Verstappen asserts dominance to take astounding Miami Grand Prix 2023 win

May 8, 2023

Max Verstappen was untouchable in Miami as he won the 2023 Miami Grand Prix. His teammate Sergio Pérez made sure it was another Red Bull 1-2, while Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso scored his fourth podium of the season.

Verstappen’s win has not only increased his lead in the Drivers’ Standings but has also tied him with Sebastian Vettel for the most number of wins at Red Bull. It was a dominant race from the Dutchman, even though he started P9 on the grid. 

George Russell finished P4 ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with Lewis Hamilton in P6. The second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc finished P7 ahead of the Alpine duo of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen rounding out the top ten places. 

Sergio Pérez led off the line as the lights went out, with Fernando Alonso right on his gearbox. Pérez managed to keep Alonso at bay, while Carlos Sainz also kept the Spaniard busy. Kevin Magnussen, meanwhile, having started P4, dropped to P7 in the opening lap. Pérez’s teammate Max Verstappen went a place up to P8 after getting past Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas on the second lap.

Local hero Logan Sargeant was the first to pit on Lap 3 as he had to change his front wing after opening lap damage. Verstappen, meanwhile, had made up two places on the front straight on Lap 4 as he put in an incredible double overtake to get past Magnussen and Charles Leclerc. He eventually got George Russell on Lap 9 to make his way into the top five and got Pierre Gasly on the same lap as he was charging to catch his teammate up ahead. For Gasly, things got bad to worse as Russell also managed to race past him moments after the Dutchman did. 

Up ahead, Pérez kept Alonso at bay with a lead of two seconds, with the Aston Martin veteran managing to hold off Sainz. Verstappen breezed past Sainz on Lap 14 to get himself into the podium places and was 4.2 seconds behind race leader Pérez. He then took P2 from Alonso on the following lap, with a less-than-four-second gap separating him from his teammate.

Russell and Leclerc came in for their pit-stops on Lap 18. Sainz came in for his stop on the next lap and re-joined in P7 after a swift stop from the Ferrari crew.

By Lap 20, Verstappen was under two seconds from Pérez, moving increasingly towards taking the lead of the race. Pérez then came in for his stop on Lap 21, re-joining in P4. His pit-stop gave Verstappen the lead of the race, though he was back in the podium places by Lap 22 as he got past Esteban Ocon.

Sainz, meanwhile was handed a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane while he came in for his pit-stop. Alonso came in for his stop on Lap 25 and re-joined in P5 behind Sainz. He then got past Sainz on Lap 27 and also didn’t face much trouble from Ocon as he moved into the podium places. Sainz got past Ocon on Lap 31 as well.

Russell, meanwhile, was let through for P6 by his teammate Lewis Hamilton; the seven-time World Champion was told to let his faster teammate through. A couple of laps later, Russell got past Ocon to move up to P5. He took two more laps to take P4 from Sainz, whose teammate Leclerc was trading places with Magnussen at the time. The Monégasque finally took P9 on Lap 38. 

Hamilton moved back into the points places after getting a crucial overtake done on former teammate Valtteri Bottas. Up ahead, Verstappen came in for his stop on Lap 45 and re-joined in P2 behind Pérez, just a second and a half behind the Mexican on fresher tyres. Pérez was no match for his teammate and the double reigning World Champion, however, as Verstappen breezed past him going into Turn 1 with relative ease on Lap 48, ultimately going on to take his third win of the season, finishing five seconds ahead of his pole-sitting teammate. 

Verstappen’s win now puts him 14 points clear of Pérez in the Drivers’ Standings, while Alonso’s podium keeps him in third place with 75 points.

For Red Bull, another 1-2 extends their Constructors’ Standings lead to 122 points, with Aston Martin now 24 points clear of Mercedes in second place.

Formula One now takes a two-week break. Racing resumes in Imola in a fortnight’s time for the season’s first triple-header. 

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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