Miami GP 2022

MAY 8, 2022

Race Notes - Verstappen wins Miami GP

Max Verstappen, Miami GP 2022
© Red Bull

By Mark Karp

Max Verstappen won the first ever Miami Grand Prix in his Red Bull, 3.786 seconds ahead of pole sitter Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari. Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari was third, 8.229 seconds behind the winner.

The win is Verstappen’s third of the season, and 23rd career win.

Leclerc continues to lead the Drivers Championship with 104 points, 19 points ahead of Verstappen with 85 points. Ferrari continues to lead the Constructors Championship with 157 points, 6 points over Red Bull with 151 points, with Mercedes GP in third with 95 points.

Sergio Perez (10.638s) in the second Red Bull was fourth, followed by George Russell (18.582s) in the Mercedes GP was fifth, his team mate Lewis Hamilton (21.368s) was sixth, Valtteri Bottas (25.073s) in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari was seventh, Esteban Ocon (28.386s) in the Alpine-Renault was eighth, his team mate Fernando Alonso (32.128s) with a 5-second penalty was ninth, and Alex Albon (32.365s) in the Williams-Mercedes took the final point in tenth place.

Before the start, with a chance of showers (40%) on a hot afternoon, the two Ferarri’s of Leclerc on pole and Sainz on the outside of row 1, Verstappen and Perez on row 2, Bottas and Hamilton on row 3, Gasly and Norris on row 4 and Tsunoda and Stroll rounding out the top ten.

Vettel and Stroll will start from the pitlane due to fuel temperature issues.

Tons of celebrities have turned out for the event.

The projected fastest strategy is a two stopper, starting on medium tyres and switching to hard then medium, or switching to two pairs of hard tyres. The top nine starting on medium tyres, and then a mixture medium and hard starters in the rest of the field.

At the appointed time the field came around the Miami circuit for it’s first race. The lights went out and the race began with Leclerc takes the lead, Verstappen passes Sainz for second into the first corner.

Leclerc leads Verstappen, Sainz, Perez, Bottas, Gasly, Alonso, Hamilton, Norris and Tsunoda in tenth. Alonso up four places in the first lap.

On lap 2 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m34.389s.

On lap 3 Hamilton passes Alonso for seventh.

On lap 4 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m34.287s, and trails Leclerc by 1.4 seconds.

Alonso touched tyres with Hamilton in the first corner, and Hamilton reporting a potential problem.

On lap 6 Hamilton passes Gasly for sixth place.

Haas team mates Magnussen and Schumacher battling, Schumacher takes tenth place.

Zhou pits and retires.

Alonso is chasing Gasly for seventh.

Red Bull tells Verstappen that Leclerc front tyres are falling off.

On lap 9 Verstappen passes Leclerc for the lead in the DRS zone.

On lap 10 Ricciardo passes Tsunoda for 12th place.

Magnussen passes his team mate Schumacher for tenth.

On lap 14 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m33.866s, and again the next lap at 1m33.510s

Schumacher and Magnussen pit for new tyres.

At lap 15 Verstappen leads Leclerc by 3.7 seconds, followed by Sainz (5.9s), Perez (7.6s), Bottas (19.8s), Hamilton (22.4s), Gasly (26.6s)

Alonso pits for hard tyres.

Gasly and Albon pit, both for hard tyres.

On lap 19 Norris pits for hard tyres, and gets past by Stroll, Vettel and Magnussen passing him as he rejoins the race.

Perez reports to the team that he is losing power.

Norris runs wide at a corner and Schumacher passes him for 15th.

On lap 21 Verstappen sets fast lap at 133.249s, and leads Leclerc by 4.2 seconds.

Magnussen is chasing Vettel for 13th.

On lap 22 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m33.193s.

On lap 23 Hamilton pits from sixth for hard tyres and rejoins seventh.

On lap 23 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m33.141s.

On lap 25 Leclerc pits from second place for hard tyres and rejoins in fourth.

Latifi is chasing Tsunoda for 18th.

On lap 27 Verstappen pits from the lead for hard tyres and rejoins in second, Sainz takes over the lead.

On lap 28 Sainz and Perez both pit, both for hard tyres - Sainz has a slow stop, but still gets our ahead of Perez.

Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m33.054s, and again on lap 28 at 1m32.950s.

On lap 29 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m32.779s.

At lap 30 Verstappen leads Leclerc by 7.2 seconds, followed by Sainz (19.3s), Perez (24.6s), Russell (34.0s), still yet to pit, Bottas (36.1s), Hamilton (39.6s), Ocon (50.8s), Gasly (55,4s) and Alonso (57.7s) in tenth.

Hamilton is struggling with his tyres and has a lockup, but continues.

On lap 32 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m32.742s, the next lap Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m32.366s.

On lap 35 Magnussen runs wide and Schumacher passes him for 12th. Norris passes Vettel for 14th.

So teams are reporting to their drivers that there is some rain coming in the next 10 minutes.

On lap 37 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m32.325s.

Bottas has closes to under two seconds behind Russell, on his original hard tyres.

On lap 39 Leclerc set fast lap at 132.096s.

Alonso and Gasly make contact, but continue.

On lap 40 Norris and Gasly make contact, and the virtual safety car is out.

Russell pits. The full safety car is out. Perez and Ocon pit the next lap. Vettel, Ricciardo and Tsunonda all pit.

Alonso is given a 5-second penalty for his earlier contact.

Magnussen pits.

Behind the safety car Verstappen leads Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, Bottas, Hamilton, Russell, Alonso, Schumacher and Ocon in tenth.

At the end of lap 46 the safety car pulls in, and the race resumes with Verstappen in the lead followed by Leclerc, Sainz and Perez looking to get by on fresh tyres.

Leclerc is within a second of Verstappen in the lead.

On lap 49 Leclerc sets fast lap at 1m31.850s.

Bottas runs wide e and and Hamilton and Russell pass him.

Russell then passes Hamilton for fifth.

Leclerc is still within half a second of Verstappen in the lead.

Perez continues to challenge Sainz for third, the two touch, Perez locks up, Sainz retains the position, and both continue.

On lap 53 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m31.456s.

Hamilton is back up to fifth ahead of Russell

Vettel and Schumacher come together, Vettel is out, Schumacher pits for a new front wing.

On lap 54 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m31.361s.

Russell passes Hamilton on old tyres for fifth.

On lap 56 Verstappen stretches his lead to 2.5 seconds.

On the final lap Verstappen takes the chequered flag ahead of Leclerc and Sainz to win the first Miami Grand Prix.