Max Verstappen reacts to losing another Formula 1 race: Is he happy for Lando Norris?

The Dutchman led 22 laps at the Miami International Autodrome but didn’t secure the 2024 Miami GP win on May 6

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Max Verstappen has no hard feelings after being beaten in a straight fight for the first time in over a year as Lando Norris claimed his first ever Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix after inheriting the lead due to a shrewd McLaren strategic gamble.

Verstappen had led the opening 22 laps and held the “true” lead of the race all the way until Lap 28 when the safety car came out thanks to Kevin Magnussen’s collision with Logan Sargeant, which changed the dynamic entirely for the three-time world champion and his rivals.

Norris had gone long in order to try to overcut Sergio Perez and got far more than he was bargaining for when the race was halted, allowing him to make a cheap pit-stop and seize the lead of the race from the Dutchman.

The Briton, now faced with his first chance to win a Sunday race since the 2023 Qatar GP, masterfully executed the restart and then continued to slowly edge away from the championship leader, who is also one of his long-time friends off the racetrack.

So, as he crossed the line by eight seconds to make one of his dreams come true, how did Verstappen feel about that? Well, he was actually very happy for Norris and didn’t appear to be bitter about losing his second race of the season at all.

“I think it was a long time coming, and I’m very happy to be beaten by Lando today,” Verstappen said to select members of the media post-race, including Total-Motorsport.com. “He definitely deserved that; he was just miles faster at the end there.

“It’s great, winning your first race is always quite emotional and yeah, it brings you back to the days that you work towards F1 and your dream of being on the podium and being on the top step.

“Naturally, I’m not very happy with my day, but you can appreciate and respect what Lando has done today, and I’m very happy for him.”

Verstappen admits Norris was too fast

It’s been a challenging weekend for Verstappen as he battled to get his Red Bull under control as the balance and consistency of the car decided it wanted to act more like a diva than a well-oiled machine.

Max Verstappen speaks to the press after qualifying for the 2024 Miami Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen speaks to the press after qualifying for the 2024 Miami Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The struggles with his car resulted in an uncharacteristic mistake from the Dutchman as he had to catch a snap of oversteer which saw him even strike a bollard in the slow chicane, although it’s possible he had some rear-end damage from Perez on Lap 1 in a near-miss.

Either way, the world champion and 53-time race winner said he was stunned at the times Norris was producing and added that he wouldn’t have been able to replicate them, believing the McLaren was on track to win regardless of the safety car.

“I boxed and I heard the pace that he [Norris] was doing on the use medium… I mean, that’s quite insane,” Verstappen added.

“I would have never been able to do so. I knew even if there wouldn’t have been a safety car that when he would come out on fresh tyres, and I would have had to push on quite a lot to be able to keep him behind.

“And actually, the safety car came. It’s racing. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you.

“Even with the safety car, we still had all the opportunities to win today, but we were clearly not quick enough after that safety car and once I realised that I just settle in and try to come home in second.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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