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Verstappen wins on alternate strategy from Perez at F1 Miami Grand Prix

All 20 drivers were anticipating a slippery race after a new track resurface and a huge downpour last night in today's Miami Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen comfortably wins the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix from Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez after using an alternate strategy.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Red Bull
Sergio Perez and Mac Verstappen, Red Bull (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)

The Miami Grand Prix was set to be a slippery one. The track was resurfaced for this year, alongside a downpour of heavy rain late on Saturday night.

Sergio Perez will start the race from pole, with an upbeat Fernando Alonso on the front row with him. Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen will have to fight from further back in seventh and ninth respectively.

Leclerc’s crash in qualifying halted the second runs in qualifying, hence why Verstappen is starting all the way back in ninth, whilst his Mexican teammate is on pole.

The top seven drivers decided to start on the medium compound tyre, as tyre graining will be a factor due to the hot temperatures. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen has opted for the hard tyre from ninth on the grid.

Verstappen has won the last three races in the United States. Will anyone be able to stop the Dutchman claiming his fourth victory in a row in America?

Lights out

The lights went out and Sergio Perez was able to maintain his lead with a great getaway. Fernando Alonso was not able to leap up to first. However, he fended off fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz for second place.

Further back on the grid, Nyck de Vries locked up going into Turn One, hitting Lando Norris, sending the Briton wide into Turn One.

At the end of lap one, Max Verstappen stayed in ninth. However, the Dutchman managed to get past Valtteri Bottas for eight place on lap two. Elsewhere, Logan Sargeant was the first driver to pit on lap two for a front wing change.

A surprise happened on lap three as Kevin Magnussen was able to get past Charles Leclerc, squeezing past the inside of the Monegasque at Turn 12. However, the Dane ran wide at Turn 16, leading to Leclerc gaining the place back.

Although, Magnussen and Verstappen had DRS on Leclerc going into Turn One. This led to Verstappen passing both drivers with Magnussen repassing Leclerc again.

Both McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri decided to pit early for hard tyres as the Medium tyres were graining a lot.

Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Kevin Magnussen, Red Bull, Ferrari, Haas, Formula 1, Miami Grand Prix
Verstappen made a double move, passing both Magnussen and Leclerc (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)
Verstappen on a charge

The Dutchman would get past Mercedes driver George Russell with ease, braking into Turn 17 at the end of the back straight, utilising the straightline speed of his Red Bull car.

A lap later would see the reigning world champion make the same move on Pierre Gasly. The Dutchman would compromise the Frenchman, leaving him open to a move for George Russell to also get past.

As for his teammate Perez, the Mexican was steadily bridging a bigger gap to Fernando Alonso, rising it up to 3.3 seconds by lap 13. Alonso went onto the radio, saying “Plan A minus 12”, emphasising the struggle on the medium tyre.

Carlos Sainz was also not happy with his tyres. The Spaniard said: “It feels the fronts are struggling now”, as he would be passed by Max Verstappen to drop to fourth on lap 14 at Turn 11.

Verstappen was not done there as the Dutchman would make the same move on Fernando Alonso at Turn 11.

First pitstops from frontrunners

The reigning world champion has now passed every driver from ninth except from his teammate Sergio Perez. When the Dutchman passed Alonso, he was three seconds behind the Mexican.

However, a lap later the Dutchman would go within 2.5 seconds of his Mexican teammate, showing great pace on the hard tyre.

Perez confirmed the struggle in pace, as the Mexican said: “My front right is starting to give up a bit” on lap 17.

On the same lap, George Russell and Charles Leclerc decided to come in for hard tyres. Elsewhere, Verstappen closed the gap to Perez on lap 19 to 1.5 seconds.

Carlos Sainz would pit on lap 18 for hard tyre, as the Ferrari driver wanted to try and undercut Alonso. However, the Spaniard locked up going into the pitlane. The 28-year-old was able got get past Lewis Hamilton going into Turn One on lap 20.

At the end of lap 20, Perez decided to go into the pits for Red Bull as Verstappen was rapidly closing. The Mexican bolted on the hard tyre with a 2.2 second stop. The 31-year-old would pass Esteban Ocon going into Turn 11 on lap 22.

