Lando Norris became the third Formula 2 graduate – after Charles Leclerc and George Russell – to win an F1 race after taking a sublime victory at the weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

It had been a long time coming for Norris, who had gone 2,220 days since his last victory, which came at the season-opening 2018 Sakhir Feature Race.

But what do we remember about that race in Bahrain? Well, we thought there would be no better time than now to have a quick look back at his first – and only – win in F2.

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After completing the final round of the 2017 season at Yas Marina in Campos Racing colours, Norris returned as a full-time member of the grid in 2018 with fellow debutants Carlin (now Rodin Motorsport).

But as the first Qualifying session of the year took place under the lights at the Bahrain International Circuit, Norris was a constant presence in the top five though it was ART Grand Prix driver Russell that set the early benchmark times.

Ahead of the final runs of the session, Russell stayed in the pit lane while Norris and DAMS’ Alexander Albon made their way around the track for their last laps.

Norris beat Russell and Albon to take pole position at the season-opener in Sakhir
Norris beat Russell and Albon to take pole position at the season-opener in Sakhir

Albon crossed the line first and he went up to second, losing out on provisional pole by just 0.027s.

A few moments later, Norris completed a lap of 1:41.761 to take pole position from Russell by just 0.062s, despite going wide at the final corner. This set up an enticing Feature Race with an all-rookie front row to start the season.


Up until the 2021 season, the Feature Race took place before the Sprint, so the drivers returned the next day for the longer 31-lap event. Norris lined up next to Russell, while Albon was right behind the pair in third with Nyck de Vries joining him on the second row.

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It was a brilliant start from Norris with Russell and Albon making comparatively slow getaways, and as the drivers behind battles for position, he had a big lead early on that grew as the race progressed.

Norris and Carlin were showing tremendous pace and by the end of Lap 7, he was seven seconds ahead of his nearest challenger in P2, de Vries.

Once he made his mandatory pitstop, Norris continued to set the pace out front but now it was his teammate Sergio Sette Camara in P2, following an intense battle for the podium places between the Brazilian, Artem Markelov, de Vries, Albon, and Russell.

But the Briton was in a class of his own as he crossed the line to take his maiden F2 victory and lead home a Carlin one-two on their debut races with Sette Camara in second ahead of Markelov.

Russell beat Norris to the f2 title but both are now race winners in Formula 1
Russell beat Norris to the f2 title but both are now race winners in Formula 1


Norris returned the next day for the Sprint Race and started in eighth. He moved up to fifth in the early stages, eventually winding up in P4, missing out on a second podium of the weekend by just over a second to teammate Sette Camara.

Norris would leave Bahrain with the Championship lead and add eight more podium results to his tally before the year’s end.

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In a thrilling title fight, he ended up second in the Drivers’ Championship behind Russell, with Albon in third – although he did help Carlin seal the Teams’ title in their maiden F2 campaign.

All three drivers would make the step up to Formula 1 the next season and while Russell would take his first victory at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Norris would have to wait a little while longer until this past weekend in Miami.