Formula 1: Verstappen wins in Miami

Like last year, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the Miami Grand Prix and extended his World Championship lead in Formula 1. The Dutchman, world champion in 2021 and 2022, won his 38th Grand Prix ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and extended his lead over the Mexican to 14 points. Fernando Alonso (Spain/Aston Martin) completed the podium in third place. “It was a good race, very good for the team. A good day,” Verstappen radioed from the racing car. In the target area he then had a relaxed chat with Perez. The rest of the field once again had no chance. Nico Hülkenberg, who was born in Emmerich, finished 15th in the home race of his Haas racing team without any points.

“It was a good, clean race. I grabbed one after the other. Then there was this little duel with Checo at the end, but we managed it cleanly,” said Verstappen, who had to start from ninth place while Perez had the advantage of pole position. For Red Bull it was the fifth win in the fifth race of the season. Added to this is Perez’s success in the only sprint of the year so far in Baku. With a win in Miami, the Mexican would have taken the championship lead for the first time in his Formula 1 career. “I gave everything,” he said: “I had to be careful with the tyres. Max was in really good shape, he deserved the win.”

Perez got off to a great start. He defended his third career pole position against two-time champion Alonso. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz also stayed in third on the grid. Verstappen, who had opted for the most durable but initially not so fast tyres, quickly began his race to catch up. By lap ten, Verstappen was already fourth, less than five seconds behind his team-mate at the top. And all three in front of him were on medium tires, so they would have to come in for the pit stop before Verstappen.

In Saudi Arabia, Verstappen had made it from 15th on the grid to second behind Pérez this season. In Miami, the 25-year-old Dutchman provided further proof of his exceptional ability and the superiority of Red Bull’s RB19. Lap 14, Verstappen on three. Lap 15, Verstappen on two. Only the teammate in front of him, who radioed wear problems with one of the front tires to the command post and steadily lost his lead. After lap 20, Pérez came into the pits and Verstappen took the lead. Pérez now had to put pressure on, minimize the gap so that Verstappen would come out behind him during his pit stop.

And Pérez, who was the big winner last weekend by winning the sprint and the Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, initially did it with flying colors. But the closer Verstappen got to the tire change, the bigger his lead grew again. And it was also clear: With the fresh and slightly softer tires, Verstappen would be even faster. And so it happened. Verstappen came out just behind Pérez. The Mexican fended off the first attempt. A thrilling duel. Because then Verstappen passed on the outside – and away.

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