Hill Warns Red Bull Over McLaren’s Win

McLaren’s triumphant return to the winner’s circle at the Miami Grand Prix, where Lando Norris claimed victory over Max Verstappen, has caught the attention of 1996 Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill.

Hill has highlighted reasons why Red Bull should take heed of McLaren’s resurgence following their recent success in Miami.

Notably, Lando Norris clinched his first-ever grand Prix win at the Miami International Autodrome earlier this month, signaling McLaren’s ascent to prominence.

This victory reflects McLaren’s steady progression towards the forefront of the Formula 1 grid, a journey catalyzed by significant upgrade packages introduced in 2023 to counter a sluggish start to the season.

In Hill’s assessment, McLaren’s remarkable reversal of fortune poses a genuine threat to Red Bull’s dominance, particularly as Red Bull has tasted defeat twice in the opening six rounds of the championship.

Reflecting on McLaren’s strategic pivot, Hill emphasized the audacious decision to discard their initial car design, opting instead to pursue a path they believed held greater potential.

As Hill remarked on the F1 Nation podcast, “They did something really bold, which was they threw their original car in the bin and went, ‘Okay, this is not the way. We need to revert to the way we think has got more potential’.”

“Since they’ve done that, they’ve built on that time and time again and actually caught up. Their rate of progress has to be the fastest in F1. 

“Since maybe the middle of last year, their rate of progress in development in terms of lap time gained, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re the one on the steepest curve going forward. 

“That has to be a little bit concerning for Red Bull, obviously it gets more difficult the closer you get to the optimum, but their rate of progress has been phenomenal.”

Following his triumph, Norris expressed his confidence that McLaren could “100 per cent” contend for the title in the upcoming year—a sentiment that McLaren CEO Zak Brown views with apprehension, foreseeing potential disappointment.

Despite McLaren’s impressive showing in overcoming Red Bull in Miami, Damon Hill has urged the team to maximize the car’s potential throughout the entire race weekend.

“It was always if they carried on with that route, it was always inevitable they’d win a race,” Hill remarked, highlighting McLaren’s trajectory toward victory.

“For them to be super confident, they will have to out-qualify the Red Bulls, get pole position and lead the race, gradually increasing their lead and getting the fastest lap.

“Then we’ll hear more of Max’s complaining about under-steer! He did not like the fact that he couldn’t catch up, we haven’t seen that this year when he’s had to push.

“What does the car do? Where is the limit of that Red Bull?  I think that Miami showed that somewhere, there is a limit. I know there was talk about the car being damaged, but he [Verstappen] refuted that.”