Formula 1

Formula 1: Verstappen storms from 9th to win Miami grand prix

Feature Image Credit: @F1 Twitter

Max Verstappen wins his third race of the season in Miami having started 9th on the grid.

The race started mostly without incident, though there was a coming together between Norris and De Vries towards the back of the grid.

The early stages saw Perez look to build a gap, whilst Verstappen fought his way through the field. Lap 4 saw a particularly impressive move as the dutchman utilise his Red Bull’s straight line advantage to make a double overtake on Leclerc and Magnussen into turn 1.

George Russell was able to prevent the surging Verstappen from overtaking for a couple of laps, benefitting from Gasly’s DRS ahead, but the Red Bull driver was able to pass on lap 8. Russell did stick close enough however so that when Verstappen made a move on Gasly the next lap, he was able to capitalise and gain a position himself.

Shortly after making quick work of the Mercedes, Verstappen had his sights set on Sainz and Alonso ahead. He was able to dispatch of either driver in consecutive laps to get into 2nd place, and only 3.8 seconds behind Perez.

With Verstappen gaining rapidly on hard tyres that were much faster than the mediums at this point, Perez came into the pits for hards on lap 21. The aim now to build as much of a gap as possible by the time Verstappen would come in for his medium tyres later in the race.

In the mean time Sainz had jumped ahead of Alonso for third during the pitstop phase, though a lockup meant that he would accidentally speed into the pitlane. which he would receive a 5 second penalty for. This had no impact on Alonso however, as he would breeze past his compatriot on lap 27 for 3rd place.

Russell was very quick as he made moves passed drivers who had yet to stop in the race, such as Tsunoda, Hulkenberg, and his teammate Hamilton, who made it quite easy for him in the end. He eventually saw himself behind Sainz in fourth, and was able to get the move done on lap 37.

Charles Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen were practically inseparable for much of the race. Whenever Leclerc attempted to overtake the Haas, it was often met with a counter from the Dane to stay ahead. Leclerc was able to eventually get by on lap 38.

Image credit: @F1 twitter

Despite being on fresher tyres, Perez was simply unable to make significant gains on Verstappen. Perez had brought the gap down to around 15 seconds at one point, though this had grown to 18 seconds once Verstappen made his pitstop on lap 45. This came from a comination of Perez struggling with setup this weekend, as well as track grip rapidly improving over the course of the race.

This meant that, with the softer, fresher tyres, and generally the better race pace, Verstappen would ultimately be able to easily pass his teammate for the lead on lap 48.

Whilst the battle for the lead might have been over there were still positions to fight for lower down in the grid. Lap 53 saw Leclerc gain 6th from Gasly, whilst Hamilton would take 7th from him later in that same lap. Hamilton would then take 6th place for himself after overtaking Leclerc one lap later.

This result now means that Max Verstappen extends his lead at the top of the championship to 14 points over Sergio Perez. F1 returns on the weekend starting the 19th May in Imola for the first triple header of the season.

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