Formula 1: Verstappen wins premiere in Miami

Status: 05/08/2022 23:35

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen kept the two Ferraris in check at the US Miami Grand Prix on Sunday night (May 8, 2022) and reduced the distance to world championship leader Charles Leclerc. Mick Schumacher played his first World Cup points away and pushed Sebastian Vettel out of the race towards the end of the Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Verstappen won in a controlled race, where shortly after the race he overtook Charles Leclerc, the fastest in qualifying. Monegasse finished second, his teammate Carlos Sainz third. Before his guest appearance in Barcelona in two weeks, Verstappen is now 19 World Cup points behind Leclerc. For the Dutchman, it was the third victory of the season in five races and the second in a row. Record world champion Lewis Hamilton did not get past sixth place in the Mercedes.

But because Verstappen also withdrew twice through no fault of his own, Leclerc is still clearly ahead. The Ferrari driver won the other two races. “It was very exhausting, but I am very happy with this victory,” said Verstappen.

Schumacher throws points away

Mick Schumacher also missed points on his 26th start in Formula 1. Like former world champion Sebastian Vettel, the Haas driver was in the top ten shortly before the end of the race, after which the two Germans clashed. Schumacher finished 16th and last. Vettel, who had to leave Pitlane due to a fuel problem with Aston Martin, retired. “I did not see that!” Vettel protested on the pit radio. “It was clearly my turn,” cried Schumacher – now he must be patient.

It was the first race on the track in the eastern United States. Miami is already the eleventh host in the motorsport-loving country in the history of the best class.

Criticism of the slope due to the surface of the track

The new 5.4 kilometer long track received a lot of criticism from the drivers. Due to an unusual asphalt mixture, many people began to slip. In turn 14, the drivers were annoyed by a harassment, which was also where serious accidents happened in practice. The unusual nature of the course made some fear a chaotic race.

But for a long time, everything went well. Right at the start, Verstappen grabbed second-placed Ferrari man Sainz and went in search of Leclerc. It also went as planned for Mick Schumacher in the beginning and soon he was in the points in tenth place.

Both Aston Martins out of the pitlane

The 23-year-old also benefited from mishaps at Aston Martin. Lance Stroll, who qualified as number eight, and teammate Vettel, who was to start as number 13, followed the field in the beginning after their technical problem.

At the front, Leclerc was unable to maintain the lead long after its third pole position for the year. His tires quickly deteriorated and Verstappen passed almost effortlessly on the ninth lap. The Dutchman quickly pulled out a small pillow.

Record champion Hamilton had no chance again in the battle for the top spots. The Mercedes driver caused a stir, especially with the controversy over the ban on jewelry in the cockpit, which the new German race director Niels Wittich wants to enforce harder in the future. While Hamilton reluctantly got rid of his earrings and most of his piercings, he wants to get a special permit for the future.

Leclerc: “The car is so hard to drive”

Defending champion Verstappen, however, spread the greatest brilliance on the route. Cool, he steered the race ahead of the Ferrari duo. Chaser Leclerc complained: “The car is so hard to drive.” Even after the first tire changes, Verstappen remained clearly in the lead.

A violent collision between McLaren driver Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri on the 41st lap gave fresh excitement. The safety car braked the field and Verstappen’s lead over the competitors was gone. Eleven laps before the end had run free again. Leclerc stayed close to Verstappen this time, also thanks to DRS’s overtaking help.


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