Verstappen beats Leclerc to win first Miami Grand Prix

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Formula One world champion Max Verstappen won the first Miami Grand Prix for Red Bull on Sunday (May 8) to slash Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc’s overall lead from 27 to 19 points after five races.

Leclerc finished a fighting second, 3.786 seconds behind after starting on pole position, with Spanish team mate Carlos Sainz completing the podium at the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.
The victory was the Dutch driver’s third of the season, and second in a row, and he made it happen with a crucial overtake around the outside on Sainz at the start to seize second place before blasting past Leclerc on the ninth of the 57 laps.

Verstappen, who also made sure of the bonus point for fastest lap, then held off a late attack from Leclerc after a safety car period triggered by McLaren’s Lando Norris crashing on lap 41.
Leclerc was right on Verstappen’s tail with five laps remaining, with the safety car bunching up the pack, after struggling with the medium tires on his opening stint.

Verstappen’s Mexican team mate Sergio Perez finished fourth, with Ferrari retaining the lead in the constructors’ standings on 157 points to Red Bull’s 151.
Perez tried to pass Sainz on lap 52 but overcooked his move, with the Spaniard forcing his way back in front and staying there.

George Russell continued his record of finishing every race so far in the top five, with Mercedes team mate and seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton sixth.

Valtteri Bottas was seventh for Alfa Romeo with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon eighth in a stirring fight back after being unable to take part in Saturday’s qualifying due to a practice crash that forced the team to change his car’s chassis.

Double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso was ninth and Alex Albon 10th for Williams.
There was heartbreak for Mick Schumacher, who had been having his best race to date and looked like taking his first point in Formula One until he collided with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel and team mate Lance Stroll both started from the pit lane after a fuel temperature problem stopped them from going to the grid.