Verstappen Puts On A Clinic At The Miami Grand Prix

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The second Miami Grand Prix is in the books and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen demonstrated why he is the only man to ever take the top step of the podium in South Florida.

After getting majorly hosed in qualifying by a mistake and a crash from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, the Dutchman lined up in P9. His teammate Sergio Perez? Well, he was sitting in P1 with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso for company.

Verstappen did the opposite of the first seven cars on the grid and started on hard tires as opposed to mediums. While that call alone wasn’t responsible for the win — Verstappen had to get more than 40 laps out of those Pirellis — it left him with softer, fresher rubber than his teammate at the end.

That win builds Verstappen’s gap to Perez in the standings. The two Red Bulls were joined on the podium by Alonso, who has four podiums through the first five races.

Wild stat: that was only the fifth time in Formula 1 history that a driver won from P9 on the grid. before Verstappen did it, the last person to do it was Niki Lauda at the 1984 French Grand Prix.

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton came from P13 on the grid to P6 in the Miami Grand Prix. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Mercedes Had A Solid Race After A Lousy Qualifying

Mercedes would have likely gone into the Grand Prix hoping to minimize the damage a little bit with George Russel and Lewis Hamilton starting P6 and P13 respectively.

However, especially on their second stints, both cars came to life. Both managed to finish well into the points with Russell in P4 and Hamilton in P6.

For Hamilton, it was almost P5 as he was nearly within 5 seconds of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who was dealt a 5-second penalty for going too fast entering the pitlane.

I think they’re going to be really pleased with that, especially since Lance Stroll left some points on the table for Aston Martin. The Silver Arrows are now only 6 points behind Aston Martin in the constructors’ standings.

Sir Jackie Stewart showed why he’s a legend in more ways than one during Martin Brundle’s Miami Grand Prix grid walk. (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)

That’s Sir Jackie Stewart To You

Martin Brundle’s grid walks for Sky Sports often steal the show. That’s especially true in the United States where there are a lot of celebrities milling around.

While Brundle didn’t try hard to get a word from the Williams sisters. Makes sense as they’ve snubbed him many times over the years. However, he did try to talk to another tennis legend: Roger Federer.

Brundle called for Federer who was in a sectioned off part of the track ahead of driver intros. He wouldn’t budge, so that’s when three-time world champ Sir Jackie Stewart took matters into his own hands.

The 83-year-old wouldn’t take no for an answer and practically dragged him over to Brudnle for a quick word. When a legend like Sir Jackie Stewart wants you to do something, you do it.

Through five races the two Red Bulls are pulling ahead in the drivers’ standings with Verstappen building a 14-point gap over Perez thanks to his win and a point for the fastest lap of the race.

Formula 1 takes a much-need week off after a brutal Azerbaijan-Miami back-to-back. They’ll need to rest up because after that week off it’s an Imola, Monaco, and Spain triple-header.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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