This time, the balance tipped very quickly on the side of Red Bull. Suffering during Friday practice, Max Verstappen had nevertheless gained confidence on Saturday during qualifying but failed to take pole position. This Sunday, under the Florida sun, the Dutchman made the perfect start to undermine the Ferraris. The maneuver is effective: thanks to the outside on Sainz at the first corner, the reigning world champion took 2nd place. Retaining his fighting spirit, Verstappen quickly closed – less than a second behind Leclerc – to use his DRS and take the lead into the first corner. The gap widened very quickly and Leclerc damaged his medium tires on a wheel lock.
On lap 24, the moment chosen by the majority of drivers to make a first pit stop, Charles Leclerc attempted the undercut but Max Verstappen quickly covered the strategy. The race was calm despite the announcement of rain on the radio from Sergio Perez about 15 laps from the finish. But it was the clash between Norris and a Gasly which gave some suspense for the end of the race. The Briton was hit at the level of the right rear wheel by Pierre Gasly’s single-seater which was idling on the track and which returned to the trajectory when Norris arrived.
Mercedes in places of honor
Time to clean up the debris dropped by the McLaren, there were eleven laps to go when Verstappen was asked to restart the race. On offense, Leclerc lost time by getting inside. The Monegasque squandered the opportunity and the Red Bull driver definitely shot to his third victory of the season with the fastest lap as a bonus, closing the gap on Leclerc to 19 points in the championship. The podium is completed by Carlos Sainz who was able to resist Sergio Perez’s Red Bull during the 57 laps of this Miami Grand Prix.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton fought for a place in the Top 5 for a long time and it was finally the younger of the two Britons who won thanks to his new tires and also the error at the end of the race by Valtteri Bottas which licked the wall at the exit of the hairpin at turn 17. The Finn will place his Alfa Romeo in 7th place just ahead of Esteban Ocon (8th), who made the biggest progress in the event after starting from the 20th and last place on the grid, following his crash during EL3.