Max Verstappen of Red Bull demonstrated his brilliance at the Miami Grand Prix as he rose from ninth place on the grid to clinch the title. He outperformed his team-mate Sergio Perez, who started from pole position.
Verstappen opted for an off-set tyre strategy, which proved to be the game-changer. He completed a long first stint on hard tyres, pitting 25 laps later than Perez, rejoining the race a second behind and eventually taking the lead a lap later.
The defeat was a massive blow to Perez, who was keen on challenging Verstappen for the world championship title this year. Verstappen’s superb performance has raised questions about Perez’s claims. Perez stated, “I tried. I gave it my all. We had graining, and initial pace wasn’t good.” He also acknowledged that they would analyze what went wrong as they did not have the pace required to win.
Verstappen’s win was a satisfying one for him, and he expressed that he had a clean race and picked the cars off one by one. “Yesterday was, of course, a bit of a setback, but today we kept it calm, kept it clean, and for sure, winning a race from P9 is very satisfying,” he said.
Fernando Alonso continued his impressive form for Aston Martin by claiming his fourth podium finish in five races. George Russell of Mercedes secured the fourth position, while Ferrari had a discouraging afternoon. Carlos Sainz, who challenged Alonso in the first stint, incurred a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane at his pit stop, ultimately finishing fifth. His teammate, Charles Leclerc, had a forgettable race after crashing in qualifying and starting seventh.
Leclerc fought a long battle with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who put up an outstanding performance, before finally passing him with 20 laps to go and claiming the seventh position behind Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, which was on the same off-set strategy as Verstappen and passed Leclerc in the closing stages.