Max Verstappen Wins Miami GP From Ninth, Pulls Away From Perez

f1 grand prix of miami
Max Verstappen Wins Miami GP From NinthJared C. Tilton - Getty Images

An oddly-timed crash in yesterday's Miami Grand Prix qualifying session placed Red Bull's Sergio Perez on pole and his teammate Max Verstappen in ninth, setting up a potential for Perez to pass his teammate in the championship. Instead, Verstappen drove through the field to build on his lead.

Verstappen chose to start on what was today an extremely fast and durable hard tire, while Perez and most of the field started on a weak medium. He fell to tenth on the opening lap as Perez started to run away from the field, but he moved through traffic early and, by the time DRS was active, had little to no issue passing anyone to get into second. When Perez stopped after a short stint on the medium tires, Verstappen inherited a lead of around fifteen seconds and ran a net five seconds behind his teammate.

Here, with newer tires throughout the stint and a clean track, Perez would have been expected to gain time on Verstappen over the course of that stint. Instead, Perez slowly lost time and found himself around 18 seconds behind the leader when Verstappen made his final stop. That put Red Bull's lead driver just a second and a half behind his teammate on pit exit, even after a relatively slow 3.1-second stop. He quickly moved into DRS range on the better tire, then easily took the lead with a move into turn 1 and never looked back.


The win and fastest lap mean that Verstappen now leads the championship by 14 points. If the pair were to finish first and second in the next two races and split fastest lap over them, Perez would need to win both to tie Verstappen for the lead again. Given that Verstappen is a two-time champion and seemingly the favored choice to win the title at Red Bull, he would have to get back to winning quickly in order to force an inter-team battle over the remainder of the season.

You Might Also Like