SUPER MAX! Max Verstappen (Red Bull) wins the inaugural Miami Grand Prix after an awesome battle against Charles Leclerc (Ferrari).
I can't tell if I love or hate the football helmets for the podium...I do love the fact that they're trying to attract an American audience further. I think my solution would be for ONLY the race winner to get the football helmet or you tier it out:
However, they better do cowboy hats for the United States Grand Prix in Austin.
The race itself was awesome and we'll be getting into it in just a second here, but Martin Brundle is the true star of the Miami GP. He was interviewing everyone on the Paddock before the race and seemed to have no idea who anyone was. I loved every second of it:
Read More Martin Brundle Here:
The Inaugural Miami Grand Prix
So Super Max won the Inaugural Grand Prix - it started off fairly slow and I was expecting more spin outs and chaos after a fairly hectic practice and qualify session.
From the jump, Verstappen had a great jump off the start and immediately overtook Sainz. It took only till lap 9 for Max to be able to overtake Leclerc and lead the pack.
Perez and Sainz were in a very similar battle as the race was progressing, with Checo making up progress on Sainz every single lap. Check got until lap 20 until he noticed the power was giving out in his Red Bull engine. He could still push push, but not fast enough to catch up to Sainz like he was hoping. Another instance of Red Bull having inconsistency with the reliability of their car. As the race progressed, he gained power back but lost a lot of ground on the Spaniard.
The next 20 laps were fairly uneventful. Max held P1, Leclerc was P2 and everyone was watching the sky waiting for rain. It appeared that the skies could open up at any second and with it, chaos would ensue. However, the F1 gods didn't want rain on today's Miami track, so the weather passed.
As everything was going smoothly, Pierre Gasly decided not to check his surroundings after going wide on a turn and it resulted in him crashing into McLaren's Lando Norris, who then lost a tyre and had to exit the race.
Here's Lando giving his thoughts prior to the Miami Grand Prix:
This deployed a virtual safety car onto the track, which ultimately led to an actual safety car to be deployed. Once a safety car comes out, everyone on the track bunches back up together because you can't go over a certain speed and everyone must maintain their position. So, if Max Verstappen had a 5 second lead on Leclerc, then that gap would be eliminated when the safety car leaves the track.
The VSC worked out best for Russell who was waiting for a pit stop to change his tyres.
Prior to the crash, on the radio Russell was asked if he wanted to pit and he responded by saying something along the lines of "Let's give it a few laps and see if we could get a safety car." This is 200 IQ racing strategy, anytime you're able to pit when they're a safety car (or virtual safety car) deployed, you take it. This was a gamble by George Russell because he was extended his already wore out tyres, but it clearly paid off.
After having a tough qualifying session which resulted in a P12 start, Russell ended up P5. So overall, the call to wait was WELL worth it and gave him + the team some crucial points. He's the only F1 driver this season to finish Top 5 in all 5 races.
Lewis Hamilton finished right behind George Russell in 6th.
Before the race, we did get a timeless photo with some true sport icons (Follow the new Barstool F1 account):
After 5 laps, the safety car finally left the track in lap 47. From here, Leclerc and Verstappen were battling for the top position where it kept appearing that Leclerc was one or two more turns away from overtaking Verstappen. However, it just never seemed to happen for Charles. He could never get quite close enough to go for the overtake.
This track absolutely favored the Red Bull car because of how much faster the car is on straights. Miami's track had an extremely long straight between turn 16 and 17 (top of the track):
The Ferrari has the advantage whenever there are slow corners or turns, while the Red Bull has the significant advantage on straight lines. Miami was Red Bull's track to win and Max made sure he didn't slip.
Outside of the podium finishes, one of the best races came outta Alex Albon who drives for Williams. He had a phenomenal race where he started P18 and found a way to sneak into points, coming out with a P10 finish.
I continue to be impressed by Alex Albon this year. He's an extremely talented driver and being able to score points in a Williams is no easy feat. Look at Latifi, he can barely keep the car on the track for a full 50+ laps.
Overall, the Miami Grand Prix appeared to be a great success, the sport continues to grow MASSIVELY here in the states and I can't wait to see the future of Formula 1.
Next stop, the Spanish Grand Prix on May 22nd.