The competition was perfectly tamed: Max Verstappen (Red Bull) won the first Miami Formula 1 Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc, second, and Carlos Sainz, who started from the front row.
It wasn’t even ten laps before the reigning world champion took control, which he didn’t let go of until the finish line. The Dutchman, who started third on the grid, pushed Sainz out of second place from the start, only to take the lead of the race a few laps later to the disadvantage of championship leader Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen well under control in Miami
For Verstappen it is the third win of the season and the 23rd of his career.
“We still have a few problems to solve,” said Verstappen. I mean, we’re fast, but my day on Friday was terrible, which isn’t good. But there is a lot of potential. »
At the end of the race, status quo in the championship: Leclerc remains in the lead with 104 points, ahead of Verstappen (85 pts) and the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull, 66 pts), who finished at the foot of the championship podium in Miami, after a battle for third place with Sainz.
The situation is the same in the Constructors’ Championship: Ferrari continues to lead the dance, ahead of Red Bull.
Behind the leading men, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes secured positions 5 and 6 ahead of Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo.
France’s Esteban Ocon climbed to eighth place in his Alpine despite starting from the back of the grid.
There are also five departures to be lamented. In addition to the Chinese Zhou Guanyu, the Dane Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and the German Sebastian Vettel, the Briton Lando Norris (McLaren), victim of a collision with the AlphaTauri of the Frenchman Pierre Gasly, was also forced to retire.Task.
For his part, Quebec driver Lance Stroll finished the event in 10th place due to penalties imposed on Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso.
Around Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins American football team and the Miami Tennis Open, the heat and humidity put the pilots’ bodies to the test, under the watchful eyes of David Beckham, Paris Hilton, Pharrell Williams and co. who could take a look at the starting line.
If the splendor of this first Grand Prix in the city of Florida seemed to have met the expectations of the spectators (82,000 expected on Sunday), a touch of dissatisfaction cooled the mood on the track. Doubtful: the asphalt, which according to the pilots does not adhere sufficiently outside the flight path and contains a lot of debris.
Verstappen wins after an eventful weekend
Described as “substandard” by Alonso – or simply called a “joke” by Pérez – promoter Tom Garfinkel now claims to be “open to any changes to improve the track”.
“The surface itself, we evaluate it. We want to make sure we’re doing it right because if the drivers don’t get off the racing line there aren’t as many overtakes and that’s not what you want,” Tom Garfinkel said during a press conference on Sunday.
However, the race did not confirm these pessimistic predictions.
To complete the spectacle, the facility also featured “error generators” which, according to the organisers, “were designed to get the cars closer together” to increase the chances of overtaking.
Near one of them, Ocon – and Sainz ahead of him – came to the same spot and crashed violently into a concrete wall during testing – threatening the safety of the circuit.
It’s our first time driving in Miami!
Norris was knocked out of the race by contact with Gasly