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Max wins in Miami after starting from P9: 'It's a great win'

Published on 08 May 2023 by Stefan Meens

For the second consecutive year, Max Verstappen took the victory at the Miami Grand Prix. After starting from ninth on the grid, the Dutchman patiently fought his way to front, sealing a one-two finish for Oracle Red Bull Racing with Sergio Perez in second place. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso completed the podium. 

The key to Max’ win proved to be an extended opening stint on the hard Pirelli tyres, after which he emerged a couple of seconds behind race leader Perez. In the space of two laps, Max closed the gap to his teammate, before a decisive overtake guaranteed Max’ third win of the season.  

In addition to the full 25 points for the race victory, Max also gained a bonus point by setting the fastest lap in the penultimate lap of the race in the streets in Miami. 

“It was a good race” reflected a delighted Max. “We stayed out of trouble in the beginning. I was able to work my way forward and was able to continue for a long time on the hard tyres. That really made the difference today. I also had a good fight with Checo at the end. We kept it clean, which is the main thing and it was a good win today.” 

Max’ strong race day drive followed a disappointing ninth place in qualifying. “Yesterday was dissappointing, but we stayed calm. Winning from ninth is even more rewarding. The strategy was important today. We didn’t know how the medium tyres would do. If you approach it logically, on full tanks and on a hot track, the hard tyres will be more durable, especially in traffic. But once we were in clear air, I was able to maintain the same pace, so it worked out well.” 

In addition to Max’ win, father Jos was also successful today, with Verstappen senior winning his first rally. “It’s great, I already phoned him and I’m happy for him. He puts in a lot of effort in a discipline we are not used to in our family. It’s a great day.” 

When the lights go out for the second Miami Grand Prix, Max has a clean getaway and maintains his position after the first lap. From there, the Dutchman patiently works his way to the front of the race. Afer passing  Magnussen, Leclerc, Russell, Sainz, Gasly and Alonso in the opening third of the Grand Prix, Max takes the lead in lap 20, following Perez pit stop.

The race turns into a straight fight between Max, who is extending his opening stint on the hard compound, and Perez, who has switched from the mediums to the hard Pirellis for his second and final stint. After Perez makes his pit stop, Max manages to keep gap to the Mexican around the 17 second mark before making his one and only stop in lap 46. As the double champion exits the pit lane, Perez regains the lead but is unable to enjoy it for long.

In lap 48, Max overtakes Perez for the lead and in the remaining laps, he extends his advantage to over five seconds. On the penultimate lap, Max confirms he is in a league of his own this weekend, by securing the fastest lap on his way to victory.

Results Grand Prix Miami:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT571:27:38.24126
2Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT57+5.384s18
3Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes57+26.305s15
4George RussellRUSMercedes57+33.229s12
5Carlos SainzSAIFerrari57+42.511s10
6Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes57+51.249s8
7Charles LeclercLECFerrari57+52.988s6
8Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault57+55.670s4
9Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault57+58.123s2
10Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari57+62.945s1
11Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT57+64.309s0
12Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes57+64.754s0
13Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari57+71.637s0
14Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes57+72.861s0
15Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari57+74.950s0
16Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari57+78.440s0
17Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes57+87.717s0
18Nyck De VriesDEVAlphaTauri Honda RBPT57+88.949s0
19Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes56+1 lap0
20Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes56+1 lap0