Verstappen powers to victory in Miami from ninth on the grid

Red Bull finish 1-2 ahead of Alonso


By Franck Drui

7 May 2023 - 23:09
Verstappen powers to victory in (...)

Max Verstappen powered his way through from ninth on the grid to win the Miami Grand Prix, passing team-mate Sergio Pérez in the closing stages of the 57-lap race as Red Bull Racing sealed its fourth one-two finish of the season. Fernando Alonso scored his fourth podium finish of the season so far with third place for Aston Martin.

When the lights went out, Pérez got away well and took the lead ahead of Alonso and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. Behind them, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen made a poor start and dropped back to seventh as Pierre Gasly moved to fourth ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Meanwhile, Verstappen, on Hard tyres, lost out at the start when Alfa Romeo’s Valterri Bottas made a good start and rose to eighth. However, the Dutchman quickly moved past Alpine’s Esteban to take back P9.

That became P8 on the next lap and then at the end of lap 3 the Dutchman closed up behind the duelling pair of Leclerc and Magnussen and when the Haas driver tried to fight back after Leclerc had overtaken him, Verstappen moved to inside and powered past both under DRS as they crossed the line.

The Red Bull driver closed up to Russell on lap nine and passed the Mercedes driver under braking into Turn 17. He chose the same place to muscle past Gasly on the next lap and then on lap 14 he passed the Spaniard under DRS into Turn 11. His next target was Alonso, and with pace to spare he eased past the Aston Martin driver, who offered little resistance, on the following lap.

The medium-tyre starters now began to pit and Pérez made his stop at the end of lap 20. The Mexican switched to Hard tyres in 2.2 seconds and rejoined in fourth place behind Alpine’s Esteban Ocon who had started on Hard tyres. Verstappen, still on his starting Hards, now led the race.

After Pérez reclaimed P2 from Ocon shortly before half distance the race became a tactical battle between Pérez, on fresh Hard tyres, and Verstappen on ageing Hards and with a stop for Mediums to come.

Pérez, 16 seconds behind his team-mate pushed to close the gap while also trying to protect his tyres for the inevitable fight at the end of the race, but as Verstappen continued to put in strong lap times despite the age of his tyres it soon became clear that the Mexican was fighting a losing battle.

After an exceptional final phase of his long opening, during which he set a cluster of fastest lap times, Verstappen made his sole stop of the race on lap 45 and took on Medium tyres. He emerged just 1.6 seconds behind his team-mate and on lap 47 he closed up to his team-mate and attacked into Turn 17.

Pérez defended well but on the run to Turn 1 at the start of the next lap he drew alongside and after a brief tussle got past to take the lead and ultimately the win.

And 10 laps later Max crossed the line five seconds ahead of Pérez to take a second consecutive Miami Grand Prix and his third win of the season. Alonso, capped a lonely race with a fourth podium finish of the year ahead of Russell and Sainz, who had five seconds added to his time at the flag for an earlier pit lane speeding offence.

Sixth place went to Hamilton, with Charles Leclerc seventh for Ferrari. Gasly was eighth for Alpine ahead of team-mate Ocon and the final point went to Magnussen.

01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 57 laps - 1h27m38.241s 1
02 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 +5.384 1
03 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 +26.305 1
04 George Russell Mercedes W14 +33.229 1
05 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF-23 +47.511 (+5s) 1
06 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 +51.249 1
07 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 +52.988 1
08 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault A523 +55.670 1
09 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A523 +58.123 1
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-23 +62.945 1
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 +64.309 1
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 +64.754 1
13 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 +71.637 1
14 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW45 +72.861 1
15 Nico Hülkenberg Haas Ferrari VF-23 +74.950 1
16 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 +78.440 1
17 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL60 +87.717 1
18 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 +88.949 1
19 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes MCL60 +1 lap 1
20 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes FW45 +1 lap 1

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