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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Verstappen beat Ferrari in Miami

On the grid of the first Miami Grand Prix, the Ferrari drivers stood on the front row and Charles Leclerc held the lead at the start. His teammate Carlos Sainz was unable to contain Max Verstappen, who started third in the race, and the Red Bull driver started in second position.

The Dutch driver closed in on the leader after a few laps and overtook Leclerc on lap 9. Monegasque tried to hang on to Verstappen for some time but Red Bull’s pace was faster. Charles began to fall behind and missed an attempt to beat the opponent at the expense of an undercut at the pit stops.

Verstappen confidently drove ahead, but the safety car ruined his position. On lap 41, Pierre Gasly, already losing ground due to a damaged car in a previous crash with Fernando Alonso, was attempting to overtake Lando Norris. There was contact between the French and British cars, the McLaren driver lost control and the car crashed into a wall. The safety car circled the track for six laps. After the restart of the race, Leclerc closely chased Verstappen for some time in the fight for victory, but never got to attack, and in the end the Monegasque fell behind.

The Dutchman won the second Grand Prix in a row and set the fastest lap in Miami. Verstappen’s gap with Leclerc in the championship has been reduced to 19 points.

Third place was played by Carlos Sainz and Sergio Pérez. During the race, the pilots had a small problem. The Spaniard had a fairly slow pit stop, and the Mexican’s car started to lose power at some point, although Red Bull fixed the problem remotely. Pérez managed to make a “free” pit stop under a safety car and ended up on much newer tyres. Shortly before the finish, the Mexican attacked the Ferrari and even got ahead, but he braked too much before entering the corner, and Sainz regained third place. The Spaniard kept it until the finish line. Ferrari is 6 points ahead of Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship, and if Sainz had missed out on Perez, then the Austrian team would have taken the lead on additional gauges if the points were equal.

George Russell continued his streak of top 5 finishes. The Mercedes driver took advantage of the tactic. The British started with the “hard” and most of the pilots with the “medium”. Russell, due to pit stops by others, moved up to fifth and then urged the team to delay with a single pit stop, hoping to wait for a virtual or full safety car. When the safety car appeared on track, George took advantage of it and, after going into pit lane to change tyres, he lost just two places.

Russell was seventh behind his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who was in turn chasing Valtteri Bottas. At the same time, the Alfa Romeo driver and seven-time world champion already had worn tires as they did not enter pit lane behind the safety car. Shortly after the restart, Bottas made a mistake and missed both Mercedes at once. Shortly before the finish, Russell also passed Hamilton, who remained sixth.

Bottas finished seventh, followed by two Alpins who crossed the line. Fernando Alonso had a good start and spent most of the race behind Gasly. The Spaniard was close to the Alpha Tauri rider before the pit stop, but during the pit stop the mechanics were hesitant to change one of the Alpin wheels. The two-time world champion lost time, but after a while he approached Gasly again. The Spaniard boldly attacked, but overdid it and crashed into an opponent’s car, damaging the Frenchman’s car. Pierre began to lose pace and position rapidly, colliding with Norris and retiring just short of the finish line.

Alonso received a five-second penalty for his manoeuvre. He could drop out of the points zone after they piled up late in the race. But in a tight group behind the Spaniard late in the race, Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel collided. The “Haas” driver could not add the first credit points in his career. As a result, Alonso, despite the penalty, failed after finishing alone with his Alpin teammate Esteban Okon, who, like Russell, used the tactic of starting on the “hard” and a single extended pit stop. The top ten was closed by Alexander Albon. The Thai ran the race without incident and gave Williams another point in the championship.


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