Max Verstappen Wins First Miami Grand Prix

By Robert Haile

It was a race that was going to make history and it didn’t fail to.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen came from third to win the debut Miami Grand Prix and move into the top ten all time drivers podiums list.

Race winner Verstappen said: “It feels amazing to win in Miami, the whole atmosphere this weekend has been incredible and to win in the US is always a nice feeling.

“It was a physically tough race; I think I must have lost around 3kgs.

“We had a really good pace on the minimum tire, that for sure helped to make my race.

“Once we had the pitstop I was just managing my time to Charles (Leclerc), I think we were very closely matched on the hard tire.

“Then the safety car came out which made it more entertaining for the fans, I had to push hard today but we made it work.

“I’m super pleased for the Team, we didn’t have a great start to the weekend so we’ve come far, a big thank you to everyone.”

The world champion beat the Ferrari’s of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, passing Sainz at the first corner of the first lap before catch Leclerc on lap nine.

Then Ferrari brought Leclerc in on lap 24 with Red Bull bringing Verstappen in two laps later.

The result seemed set with the top four unable to make a move on each other until lap 41 when a Virtual Safety Car was implemented after AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Lando Norris clashed with the McLaren driver losing his right rear tyre.

At the restart of racing Verstappen led but was unable to build a lead over Leclerc as Sainz was almost passed by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez as the Mexican locked up.

That is how it stayed with Verstappen reducing Leclerc lead in the Drivers Championship as Ferrari stayed top of the Constructors.

Mercedes’ George Russell passed teammate Lewis Hamilton for fifth as Hamilton took sixth after Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas ran wide to finish seventh.

Then time penalties played a part as Alpine finished eighth and ninth with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso who would drop to eleventh after two five second penalties.

This promoted Williams’ Alex Albon and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll into the final points positions.

While AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Haas’ Mick Schumacher completing the grid.

Drivers Championship

  1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 104
  2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 85
  3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 66
  4. George Russell (Mercedes) – 59
  5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 53
  6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 36
  7. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 35
  8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 30
  9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 24
  10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 15
  11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 11
  12. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 10
  13. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 6
  14. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 4
  15. Alex Albon (Williams) – 3
  16. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 2
  17. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 2
  18. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 1
  19. Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 0
  20. Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0
  21. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0

Constructors Championship

  1. Ferrari – 157
  2. Red Bull – 151
  3. Mercedes – 95
  4. McLaren – 46
  5. Alfa Romeo – 31
  6. Alpine – 26
  7. AlphaTauri – 16
  8. Haas – 15
  9. Aston Martin – 6
  10. Williams – 3