Sports

F1 ready to rock as Miami makes its debut


Formula One F1 - Miami Grand Prix - Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, US - May 5, 2022 Red Bull's Max Verstappen ahead of Miami Grand Prix

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, US – May 5, 2022 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ahead of Miami Grand Prix REUTERS / Ricardo Arduengo

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen could claim another big double over Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc’s 27-point lead in Miami this weekend as Formula One gets ready to kick around to its newest venue. .

The pair have won twice this season, and the fifth lap on the fast track held around Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, could see a big battle. difference between 24-year-old players.

“I think this weekend is going to be pretty crazy,” said Verstappen, the defending world champion who won last year’s US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

“I love racing in Austin so it’s nice that we get to go to another state and race this year.”

Verstappen prevailed at Imola in Italy two weeks ago when he won Saturday’s sprint from pole and took the lead from start to finish on Sunday while also earning bonus points for fastest lap.

That severed Leclerc’s lead from 34 points previously and the Ferrari driver will want to hit back hard after the team failed to live up to expectations in front of a home crowd.

Formula One F1 - Miami Grand Prix - Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, US - May 5, 2022 Charles Leclerc of Ferrari ahead of Miami Grand Prix

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, US – May 5, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ahead of Miami Grand Prix REUTERS / Ricardo Arduengo

Against Mercedes, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who finished 13th poorly at Imola, will be similarly shot even if they still have slightly lower expectations.

Hamilton has an enviable record in the US and Mercedes is hoping for clear signs of progress in taming their bouncing car so it can go faster and finally begin to reveal its latent potential. it.

“Since we returned from Italy, we have learned as much from the weekend as possible and in parallel, our learning continues to take place in the wind tunnel and simulation,” said the team boss Toto Wolff said.

“We have found a number of ways to improve the car and we will be conducting tests in Miami to correlate those simulations, and hopefully confirm the development roadmap for upcoming races. .”

McLaren, with Briton Lando Norris on the podium at Imola, and Australian Daniel Ricciardo will also love the chance to have their strengths.

The race has sold out, with 240,000 people expected over three days and a capacity of 82,500 on Sunday with the sport promising a celebrity guest lineup and Super Bowl-style atmosphere.

In an effort to capture the Miami vibe, the organizers created a simulated marina with yachts moored and plank surfaces that give the impression of water to television cameras.

“Miami will be an experience for all of us, for the racing community, for the fans watching,” Hamilton said.

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