Red Bull’s Max Verstappen Wins Inaugural Miami Grand Prix

The reigning Dutch champ overtook Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the win in Miami’s first Formula 1 race.

(Getty Images)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen edged toward another F1 championship on Sunday, winning the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.ย 

It was an excellent race from the Dutchman. He started in third position, but overtook Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz for P2 on the first turn, and after nine tense laps, overtook Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc for the front spot.ย 

Verstappen widened his lead over the next thirty odd laps and looked like he was on his way to a fairly effortless victory. But things took a dramatic turn around lap 41 when a collision between AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Lando Norris โ€” both of whom retired from the race โ€” triggered a Safety Car.

When the action restarted, the field had tightened up, and it was clear that Leclerc intended to fight Verstappen for the top spot. The Monegasque driver was in the Dutchman’s mirrors for the remainder of the race, but ultimately could not overtake him.  

“I was not very happy with that Safety Car, but of course fully understandable what happened, and of course you cannot be too disappointed about it because also in the past it has benefitted me in some races,” Verstappen said after his victory.

“I knew it was going to be a tough one to the end, it was quite physical out thereโ€”now the next 10 laps we had to be flat-out. On a track like this itโ€™s not easy.โ€

Leclerc zipped in behind Verstappen for P2, and Sainz nabbed P3, giving Ferrari a valuable 2-3 finish. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez came fourth, and Mercedes driver George Russell rounded out the top five, beating out his legendary teammate Lewis Hamilton, who came sixth. Russell now holds the distinction of placing in the top 5 in all five F1 races so far this year.ย 

With the results of the Miami Grand Prix, Leclerc is still first in the Drivers’ Standings, with 104 points. Verstappen is in second with 85, while Perez and Russell are third and fourth with 66 and 59 points respectively.

Sainz is just behind them with 53. Hamilton finds himself with an unfamiliar vantage point at sixth. Amid the buzzy race weekend, the seven-time F1 champ made time to post for a GOAT photo alongside Michael Jordan, David Beckham and Tom Brady in a photo posted to the Buccaneers QB’s Twitter feed.

Ferrari is in first in the Constructors’ Standings with 157 points, just in front of Red Bull, who have 157. Mercedes is in third with 95. 

This year’s F1 action will continue with the Spanish Grand Prix on the weekend of May 20-22.