F1, Formula 1, Miami Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
Sainz locking up going into the pits (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)
The Spaniards battle

Lap 23 confirmed that Sainz did indeed speed in the pitlane, receiving a five-second time penalty for it. Fellow Spaniard Alonso would eventually pit on lap 24 for fresh hard tyres with a 2.7 second stop.

Meanwhile, Sainz’s teammate Leclerc was struggling as the Monegasque was stuck in 13th – still behind Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

Lap 26 would see Alonso launch several moves on Sainz. However, the Ferrari driver was able to successfully defend from the Aston Martin driver.

Despite his best efforts, Sainz would be overtaken by Alonso on lap 27 at Turn 11, as Alonso utilised his six laps fresher hard tyres to pass his fellow countryman.

Alonso would then pass Ocon into Turn 11 on lap 29 to go back up until the podium places. It would take Sainz a lap later to also get past the Frenchman, who is still yet to pit.

Elsewhere at the front, despite having older hard tyres, Verstappen was able to set the fastest lap of the race on lap 32, setting a 1:31.293.

Magnussen frustrating Leclerc

Leclerc could not get past Magnussen during the first stint and the same seemed to be happening on the second stint. On lap 36, the Monegasque eventually made the move on the Dane into Turn 17. However, the Dane would get the Ferrari driver back into Turn One with the use of DRS.

However, the Monegasque would learn a lap later, staying behind the Haas driver at Turn 17 to then pass him going into Turn One on lap 38.

Further up the field, Russell was able to pass Sainz going into Turn 11 on lap 37, as the Spaniard was yet again struggling with tyre wear on his Ferrari car. The same lap would see Hamilton make his pitstop to go on to the medium tyre, trying to undercut Esteban Ocon.

The seven-time world champion would pass his former teammate Valtteri Bottas into Turn One a lap later and undercut Esteban Ocon effectively.

Moving on to lap 40 and Perez was struggling for pace, as the Mexican was dropping back from his Red Bull teammate. He would find himself 17.2 seconds behind the Dutchman, losing two seconds. A lap later would see the gap rise up to 18 seconds, leading to the Red Bull team believing that he will be behind Perez by just over a second when he pits.

Perez tried to respond to Verstappen’s impressive pace as he would set the fastest lap of the race on lap 45 with a 1:30.897.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Miami Grand Prix
Verstappen eventually stops from the lead of the race (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)
Verstappen makes his stop

The end of lap 45 would see Verstappen eventually pit from the lead of the race. The Dutchman bolted on the medium tyre with a 3.1 second stop. As the reigning world champion exited the pitlane, he found himself only 1.5 seconds behind his teammate.

It would only take until lap 47 for Verstappen to be on Perez’s gearbox. The Dutchman was able to line up a move on his teammate going into Turn One on lap 48, staying behind the Mexican at Turn 17 on lap 47.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull
Verstappen passes Perez into Turn One on lap 48 (Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter)

The Dutchman was able to extend the gap to 1.5 seconds, breaking DRS to Perez a lap after passing him. Lap 54 would see the reigning world champion utilise his fresher medium tyres effectively, pulling to three seconds.

Elsewhere, Hamilton was able to pass Leclerc on lap 55, utilising his fresher tyres to go up to sixth place.

Verstappen sets the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap of the race, setting a 1:29.709.

Max Verstappen wins the Miami Grand Prix with the fastest lap from Sergio Perez. Fernando Alonso rounds up the podium places with his fourth third place finish.

Results
  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Sergio Perez
  3. Fernando Alonso
  4. George Russell
  5. Carlos Sainz
  6. Lewis Hamilton
  7. Charles Leclerc
  8. Pierre Gasly
  9. Esteban Ocon
  10. Kevin Magnussen
  11. Yuki Tsunoda
  12. Lance Stroll
  13. Valtteri Bottas
  14. Alex Albon
  15. Nico Hulkenburg
  16. Zhou Guanyu
  17. Lando Norris
  18. Nyck de Vries
  19. Oscar Piastri
  20. Logan Sargeant

Feature Image Credit: @F1 on Twitter

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