Lights out in the Sunshine State15 May 2023
The Miami Grand Prix treated Formula One fans to an all-out star studded weekend ofhigh-speed action and epic recovery drives. The second outing at the street circuitprovided a challenging backdrop for the world's best drivers, crafting intense battles around the Miami Dolphins Stadium.
Max Verstappen orchestrated a remarkable comeback to win the Miami Grand Prix, grabbing his 38th career victory and matching Red Bull's win record. Starting from ninth on the grid, he displayed incredible prowess to overtake his teammate Sergio Perez and claim the race. Following an eventful first stint on hard tires, Verstappen strategically executed a late pit stop, rejoining the race just behind Perez. With unwavering determination, the World Champion overtook his teammate, securing the lead and comfortably cruising to the checkered flag. Fernando Alonso also impressed yet again with a fourth podium finish of the season, crossing the line 20 seconds behind the dominant Red Bull duo.
The race at the Miami International Autodrome began with an explosive start, featuring intense wheel-to-wheel battles as drivers fiercely fought for positions. The top seven starters commenced the race on medium compound tires, with Perez maintaining his pole position ahead of Alonso. Carlos Sainz Jr. claimed the third spot, while Pierre Gasly of Alpine managed to overtake Kevin Magnussen who, after an impressive qualifying finish, slipped down to seventh early on in the race.
Verstappen, equipped with hard tires, quickly made his way up to eighth place by overtaking Esteban Ocon. Using the DRS advantage on lap three, Verstappen utilised his car’s increase in speed to successfully pass both Charles Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen in the same world class move, advancing to sixth position by lap four. Continuing his relentless pursuit, Verstappen's skilful driving led him to overtake George Russell for fifth place at turn 17 on lap eight. On the following lap, he advanced to fourth by outmanoeuvring Gasly at turn one, with Russell following suit, demoting Gasly to sixth place.
Verstappen continued to close in on Sainz and successfully overtaking on lap 13, securing third place. Shortly after, he caught up to second-placed Alonso and made a decisive move at turn 11, completing an impressive climb through the field and trailing his teammate by just three seconds. Checo pitted on lap 20 to switch to hard tires, which allowed Max to take over the lead of the race. Perez rejoined the race in fourth place, trailing Ocon, but eventually passed the Alpine driver to claim the third position and began closing the gap to Verstappen.
Sainz opted for an earlier pit stop than Alonso, executing an effective undercut strategy to secure third position. However, Alonso swiftly closed the gap and overtook Sainz, reclaiming third place. Meanwhile, Russell was given the opportunity to pass his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and later surpassed Sainz at turn 11, securing fourth place.
Verstappen gradually extended his lead over Perez to over 18 seconds. He persevered on hard tires for the majority of the race before finally making a pit stop on lap 45 to switch to mediums for the remains laps of the race. Rejoining just 1.6 seconds behind Sergio Perez in second place, Max closed the gap to be within DRS range by the end of the same lap. Perez (as know as the Mexican Minster of Defence) fiercely defended his position from his teammate, but using the slipstream on the pit straight, Max positioned himself on the outside of turn one. Despite Perez holding the inside line, Verstappen's superior traction on the corner's exit allowed him to surge ahead and complete the overtake for the lead.
With calm and composure, Verstappen methodically completed the remaining laps, crossing the finish line to secure his third victory of the season. Perez finished five seconds behind his teammate in second place, while Alonso secured the final podium spot, trailing the Red Bulls by a margin of 20 seconds. Russell achieved a commendable fourth place, followed by Sainz, Hamilton, Leclerc and the two Alpines of Gasly and Ocon. Starting in fourth, Magnussen secured the final point for Haas, finishing in tenth position.
Here at Silverstone, the race was screened trackside for fans on the rooftop of the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn. We were treated to the sunset as we watched the race unfold adjacent to the Hamilton straight, where the grid will line up on July 9th for the British Grand Prix.
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