Monday, December 5, 2022

Miami GP: Max Verstappen holds off Charles Leclerc to win inaugural race after Lando Norris crash led to late battle

Must read


Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly come together causing Norris to lose a wheel and he crashes out of the Miami GP

Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly come together causing Norris to lose a wheel and he crashes out of the Miami GP

Max Verstappen resisted a late Charles Leclerc onslaught to win the inaugural Miami Grand Prix and cut his rival’s championship lead.

Verstappen was in supreme form amid an incredible atmosphere at America’s new street track and was comfortable after overtaking both Ferraris early on, before a late Safety Car – caused by a dramatic Lando Norris crash – led to a thrilling finale as the field bunched up.

Leclerc, the pole-sitter who lost his lead on Lap 7, suddenly found pace again in the closing stages as F1 2022’s title protagonists battled again, but could not get ahead of Verstappen despite getting close with DRS.

Max Verstappen leads the Miami GP after a nice manoeuvre on Charles Leclerc

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Max Verstappen leads the Miami GP after a nice manoeuvre on Charles Leclerc

Max Verstappen leads the Miami GP after a nice manoeuvre on Charles Leclerc

Verstappen held his nerve and becomes the first Miami GP winner, ensuring he has claimed victory in all three races he has finished this year. Despite his two DNFs, he has cut Leclerc’s title lead to just 19 points.

Carlos Sainz secured the final podium position for Ferrari, holding off Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who had fresh tyres at the end of the race but was also plagued by a lack of power with an engine issue.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton placed fifth and sixth for Mercedes in more meagre damage limitation for the world champions, with Russell finishing ahead of his team-mate for the fourth race in a row.

Max Verstappen made his way to the podium in style with a police escort in Miami!

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Max Verstappen made his way to the podium in style with a police escort in Miami!

Max Verstappen made his way to the podium in style with a police escort in Miami!

Russell had started 12th but ran long before the Safety Car played into his hands. Russell twice got ahead of Hamilton afterwards with his fresh tyres, once on Lap 51 but off the track – with Mercedes telling him to give back the position – and then again with three laps remaining as he made the move stick legally.

Valtteri Bottas, who had run ahead of the Mercedes for most of the race, was forced to settle for seventh after he ran wide and hit the concrete while under pressure from the Silver Arrows.

The major incident of the race came on Lap 40 with a frightening crash for Norris.

Valtteri Bottas runs the turn wide allowing both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to overtake.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Valtteri Bottas runs the turn wide allowing both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to overtake.

Valtteri Bottas runs the turn wide allowing both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to overtake.

The incident happened after Pierre Gasly was running slowly in his AlphaTauri after contact moments earlier with Fernando Alonso. As Norris came speeding past, Gasly was seemingly unaware and his left front tyre caught the McLaren’s rear right, causing it to fly off and for Norris to go spinning.

Gasly also retired from the race soon after, while Alonso was handed a five-second penalty for his optimistic move on the Frenchman. After the race, the Spaniard was handed a second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, relegating him to 11th.

Those penalties saw Esteban Ocon, who recovered from the back of the grid, promoted to eighth with Alex Albon up to ninth and Lance Stroll 10th.

There was also a late collision at Turn 1 between good friends Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher, and while the Haas driver avoided a penalty, it ruined both of the drivers’ hopes of points on Sunday.

Kevin Magnussen and Stroll also made contact in a feisty finale.

Miami GP results: Top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) George Russell, Mercedes
6) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
7) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
8) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
9) Alex Albon, Williams
10) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

The best of the action from the Miami Grand Prix.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The best of the action from the Miami Grand Prix.

The best of the action from the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen masters Miami to cut Leclerc’s title lead

It was an electric afternoon in Miami and certainly a star-studded event – although the real star for the city’s Formula 1 was debut was most certainly Verstappen.

The reigning world champion started third after a qualifying mistake but quickly made up for that, passing Sainz at the start before hunting down Leclerc. With a straight-line speed advantage, he dispatched his rival – with both Ferraris overtaken at the same Turn 1 corner.

It's a good start for Max Verstappen as he gets ahead of Carlos Sainz, while Lewis Hamilton drops to eighth

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

It’s a good start for Max Verstappen as he gets ahead of Carlos Sainz, while Lewis Hamilton drops to eighth

It’s a good start for Max Verstappen as he gets ahead of Carlos Sainz, while Lewis Hamilton drops to eighth

Leclerc was struggling with his tyres and Verstappen built a significant lead, seven seconds ahead after the first stops and seemingly managing his way to victory.

Norris and Gasly’s incident threw a spanner in the works and there would have been plenty of nerves at Red Bull as Leclerc seemingly re-found his pace and put Verstappen under immense pressure.

But the Dutchman kept his cool amid the intense Miami heat. “I am incredibly happy with winning here in Miami, it was an incredible Sunday for us,” he said afterwards.

It would have been an even better day for Red Bull had Perez made his way through, with engine gremlins causing him to lose power and hampering him in his battle for third. They have, though, still gained on Ferrari in both championships.

Ferrari, meanwhile, will be desperate to halt Red Bull’s building 2022 momentum, with the current straight-line speed deficit will be a particular concern.

Hamilton behind Russell again with Mercedes distant

Lewis Hamilton is trying to work his back up the grid after a poor start.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lewis Hamilton is trying to work his back up the grid after a poor start.

Lewis Hamilton is trying to work his back up the grid after a poor start.

It started as a promising weekend for Mercedes – topping Friday practice – but ultimately finished as another disappointing one as they were comfortably the third fastest team in Miami.

Hamilton eventually finished where he started, having lost positions at the start amid a bump from Fernando Alonso. He was then unable to get close to his former team-mate to Bottas before the Safety Car.

While he finished ahead of Bottas, his streak of finishing behind Russell continued. It was another unfortunately-timed Safety Car for Hamilton, who toyed with pitting for fresh tyres but eventually stayed out – leaving him somewhat of a sitting duck to his team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated after finishing sixth in the Miami GP and admits he was confused why he was asked to make the decision to pit during the safety car.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated after finishing sixth in the Miami GP and admits he was confused why he was asked to make the decision to pit during the safety car.

Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated after finishing sixth in the Miami GP and admits he was confused why he was asked to make the decision to pit during the safety car.

Russell, meanwhile, continues to impress and his comeback was one of the Sunday stories.

The F1 season continues with the Barcelona GP on May 20-22 from a track the drivers know well, Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.





Source link

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article