to finally experience his first F1 victory. The 2016 world champion needed 111 races to cross the line in first, having gone close in Melbourne and Singapore in 2008. But after Mercedes took over the Brawn team, he ended his long wait at the Chinese GP in Shanghai in 2012, having taken pole position and he dominated from the front to take the checkered flag.

Jenson Button – 113

With Rosberg and Button, it shows wins and championships come to those who wait. It would take the Briton 113 races to emerge victorious, so he knows exactly how Norris feels and said he was “very proud” of his fellow McLaren alum. It all came together for Button at the 2006 Hungarian GP, with wet conditions turning dry during the race and some luck with Alonso and Michael Schumacher both impacted. In the BAR-Honda car, Button drove superbly to take home a deserved win ahead of Pedro de la Rosa and Heidfield and in 2009 secured his only F1 drivers’ title.

Jarno Trulli – 117

Against the odds, Trulli experienced his first and only triumph in F1 in 256 race starts at the 2004 Monaco GP. Having started on pole, it looked as if he was going to lose out to Schumacher in the Ferrari, but the German was forced to retire after colliding with Juan Pablo Montoya. Trulli took full advantage and kept his rivals behind him, finishing ahead of Button and Rubens Barichello to hand the Renault driver a win and a day he would never forget.

Rubens Barrichello – 124

Having spent most of his career in the midfield, Barrichello got his chance with Ferrari as Schumacher’s team-mate and finally ended a 124-race run for his maiden triumph. He had qualified 18th for the German GP in 2000 and somehow managed to fight his back to third, before a track invasion forced the safety car to come out. That worked to his good fortune, as both McLaren drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard had their lead wiped out. And when the rain came heaving down, Barrichello stayed out and kept his car on the track to take the checkered flag at Hockenheim.

Mark Webber – 130

It’s hard to believe it took the Australian so long to win, given his enjoyable battle with Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull. But some 130 races into his career, Webber finally lifted the winners’ trophy at the Nurburgring, which played host to the 2009 German GP. Webber found himself on the back foot after crashing into Barrichello at the start of the race and even earned a drive-through penalty, but with determination and desire, he fought back through the grid to finish ahead of Vettel and take victory in Germany.

Carlos Sainz – 150

Much like Norris, it was a long time coming for Sainz to claim a precious win. On his 150th grand prix start at the British GP in 2022, Sainz had clinched pole position for the Scuderia but relinquished the lead to Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. But with the intervention of the safety car, Sainz overtook his Ferrari colleague on fresher tyres and kept his composure to bring an end to his seven-year wait for success. He has since won in Singapore and Australia, taking his total to three victories – an impressive return in the Verstappen era.

Carlos Sainz admires the Sir Jack Brabham Trophy after taking victory in the 2024 Australian GP | Xavi Bonilla/DPPI / Scuderia Ferrari
Carlos Sainz admires the Sir Jack Brabham Trophy after taking victory in the 2024 Australian GP | Xavi Bonilla/DPPI / Scuderia Ferrari

Sergio Perez – 190

It took one of F1’s greatest-ever drives to end Perez’s agony of 190 races without a win during the 2020 season. Driving for Racing Point (formerly Force India), the Mexican found himself dead-last after the first lap of the Sakhir GP. But with Mercedes botching their strategy under the safety car, Perez’s long stint propelled him to the front and he fought off a resurgent George Russell to finish ahead of Esteban Ocon and Stroll on the podium.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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