Max Verstappen masterfully won the first F1 Grand Prix of Miami on Sunday. From his third starting position, Max was able to outsmart Carlos Sainz for P2 at the start. Verstappen then overtook leader Charles Leclerc to overtake him at the first corner on lap nine.
As the race continued, Verstappen steadily increased his lead. However, this lead was canceled out by a Safety Car, after which Verstappen had to push hard in the last ten laps to keep Leclerc off. Max succeeded in this, taking his third win of the season. The Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz finished in P2 and P3 while Sergio Perez finished fourth.
After the race, Verstappen said, tired but satisfied: “I am very happy to win here in Miami and it was a great Sunday for us. This victory was very beautiful but also very tough. After fifteen laps I started counting down the laps, it was really tough physically.”
Especially in the initial phase, Max was clearly faster than the Ferraris. The first stint was therefore the key to victory, according to the Dutchman: “I had a good start and I managed to pass Carlos on the outside. We gave each other space and it worked out well. Then I went hunting for Charles. I saw that he was having some trouble with his tires and I was able to catch up with him. So where we made the gains today is on the medium band. On that we had a better speed and we were able to create a gap. On the hard tire it was very close together. But, on the other hand, it was also very difficult to be consistent and I didn’t want to push too much so as not to get into trouble with the tires in the last ten laps.”
Verstappen continues: “The Safety Car at the end didn’t help, because otherwise we could have completed the race in a controlled manner, but that made it exciting for everyone. In the end it was a bit difficult the first few laps after the Safety Car, but once the tires were up to temperature, it was just fine.”
text : Julien Lemmen/Verstappen.com