Miami Grand Prix: Super Max strikes again!

Published on 9 May 2023 at 20:00


The build-up for the Miami Grand Prix was nothing short of grand. So many famous faces graced the weekend, such as vin diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tom Cruise, and plenty more. Not forgetting three-time World Champion Jackie Stewart, ‘the flying Scot’ pushing past security to get Roger Federer for Martin’s gird walk interview.

The Miami temporary circuit is located in the Hard Rock complex. Home to William’s rookie, Logan Sargeant. Last weekend was the first race since Miami launched in 2022. The 20 drivers have 57 laps, an equal distance of 308.326 km, to win as many points as possible and attempt to claim victory.  With 19 corners, 3 DRS zones and a lengthy speed trap, the Miami circuit had every potential to be a chaotic race like last year. However, it was a somewhat ‘clean’ race. It is the first race this season without a flag, virtual or full safety car, or DNF.


The same can’t be said with the free practice sessions and qualifying. During free practice 1, we saw multiple spin-outs, including Hass driver Nico Hulkenberg losing the rear and ending the session with a red flag.


Free practice 2, Charles Leclerc’s oversteer resulted in him hitting the barrier into turn 7. Hass driver Kevin Magnussen, like his teammate, also spun; however, he recovered and carried on. Baku winner Sergio Perez received a black and white flag in the pit entry.


Like every qualifying session, it gets very intense, and this wasn’t indifferent. Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu had trouble with their engine provider's driver, Carlos Sainz, as he blocked his path on a racing lap. Nyck De Vries had an unsafe release in front of Hass, testing Hulkenberg’s reactions. For the first time this season, Lance Stroll was out in Q1 in what can be said, driving the fastest car Aston Martin has produced to date. We saw both McLaren’s out. Lando Norris qualified 16th, and his Australian rookie teammate, Oscar Piastri, in 19th.


In Qualifying 2, Hass committed their own unsafe release, and we said goodbye to Sir Lewis Hamilton. Starting 13th on the Sunday grid, it is the worse qualifying position he’s ever had in America.


The third and final qualifying round is where the grid was mixed up. Max Verstappen abandoned a lap and headed back to the pits. Although, he later regretted that when Charles Leclerc lost control in sector 1, turn 7 again, causing a yellow flag that ended in a red flag, leaving Verstappen without setting a time and starting in 9th place. Amazingly, the top 6 qualifiers were all from different teams, making us believe the championship could be closer this racing season.


Our pole sitter was the street circuit specialist Sergio Perez with Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz closely behind him.


Although the race lacked the usual flags and incidents, there were still minor collisions. The alpha Tauri of Nyck De Vries clipped McLlaren’s Lando Norris as he overtook, causing him an early pit stop. Logan Sargeant, the home town hero, also claims,

“Front wing damage from lap 1 ruined my race.”


Max Verstappen had some pressure on him if he wanted a chance of a podium from 9th position, but the Dutchman labelled as ‘Super Max’ made it to 3rd within 14 laps. The two Red Bulls battled it out during the last 10 laps. However, it seems that Perez’s strategy couldn’t compete with his teammate as his used hard tyres couldn’t keep up, dropping him to second. Fernando Alonso secured another third-place podium after his brief break from the last Grand Prix. He out-qualified and outraced his younger teammate  Lance Stroll this Grand Prix. In a post-race interview with Formula 1, he said:

“It was a nice surprise. I was in a privileged position.”

The Ferrari drivers were again unsatisfied with their performance despite finishing in the points, particularly Charles Leclerc. He told a Formula 1 reporter.


“I am very hard on myself.” “The car was hard to drive. It was inconsistent and didn’t feel great.”


Could Ferrari be just a qualifying car this year? They are substantially far behind front-runner Red Bull.


Mercedes did well in pulling points back from their not-so-impressive qualifying. George Russell brought home 12 points with a 4th-place finish. And 7-time world champion climbing his way up to 6th place, securing 8 points.


The 2023 Miami Grand Prix podium was not an unseen one. Verstappen, P1. Perez P2 and Alonso P3.


The driver of the day for me was world Champion Max Verstappen for his impressive overtaking and position climbing.


We find ourselves in Italy for the Emilia Grand Prix next. Teams have 1 week to adjust their cars and plan their strategy. So clear your calendars for the 19-21 of May!


Megan Taylor

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