Max Verstappen Wins Inaugural Miami Grand Prix
Max Verstappen's incredible trend continues: The lead Red Bull Racing driver and reigning series champion has either won or retired out of every race this season. And, just like his other wins this season, this one came after a race-long battle with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. qualified first and second, but Verstappen used an exceptional start to leap past Sainz and take second on the day's opening lap. He was on Leclerc's rear wing when DRS activated, allowing him to activate it on the start/finish straight and take the lead into turn 1.
Clinical from Verstappen 💪#MiamiGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/HkwmfHQlA2
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 8, 2022
Verstappen never looked back. A late safety car for a spinning Lando Norris got Leclerc back in striking distance, but he never got a real shot to make the pass. Verstappen would go on to win his third race of the season, cutting Leclerc's once-massive lead down to 19 points. Leclerc's second is huge, though; so long as he keeps finishing second, Verstappen will still need three more max points scoring weekends to actually pass Leclerc in the title hunt.
Sainz came home third, holding off Sergio Perez in the closing laps. Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton came home fifth and sixth respectively, with Russell benefitting from a well-timed virtual safety car to save time on his lone stop of the day. Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, and Alex Albon rounded out the top ten after a hectic afternoon of racing in a pack that floated around eighth throughout the race. The points finish for Albon is the second in a row for him, marking the only two points-scoring finishes for Williams this season.
F1 is back in Europe for its next race, which will be held in Spain in two weeks. Unless something changes with either car in the next two weeks, another Verstappen-vs-Leclerc battle seems likely.
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