GP Miami F1: Max Verstappen resists the final attack and wins the race

Max Verstappen won his first race at the Miami GP, enduring a crazy final stage where Charles Leclerc tried to attack first place after a safety car caused by Lando Norris’ retirement. The fight for third place also lasted until the last lap, with Carlos Sainz defending the podium position against attacks from Sergio Pérez.
Verstappen finished the first Miami GP faultless, then passed Leclerc on lap 9. He took 8 championship points from his opponent and won for the second race in a row.
Mercedes won the “second pack”, after Valtteri Bottas – who spent much of the race in fifth place unopposed – made a mistake in the final laps and allowed the two drivers of the Brackley team to lead the rest of the pack, with George Russell up front. by Lewis Hamilton.

In a race that promised to be lukewarm, the accident between Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris, which forced the British driver to leave McLaren, and the entry of the Safety Car gave a lot of pleasure to the Miami race. Verstappen came under pressure from Leclerc and Pérez tried everything to overtake Sainz. The positions didn’t change, but suddenly it seemed like everything could change from turn to turn. A great operation by Max Verstappen, who was the first driver in 2022 to win consecutively.

The strategy of George Russell and Mercedes, bringing the hard tires from the start to the Virtual Safety Car, as well as Esteban Ocon and Alpine, paid off. Ocon stayed in the top 10 and on soft tires for the final 11 laps after a strong comeback in the race. The work of the French is to be welcomed.
Britain’s Mercedes fell behind his seventh-placed team-mate after crashing out of the pits on his only pit stop, but had some luck on his side – as did Lewis Hamilton in this particular case – after Valtteri Bottas had made a mistake and ran inside and outside. track, the position with his teammate, which gave a different color to the race at that time.
Hamilton did everything he could but again during the safety car period he was caught. The team could have called the pit stop, but they stayed in the middle and missed the chance again.
Valtteri Bottas had almost no opposition during the race, but as he was under pressure from both Mercedes he missed and missed a great chance to be the best of the ‘remainers’. He spent the whole race in “no man’s land” and was passed by Russell and Hamilton at the worst possible moment, with only a few laps to go.
Fernando Alonso got off to a very good start again and moved up the standings a lot, but he was unfortunate in his attempt to overtake Pierre Gasly – a situation that was the cause of the accident between the Frenchman and Norris – and for that he was penalized with 5 seconds. He still managed to maintain a top 10 position, which has only happened once in previous races.
The last big highlight goes to Alexander Albon. In the initial phase of the race, it did not seem possible to reach the scoring positions, but Williams and the driver surprised again and with some luck in the mix, added the second point for the championship, while that Nicholas Latifi was behind.
Lando Norris’ stoppage didn’t go well for McLaren. The pilot left in a “mini platoon” and was unable to regain the positions he had lost. The time he lost behind these cars without being able to overtake his opponents put his race in jeopardy. He did not leave 15th place for several laps and when he did, he was unlucky with the touch from Pierre Gasly which led to him abandoning the race. Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, failed to reach the points, but a bit because of the position obtained during qualifying. A pointless run for McLaren, who seemed to be improving at this stage of the season.
Lance Stroll was cautioned again for zigzagging down the straight. A behavior that has already happened this time. The Canadian driver was still a little faster than his teammate and led the ‘mini’ field that had been created with Aston Martin and Haas cars, but the race would still be difficult, as would Sebastian Vettel after retiring from the pit lane.
Yuki Tsunoda got caught up in the safety car confusion and pit stops and was out of the points, but with plenty of upside for Latifi.
Mick Schumacher could have celebrated the first points of his career, but after hitting Vettel, who knocked them both out, he lost all possibilities. Kevin Magnussen was a few holes below what we’ve seen him do before.

Race movie:
Both Aston Martin cars started from the pit lane. Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll missed out on the grid with fuel issues on the AMR22.
All riders started on medium tires except for Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Esteban Ocon who chose the harder compound to start the race.

Leclerc got off to a good start, a move that was not imitated by Carlos Sainz, who saw Max Verstappen leap to second place. Sergio Pérez retained fourth place and Valtteri Bottas fifth. Pierre Gasly managed to move up to sixth place and Fernando Alonso resumed an excellent start by climbing to seventh place.
Lewis Hamilton had failed to retake Alonso’s position, but on lap three he managed to move up to seventh and the Alpine Spaniard fell to eighth. George Russell lost 3 positions on the first lap and took fifteenth place. We remember that the Briton was equipped with hard tires.

Hamilton, who was hit by Alonso between Turns 1 and 2, complained to the team that he felt damage to his left rear wheel. Anyway, it was not enough to delay the overtaking of Pierre Gasly. The Briton from Mercedes jumped to sixth place, with Bottas having an advantage ahead of him.
Mick Schumacher got the better of Yuki Tsunoda on lap 6 and moved up to 10th. Around the same time, Alfa Romeo called Guanyu Zhou to the pits to retire. An unlucky weekend for the pilot.

