From a discarded circuit end The Miami Harbor Bridge to a mock marina in a stadium parking lot, the FIA Formula One World Championship finally took place in Miami. On Saturday, qualifying ended with Scuderia Ferrari securing its first store lock since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix with Charles Leclerc on the pole. The Red Bulls are in second, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo is fifth.
At the start of the 57-lap race, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was able to overtake Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the first corner to take second. It looks like Leclerc will keep a pace fast enough to keep Verstappen behind. Even so, the Ferrari driver suffered a damaged front right tire and hampered his lap time. At the beginning of Round 9, Verstappen overtook Leclerc as he approached the first corner.
The bunker strategy has become simple. Most of the time the competition starts on the medium mix and is pitted once against the hard mix. Ferrari pitted Charles Leclerc in lap 25, and Red Bull responded by bringing in Verstappen two laps later. The only real exception was Mercedes’ George Russell, who started the race solidly and went the farthest away from any scorer.
Russell ultimately pitted Round 41 in virtual Safety Car conditions. Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Lando Norris were in touch as Gasly returned to the track after running the full distance. Norris’ right rear wheel was badly damaged with the tire ripped off the rim. Race control finally deployed the actual safety car to recover the McLaren and clear the debris.
The sprint to the finish featured fights throughout the field. Russell, on fresh tires, had to fight his teammate Lewis Hamilton for sixth place. It became a fight for fifth after Bottas ran wide on a corner exit and brushed a wall. For the minor points, Williams’ Alexander Albon finished tenth after Haas’ Mick Schumacher and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel collided in Turn 1 on Lap 54.
Max Verstappen would get to the finish line after the restart to win the inaugural Miami Grand Prix without a serious challenge from Leclerc.
Race Results – Top 10
- Max Verstappen
- Charles Leclerc
- Carlos Sainz
- Sergio Pérez
- George Russell
- Lewis Hamilton
- Valtteri Bottas
- Esteban Ocon
- Fernando Alonso
- Alexander Albon
Charles Leclerc leads the World Drivers’ Championship over Max Verstappen by 19 points. Formula One will return in two weeks for the Spanish Grand Prix.