Max Verstappen held his nerve after a late safety car closed the gap behind him to clinch his second 2022 Formula One win in a row as Oracle Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Pérez battled hard for the fourth spot.
Verstappen produced a great start to get ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr., then moved into the lead with a slick overtaking move on the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc with barely 10 laps gone.
The Dutchman pulled clear for a comfortable gap, only for Pierre Gasly’s late crash with McLaren’s Lando Norris to bring out the virtual safety car and then the real safety car to push all the cars together.
Leclerc tried to use the DRS zones to get past Verstappen, however, the reigning F1 world champion held him off brilliantly over the final laps to claim his third 2022 win and cut Leclerc’s title lead to 19 points.
It feels amazing to win in Miami, the whole atmosphere this weekend has been incredible and to win in the US is always a nice feeling. It was a physically tough race; I think I must have lost around 3kgs! We had a really good pace on the minimum tire, that for sure helped to make my race. Once we had the pitstop I was just managing my time to Charles, I think we were very closely matched on the hard tire. Then the safety car came out which made it more entertaining for the fans, I had to push hard today but we made it work. I’m super pleased for the Team, we didn’t have a great start to the weekend so we’ve come far, a big thank you to everyone.
It is a big disappointment today but at least we managed to finish with the points we have. We were putting the pressure on Carlos and then we had a problem with the power. It was caused by a sensor failure and meant we lost a lot of power, which limited our ability to attack. I was a second from Carlos and then the engine dropped and I lost around 30 seconds in two laps and then the issue affected me throughout the race. We had the pace to be up there on the podium and I pushed as much as I could in the position we were in. It was difficult to look after the tyres too, it was so hard in the corners and I was losing a lot of grip towards the end of the race. I went for it after the safety car restart but there was no grip at all and I just couldn’t get past Carlos. We are working really hard on reliability and we will keep pushing as a Team, it is unfortunate, but I am pleased we managed to finish today. In Barcelona, I want to be back battling at the top.
Christian Horner – Team Principal & CEO
It was a real tactical race today and we threw everything we had at it, we were quite lucky that Ferrari didn’t pit under the safety car, Max was under so much pressure from Charles Leclerc but he kept focus and didn’t make any mistakes and was gradually able to break the DRS, which was very powerful today and manage the victory from there. Checo was really unlucky today, he had a sensor issue early on and lost about 30 horsepower, and he gave it a real go when we pitted him and gave him the tyre advantage and without that issue, he may even have finished second. We’ve got some interesting races coming up, the car is running well, we have some development coming in the summer and we need to lose some weight, but we’re pleased with what we’ve come away with this weekend.