Dutchman Max Verstappen produced an incredible drive as he managed his tyres superbly and cruised to victory at the 2023 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, finishing more than five seconds ahead of Oracle Red Bull Racing team-mate Sergio Pérez.
The two-time world champion started Sunday’s race in ninth position but made all his overtakes look easy as he stayed on hard tyres for 46 laps. Then, just two laps after coming into the pits, Verstappen moved past Pérez into first place and powered to his third win of the season – extending his championship lead to 14 points.
Pérez had started the race from the pole position. However, he was unable to match the pace of Verstappen in the latter part of the race and had to settle for second nevertheless, the Mexican driver has enjoyed an impressive start to the season and sits second in the driver standings.
Max Verstappen, Driver, Red Bull Racing
Today was a good day. I stayed out of trouble initially and had a smooth race. I picked the cars off one by one. I had a good stint on the hard tyres, integral to today’s win. I had a good battle with Checo towards the end there too. I, of course, had the advantage with the new tyres, but I think that’s what we like to see. We are free to race. Yesterday was a bit of a setback. Today we kept it calm and clean, and winning the race from P9 was very satisfying.
Sergio Pérez, Driver, Red Bull Racing:
Well done to Max. He had a tremendous race and deserved to win, and I am really happy for him. It is not always pleasant to lead the race and end up second. Indeed, I didn’t have Max’s pace, and we will analyse it to see how we can improve. When I saw how strong Max was coming through the field and I was struggling a bit, I thought, ‘This isn’t looking too good’. It would have been a gamble on strategy to start on the hard tyre from the pole position. Of course, I wanted to win, but I knew early on the race was tricky for us. This is one to learn from because Max clearly had the fastest pace. The performance Max showed today was not reachable for me, so I must understand why. I think some were tyre related, but equally, and overall, he was the stronger driver today. There was maybe a bit more we could have done; it is a bit of a shame, but in general, P2 is not a bad result on a tough weekend. We will review the weekend. I want to return strong for Imola and return to our average level.
CHRISTIAN HORNER – CEO and Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
Another fantastic performance from the Team. It was a big win for the second time here in Miami, our 5th victory and our 4th 1-2 of the year – all from 1st and 9th on the grid – a huge performance. Max starting on the hard tyre was a risk. Our simulators told us it would prove a slower race than on the mediums. He wanted to take that chance and make it work, particularly from lap 20 to lap 42. His pace on that worn tyre was superior. He was able to match and sometimes better Checo’s pace. Sergio drove a brilliant race and knew that 19.8 was the magic number to keep Max behind, but with Max switching to the softs, with the extra grip and the phenomenal pace he had been carrying all weekend, he was away. The two raced hard and fairly, which we asked of them. They both gave it their all, as did everyone here and back at Milton Keynes. It was a fantastic Team effort.