Miami GP Highlights: Max Verstappen emerges as the ultimate victor!

Miami GP: Its Verstappen Once Again:

The Formula One Miami Grand Prix concluded on Sunday, 10th of May 2022, with Max Verstappen showing us his class and style of racing, one of the reasons he emerged as the victor. Before we move ahead, let us understand more about this new street circuit.

Miami Street Circuit:

The F1 Miami GP was the fifth round of racing in the F1 2022 calendar, located in South Florida. This circuit hosted the 77th Formula One Championship. It consisted of 57 laps, and the track length was 3.36 miles or 5.41 Km. The circuit is made around the Hard Rock Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium located in Miami Gardens. It is the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) and the University of Miami’s college football team. Fun fact, the race track was actually the car parking lot of the stadium, which is now turned into a Street Circuit. The track has a total of three DRS Zones and 19 turns. The Miami International Autodrome becomes the 11th venue in the US to host a World Championship Formula One GP.

Image Credits: marca.com

Qualifying Highlights:

Charles Leclerc takes Pole Position in a dramatic battle with Max Verstappen at the very first Miami GP, with Carlos Sainz qualifying P2. This is the first time since Mexico 2019 that Ferraris were on the Front Row. The RedBulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were just behind the Ferraris on the second Row. Valtteri Bottas was P5, ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton on P6. Hamilton avoids a shock elimination in Q1 by putting up a very fast last, which put him up in P5. This was the first time this season that Hamilton out-qualified his teammate George Russell in a Qualifying. The most exciting part of the Qualifying this time around was the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, where both qualified for Q2, followed by only Lando qualifying for Q3. Even the AlphaTauri put up a solid performance this qualifying, with Pierre Gasly P7 and Yuki Tsunoda P9. George Russell qualified P12, and the Haas of Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen were P15 and P16, respectively. Another surprising performance was lace Stroll, who started P10. Esteban Ocon Crashed out in FP3 and hence did not take part in qualifying. He will start from the back of the grid. The final order turns out to be – Lec, Sai, Ver, Per, Bot, Ham, Gas, Nor, Tsu, Str, Alo, Rus, Vet, Ric, Msc, Mag, Zho, Alb, Lat and Oco.

The Miami GP Race:

The Formula One Miami Grand Prix gets underway. At the last moment, both the Aston Martins start from the pit lane due to a fuel temperature problem just before the race. The recorded fuel temperatures on both their cars were slightly colder than the ambient fuel temperature outside, and hence, as per the FIA rules, they replaced the fuel on their cars to avoid a last-minute penalty at the start.

On a dry track with 40% chances of rain showers, the Miami Grand Prix gets underway. Leclerc starts finely, but so does Verstappen and overtakes Sainz at turn one. Russell loses quite a lot of places at the start. Alonso gains four places at the start amid chaos. Hamilton holds onto his position and overtakes Alonso in lap 3, and slowly makes his way up to P5. Battle in the midfield gets interesting, with Mick Schumacher getting into the points on lap 6.

Guanyu Zhou retires on lap 7 due to a technical problem in the car, the first DNF of the race. Things get very interesting on lap 8 when Max receives a message that Leclerc’s front right tyre is damaged. He uses this opportunity, charges his battery and catches up to Leclerc at the beginning of lap 9 and, on turn 1, overtakes Leclerc. This battle continues for another 2 laps, and then Leclerc falls behind. George Russell, who loses quite a lot of places at the start, slowly makes up for it and, by lap 16, gets into the points.

At the same time, Sainz vs Perez gets very interesting for the position of P3. Perez gets into the attacking range of Sainz on lap 10 and constantly looks for opportunities to attack. On lap 20, as he catches up, he suffers a loss of power that costs him 7seconds while changing some settings on his steering wheel. Within the next lap, things are back to normal for Perez.

Midfield battles keep getting interesting, especially between the Hass and Aston Martin, for a long time. It is in lap 41 when Lando comes in contact with Gasly. Norris attacks suddenly on the inside, where he’s out of the view of Gasly. Norris spins. He’s out, and there’s a Virtual Safety Car. Russell waits for this moment patiently as he doesn’t pit before this. Soon, Safety Car is deployed due to a lot of debris on the track. Russell pits and changes his tyres. Hamilton asked at this time whether to pit or not, saying that he won’t pit as he’ll lose his position.

Image Credits: formula1.com

The safety car ends on lap 46, and the race starts once again. This time, the “Battle of Titans” intensifies, with Leclerc attacking Verstappen with all his might for P1, and so does Perez for P3. After 3 laps, we see Russell overtaking Hamilton. Bottas, who’s at P5, goes wide, and both the Mercedes overtake him for P5 and P6.

Sergio Perez gets closer to Sainz on lap 52, where he attacks on turn 1 and locks up. Sainz immediately regains his position and then stays ahead of Perez comfortably. It is on lap 53 when Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel overtake Ocon. In the following lap, on the main straight, we see something no F1 fan would want to. Vettel turns, and just at the same time, Mick turns as well, colliding with Vettel. The collision damages Vettel’s car, and he’s out of the race. Ocon comfortably overtakes both of them in this chaos.

Post this, Max Verstappen comfortably gets out of Leclerc’s attacking range and breezes past the chequered flag for the victory. Charles Leclerc finishes P2, and Carlos Sainz finishes P3.

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