At the start of the ninth lap, Verstappen was “glued” to the back of Leclerc’s Ferrari and managed to pass the Monegasque under braking at turn 1. The Ferrari’s tires appeared to be more degraded than those of the Red Bull.
On lap 11, Daniel Ricciardo passed Tsunoda for 12th at Turn 1. The AlphaTauri driver was the first driver to stop to switch from medium to hard tyres, leaving George Russell behind Ricciardo’s McLaren.

Sergio Pérez wanted to emulate his team mate and overtake a Ferrari, in this case Carlos Sainz, but the Spanish Ferrari driver seemed to protect his tires better than Leclerc and made the Red Bull driver’s job more difficult. In the lead, Verstappen increased the lead over Leclerc.
McLaren stopped Lando Norris, but the Briton prevailed among a group of drivers with very small margins. It was them, Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen and they managed to pass the McLaren driver. Shortly after, Norris’ MCL36 appears to have suffered a minor hydraulic failure, not allowing the pilot to turn properly and losing his new position to Mick Schumacher. After two laps, Norris was in 16th position among the drivers all on hard tyres.

Pérez complained of a lack of power and after a little discussion with the engineer, the team asked the Mexican to get the car moving again. The Mexican couldn’t get into the back of Sainz’s Ferrari.
On lap 23, Lewis Hamilton stopped and only managed to make his teammate lose the place, who had not yet stopped, keeping a step ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who still had his McLaren in medium tyres.

Of the leading riders, Leclerc was the first to stop, switching from medium to hard tires on lap 24. The Monegasque returns to the track in fourth place, ahead of Valtteri Bottas who finds himself in a kind of “no man’s land”. Two laps later, it was Verstappen’s turn to stop, returning to the track ahead of his teammate Sergio Pérez.

Carlos Sainz stops on lap 27 and Pérez follows the Spaniard. The Ferrari mechanics struggled to fit the right front tire and the driver lost time to his direct opponent in the fight for third place.
Until the 30th lap, only Daniel Ricciardo was on track with medium tyres. When he pitted, he rejoined the track in 17th place.
Sebastian Vettel made a good pass again – he had already done it in the early laps to Nicholas Latifi – this time to Kevin Magnussen, but later lost the position, as well as the place to second Schumacher’s Haas.
However, Max Verstappen was accumulating fast laps until Charles Leclerc set the fastest time.
In the 5-car field between 11th and 16th, Stroll leads the two Haas – Schumacher overtakes Magnussen in a somewhat consensual maneuver – but Sebastian Vettel makes a mistake and lets Lando Norris pass.

At turn 40, Fernando Alonso tried to overtake Pierre Gasly at turn 1. There was a touch between them and the Frenchman lost this position and even to Lance Stroll who was coming back further. The French driver’s AlphaTauri was not in the best condition, which may explain the contact shortly afterwards with Lando Norris, which forced the Briton to retire. The collision between Alonso and Gasly resulted in a 5 second penalty for the Spanish driver.
Taking advantage first of the Virtual Safety Car and then of the Safety Car, several drivers stopped to change tyres. George Russell still stopped in the VSC and dropped to seventh and Esteban Ocon, who fitted the soft tires with 15 laps to go, gained a lot of positions by stopping just at that point.

Up front, no one stopped except for Sergio Pérez, who fitted new medium tires and had a very good chance of a podium finish in the closing laps.
As the race restarted, Pérez couldn’t pass Sainz, with the Spaniard defending his position with all he had. Further on, Ocon tried to take advantage of the new soft tires to pass Mick Schumacher for ninth place, but the Haas driver also defended his two points as best he could.
As Lewis Hamilton came under pressure from teammate George Russell, Valtteri Bottas, ahead of the two, missed and lightly hit the protective wall of the circuit and lost two positions in one fell swoop. Further, Russell overtook Hamilton, not without a fight.
Braking for Turn 1 on lap 52, Pérez nearly passed Sainz, but had to widen the course as he did not brake and could not make it.

It was a fierce battle on the pitch for the goalscoring positions until the end, with Mick Schumacher overdoing it in his bid to pass Sebastian Vettel and crashing hard into his compatriot’s AMR22, resulting in his retirement. Kevin Magnussen was also out of the race, still ranked in 16th place.

The two Mercedes drivers once again exchanged positions, but Russell did not give up and even managed to finish the race in fifth place, ahead of Hamilton.
Bottas had to settle for seventh place, ahead of Esteban Ocon – a good race – and Fernando Alonso. Alexander Albon repeated Australia’s place and scored a point.

Leave a Comment