Rampaging Verstappen wins the Miami Grand Prix
After a chaotic qualifying that was full of surprises, Max Verstappen won the Miami Grand Prix despite starting in P9. With Perez also on the podium, it is clear to fans that a Red Bull dominance era is in full swing.
Qualifying kicked off in the usual format on Saturday, and Hamilton almost crashed into the wall on his first lap out on the track when trying to go round the outside of a Haas.
Zhou then also almost put his car in the wall after being squeezed by Sainz who was adamant to maintain track position.
In Q2, Hamilton was late out of the garage and combined with some traffic on track, did not have time to properly warm up his tyres. Both Mercedes cars looked as though they were struggling through the qualifying session, but it was Hamilton that failed to make it into Q3 and as a result started P13 on Sunday.
Verstappen had to abandon his first flying lap in Q3 after going very wide, which turned out to be a detrimental error, as his chance to rectify the mistake with another lap was taken away.
Magnussen, however, had a surprisingly impressive first flying lap and managed to put his car in P4 ahead of the race the next day.
After making a mistake in his first lap of Q3, Leclerc pushed extremely hard to make amends, but it was clearly too hard as he ended up in the wall qualifying only seventh.
The red flag was brought out with only a minute and a half of Q3 left, resulting in the session not restarting. Perez claimed pole position and started the race alongside Alonso, who was also on the front row after qualifying P2.
The driver’s championship sits between Verstappen and Perez, which could lead to possible tension within the Red Bull team later in the season
On Sunday, Perez had a strong start and managed to stay ahead of Alonso.
Leclerc waisted no time trying to crawl back up the order and was battling Magnussen on lap three, only for them to both be overtaken by Verstappen down the main straight.
By lap nine, Verstappen was already up to P4 after also overtaking Russell and then Gasly, swiftly followed by Russell making a move on Gasly and moving up into the top five.
Sainz and Alonso also fell victim to Verstappen’s pace, and he was running in P2 by lap 15 after a seemingly effortless drive up the order.
Perez pitted for the hard tyres to last him to the end of the race on lap 21, and came out P2 behind his teammate.
Russell also worked hard to improve on his qualifying performance, and overtook Stroll and Sainz to bring himself up to P4.
Sainz was then hit with a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane, but this had no effect on his final position after it was added to his time after the race.
On lap 46, Verstappen finally pitted to put on the medium tyres and came out in P2 behind Perez, but on much fresher tyres, which allowed him to take the lead only two laps later and win the race.
Hamilton also had an admirable drive, finishing in P6 after his dreadful qualifying performance, with his teammate, Russell, finishing in P4. Alonso also continued to impress fans by finishing P3 and taking yet another podium.
With the Red Bull drivers taking the top two steps of the podium, it is becoming increasingly clear that the real competition for the driver’s championship sits between Verstappen and Perez, which could lead to possible tension within the Red Bull team later in the season.
The next race of the season is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy on 21 May, and Ferrari will be hoping they can impress the home crowd and finally compete with Red Bull for a win.