McLaren Wins First Grand Prix Since 2012

Formula One / Comments

Grab a shoe and celebrate.

Two names are synonymous with F1: Ferrari and McLaren. These two brands are the oldest in the current line-up, making their mediocre performance over the last decade such a bitter pill to swallow.

Ferrari scored a few victories over the last decade, but nothing that could rival the glory days when Michael Schumacher absolutely dominated the sport as part of Scuderia Ferrari.

McLaren had even worse luck, dating back to 2012 in Brazil. That's the last time the team took the top podium spot with Jensen Button behind the wheel. The last time it scored a coveted one-two victory was Canada in 2010, with Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel.

That's 170 races since the last victory and 220 races since the previous one-two.

It's safe to say McLaren was hungry for a victory. If you're a regular viewer of the famous Netflix series, Drive To Survive, you'll know that Zak Brown (McLaren CEO) has been wanting a victory for ages.

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren
McLaren

In addition to that, Mclaren has two drivers hungry for prime positions. Daniel Ricciardo's last victory was with Red Bull in 2018, and Lando Norris has yet to score the top spot. In his short career, he's never managed to go higher than third.

This is a team that deserved a win, and they finally got it after Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's shunt, which, unfortunately, dominated the news cycle.

After the Friday qualifying, things weren't looking great for McLaren. Valterri Bottas qualified first, followed by Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes essentially blocked the front row of the Saturday sprint race that would determine the starting grid for the full race on Sunday. Max Verstappen qualified in third.

Following a stunning sprint race, the game changed. Valterri Bottas came in first, followed by Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, and Lando Norris. Since Bottas changed significant components on this car, he had to give up his place and start at the back of the grid. This put Verstappen on pole and Riccardio next to him, locking up the front row. Norris moved up to third place.

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren
McLaren
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Ricciardo had a stunning start, keeping Verstappen in his rearview mirror. Lando Norris also did a brilliant job of defending his position, keeping Hamilton behind him.

On the 26th lap of the race, Hamilton boxed. Leaving the pit lane, he pushed in between Norris and Verstappen (who should have been much further ahead were it not for an 11-second pit stop on lap 24), and that's when the now-infamous incident happened. With the two main rivals removed, the door was left wide open for a McLaren victory.

Following a series of pit stops, Ricciardo eventually found his way back to the front of the pack. Norris was in third, separated by Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari. On lap 31, Norris made his move, resulting in the first one-two position for McLaren in ages. The trick was to maintain that lead.

By lap 43, the McLaren duo had built up a two-second gap between them and Sergio Perez (Red Bull) in third. They simply needed to keep all four wheels on the ground, and the victory would be secure. Being the new boy on the block, Norris wanted to challenge Ricciardo for the top spot, but he stuck to team orders.

McLaren
McLaren
McLaren
McLaren

Although we weren't there, the joy somehow managed to transcend the boundaries set by international streaming. Even if you're not a McLaren fan, you can't deny that it was a spectacular display of driving talent, defensive driving, and strategy. Yes, the two top contenders crashed out, but that's a part of racing. There are no "what if" scenarios as far as we're concerned.

Ricciardo celebrated in his typical disgusting Australian way by drinking champagne out of his racing boot. This is commonly known as a "shoey." Caught up in the emotions that come with an epic victory, Norris and Brown joined in the shoey fun. Heck, we were so moved we wanted to drink a beer out of a boot. We hope Ricciardo and Norris both get a brand-new McLaren 765LT following this performance.

McLaren's long-awaited one-two was a beautiful display of the underdog showing the big boys how it's done. We hope this gives the team that much-needed confidence boost they've been missing these last few years.

McLaren now needs to add to its list of stunning achievements. It currently has 12 Driver's Championships and Eight Constructor's Championships. It has also been the steed of choice for Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, and Lewis Hamilton.

McLaren
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FIA
McLaren

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