Max Verstappen won the inaugural 2022 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, having pried the leadoff Ferrari’s pole-sitter Charles Leclerc early in the race, and defended it in an enthralling late-race battle.
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Red Bull’s reigning champion took P2 off Carlos Sainz into Turn 1 at the start and soon began to close in on Leclerc. The Ferrari driver lost the lead to his rival on the main straight at the start of Lap 9 of 57 and pitted from mediums to hards on Lap 24, causing Verstappen to react with his stop two laps later. It seemed that Verstappen would cruise to victory in front of Miami Gardens’ marina…
The Lap 47 restart saw Verstappen lead away but struggle to build up a gap to Leclerc. It was equally difficult for Sainz, who was being hounded by medium-shod Sergio Perez for the final podium place.
Perez attempted to pass Sainz on Lap 52 but locked up, both drivers avoiding contact, while Leclerc was under half a second behind Verstappen in the chase for the lead. But neither Perez nor Leclerc could make headway, and the win – narrow as it was over the Ferraris – would be Verstappen’s.
Rounding out the top five was George Russell, who started 11th and pitted during the VSC, using the benefit of newer tyres to pass teammate Lewis Hamilton on Lap 54. Hamilton lamented the fact that he couldn’t pit during the VSC but was promoted to P6 when Valtteri Bottas went wide at Turn 17 on Lap 49.
The Alfa Romeo driver seemed destined for P5 having started there, but his late mistake left him seventh. The Alpines were next, Esteban Ocon finishing eighth from Fernando Alonso in ninth – the latter having been penalised by five seconds for contact with Gasly.
Alonso was given a further five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage on the penultimate lap, promoting Alex Albon to P9, Lance Stroll to P10, and demoting the two-time champion to 11th.
Kevin Magnussen retired late on after contact with Lance Stroll (P10 after having started in the pits), as did Sebastian Vettel – who started in the pits and was tapped out of the race by Mick Schumacher (P15).
Gasly did not finish after his contact with Norris (DNF), while Zhou Guanyu was the first retiree, having been pulled into the pits on Lap 7.
Despite starting on the front row, Ferrari couldn’t convert their advantage to a Miami Grand Prix win – while Max Verstappen has now made it two wins in a row.
Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:
A strong performance from the tyres here meant that the race gravitated towards a one-stop strategy, whereas we had previously anticipated a two-stopper. This was also thanks to the fact that temperatures were notably cooler today compared to previous days. The teams were able to stretch their first stints, probably in the expectation of a safety car or other opportunity, but in the end that only came towards the end of the race, after nearly everybody had stopped. A few drivers tried to take advantage of that by changing tyres, with three drivers running all three compounds during the race. However, Verstappen and Leclerc fought hard for the race win and fastest lap even on used hard tyres in the closing stages. It was an exciting finish to an eagerly-anticipated Grand Prix: we hope that all the podium finishers enjoyed their special Pirelli American Football helmets!
2022 Formula 1 Miami GP Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:34:24.258||26||77|
|2.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+3.786s||18||97|
|3.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+8.229s||15||48|
|4.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing Honda||+10.638s||12||60|
|5.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+18.582s||10||59|
|6.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+21.368s||8||36|
|7.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+25.073s||6||28|
|8.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+28.386s||4||24|
|9.||23||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+32.365s||2||3|
|10.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+37.026s||1||2|
|11.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Alpine F1 Team||+37.128s||0||2|
|12.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+40.146s||0||10|
|13.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||McLaren Racing||+40.902s||0||8|
|14.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Canada||Williams Racing||+49.936s||0||0|
|15.||47||Mick Schumacher||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+73.305s||0||0|
|16.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||DNF||0||14|
|17.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Aston Martin F1 Team||DNF||0||4|
|18.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNF||0||6|
|19.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||DNF||0||31|
|20.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||DNF||0||1|
2022 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||431|
|3.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||304|
|4.||Alpine F1 Team||99|
|6.||Alfa Romeo Racing||51|
|7.||Haas F1 Team||34|
|9.||Aston Martin F1 Team||20|