Max Verstappen held off Charles Leclerc in the dying stages of the Miami Grand Prix, to win his third Formula One race of the season.
On Sunday, Max Verstappen held off championship leader Charles Leclerc in the Miami Grand Prix, cutting the gap to 19 points.
The race had threatened to be fairly tedious, but a late Safety Car brought on by a collision between Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris, which forced the Briton out of the race, set the stage for a frantic last ten laps or so.
Verstappen was hunted down for the lead in the late stages by Leclerc, who was only half a second behind at times, but he couldn’t get past on F1’s newest circuit. Verstappen, on the other hand, held off the charge at the front of the race to cross the line 3.7 seconds ahead of Leclerc.
The late Safety Car also triggered another duel, with Carlos Sainz holding off Sergio Perez for third position, despite the Mexican having fresher tyres but also having to deal with a power deficit. Red Bull was relieved that no further retirements were recorded.
George Russell passed Lewis Hamilton to take P5 as the Mercedes cars benefited from Valtteri Bottas running wide in the final stages, with Russell possibly the man who benefited the most from the Safety Car, having risen through the standings on a long run without changing his tyres in the hopes of such an intervention in the race.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas would later finnish the race seventh.
When the Safety Car was called in, the seven-time World Champion was one of the first in the top six to swap to Hard tyres, and he chose not to stop again.
George Russell, who started the race in 12th place, extended his first stint on the Hard tyre and pitted as the Safety Car came out. For the restart, he lined up behind Hamilton, and after a struggle between the two, he was able to consolidate sixth ahead of his teammate.
Esteban Ocon finished the Miami race with a positive result, having progressed from the back of the field to earn four points at the finish line.
When the Safety Car was deployed, Ocon, who started on the Hard compound, prolonged his stint and pitted for Softs. He finished eighth, ahead his teammate Alonso, who received a five-second time penalty for colliding with Gasly.
Alex Albon scored more points for Williams as Mick Schumacher’s first-ever F1 points were taken away from him in the closing stages after a collision with his pal Sebastian Vettel who sent both cars crashing down the order and Seb to the garage with floor damage. Their respective teammates Stroll and Magnussen, also came together in the last laps.
The inaugural Miami Grand Prix has come and gone, with Max continuing his streak of always winning when he finishes in 2022. The Spanish Grand Prix, which takes place on May 20-22, will bring F1 back to more familiar territory.
2022 F1 MIAMI GRAND PRIX – RACE RESULTS
|1||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||57 Laps|
|2||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||+ 3.786s|
|3||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||+ 8.229s|
|4||Sergio Perez||MEX||Oracle Bull Racing||+ 10.638s|
|5||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||+ 18.582s|
|6||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||+ 21.368s|
|7||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||+ 25.073s|
|8||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||+ 28.386s|
|9||Fernando Alonso||ESP||BWT Alpine F1 Team||+ 32.128s|
|10||Alexander Albon||THA||Williams Racing||+ 32.365s|
|11||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team||+ 35.902s|
|12||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+ 37.026s|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||+ 40.146s|
|14||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||+ 49.936s|
|15||Mick Schumacher||GER||Haas F1 Team||+ 73.305s|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||+ 1 Lap|
|DNF||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team|
|DNF||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri|
|DNF||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team|
|DNF||Guanyu Zhou||CHN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen|