Fernando fought in the 2023 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix to take his fourth podium in five Grands Prix, while Lance gained six positions from his starting position in the race. Hear from the drivers and Performance Director Tom McCullough at the end of the Miami GP.
Fernando converted his front-row start to a fourth podium finish of the year by taking a comfortable third in the Miami Grand Prix. The race was a straightforward one-stop affair, with the only two realistic strategy options being Medium-Hard or Hard-Medium one-stops.
The team opted to split their strategy across the two cars, with Fernando starting on Mediums and Lance on Hards. With no race interruptions, it became a story of track position, tyre preservation and making overtakes.
Both Fernando and Lance used the strong tyre life characteristics of the AMR23 to deliver their good performances in the race with some great moves on the track.
I had a bit of a lonely afternoon out there, but I enjoyed my race. There was nothing I could really do against Max [Verstappen] and Sergio [Perez], but, happily, there was no pressure today from behind, so we’ll take this result.
We’ve taken four podium finishes from the first five races – and only missed out on a podium in Baku by eight-tenths of a second – so it’s been a fantastic start to our season.
One day, when there’s an opportunity to win, we must ensure we’re in the best position to capitalise. And that’s precisely what we’re doing right now.
It was a tough race today, and we found it challenging to make a huge amount of progress from the 18th on the grid. The car felt good, but I was stuck in a DRS train with a lot of traffic around me.
We opted for a long stint on the Hard tyres and managed those well; it was then just a case of deciding when to pit to ensure enough laps left to maximise the pace of the Medium compound.
I had some fun overtaking Alex [Albon] into Turn One, but, in hindsight, we could have boxed a few laps earlier to try and catch the 10th position. It’s been a weekend to learn from – which we’ll do – and I’m looking forward to returning to Imola.
Performance Director Tom McCullough:
This was a tricky race to manage. Both Lance and Fernando drove faultlessly and maximised every opportunity – for Fernando that resulted in a third-place finish and some valuable points; for Lance, it was difficult trying to cut through the traffic, but he pulled off some fantastic passes. It was frustrating to miss out on a points-scoring position at the end.
Fernando’s race was about managing the strategy from the Medium to the Hard tyre. It worked out well for him: Ferrari went for the undercut with Sainz, but we elected to balance the stints and overtake him on track. After that, Fernando was able to consolidate third place and pull comfortably clear of the cars behind.
With no DNFs and no Safety Cars, it was difficult for Lance to progress through the field. Add low degradation to the mix, and it became even trickier – because many cars could run at a similar pace. But he managed his race exceptionally well, was typically brave on the brakes and made up plenty of places to finish 12th.
We conclude this double-header, having scored 37 points and maintained second position in the Constructors’ Championship. Thanks to the team for their incredible efforts over the past few weeks. We will regroup and return just as vital for the triple-header, which kicks off later this month.