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Max Verstappen put a frustrating qualifying session behind him, moving up from ninth place to win the Miami Grand Prix with a late overtake on Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
F1 Miami Result: Who Won the Race?
Max Verstappen won the Miami Grand Prix. The defending race winner started down in ninth, but quickly made his way up to second place. Pole sitter and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez pitted from the lead on lap 22, and Verstappen used the clear track ahead to stretch the gap. The Dutchman took his hard tyres 46 laps into the race before finally pitting for mediums. On much fresher rubber, the reigning two-time champion only needed one full lap to overtake his temmate for the win. Verstappen also set the fastest lap, extending his championship lead back to 14 points. Fernando Alonso completed the podium, scoring another strong finish for Aston Martin.
Perez Leads, Verstappen Slices Through the Field
The race got off to a safe start, as drivers carefully navigated around the quick turns 1, 2 and 3 sweepers. Perez retained the lead, ahead of Alonso and Sainz. Magnussen dropped from fourth on the grid to eighth, falling behind Gasly, Russell and Leclerc.
At the start of lap 5, with DRS enabled, Verstappen took advantage of the overtaking assist to get around Leclerc and Magnussen with a double overtake into turn 1, moving to sixth place. Even as the only driver to start on the hard compound among the front runners, the reigning champion clearly had the edge in pace over the field. On laps 8 and 9, the Dutchman made back-to-back overtakes into turn 17 to move ahead of Russell and Gasly, respectively. Russell also took advantage of Verstappen’s move and passed Gasly into turn 1 on lap 10.
Further down the order, Leclerc and Magnussen produced an intense back-and-forth battle for seventh place, with the Haas driver eventually coming out on top. On lap 14, Verstappen overtook Sainz into turn 17, moving to third place. And a few seconds later, the Dutchman used the DRS zone in the fast turns 8-10 complex to get around Alonso for second into turn 11.
Perez Pits, Verstappen to the Lead
Gasly, from sixth place, was the first to pit for hards, on lap 16. Meanwhile, the gap between first and second continued to drop lap after lap. The difference between Perez and Verstappen dropped to 1.2s, prompting the race leader to pit for hards at the end of lap 21.
With most of the field, except for the hard-shodded starters, pitting for new tyres, the order was Verstappen ahead of Perez, Ocon, Sainz and Alonso, as the Ferrari driver leapfrogged his compatriot in the pits. But Sainz’s virtual podium position didn’t last for long. On lap 26, into turn 17, Alonso pulled out of his fellow Spaniard’s slipstream to move back into net third.
Verstappen Pits, Overtakes Perez to Win
Sainz and Leclerc found themselves involved in two interesting battles. The Spaniard eventually got overtaken by Russell for fifth, although the move didn’t change things that much: Sainz had already picked up a five-second penalty for speeding entering the pits. Leclerc, meanwhile, finally got around Magnussen for net seventh after another back-and-forth between the two Ferrari-powered cars.
Verstappen finally pitted from the lead on lap 46, briefly relinquishing his position to Perez. But once his tyres got up to temperature, the chase was on. The Dutchman bid his time, used all three DRS zones and got around his teammate into turn 1 on lap 48, effectively denying Perez the overtaking assist.
From then on, the two-time champion stretched his lead lap after lap, making use of his 24-lap younger tyres. Verstappen also set the fastest lap along the way, securing the extra point. The two-time champion crossed the line a bit over 5 seconds ahead of his teammate. Alonso finished 20 seconds back, securing his fourth podium in five races. Russell, Sainz, Hamilton, Leclerc, Gasly, Ocon and Magnussen completed the point-scoring positions.
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