5 Winners and 5 Losers from the Miami Grand Prix – Who was on fire in Florida?
Max Verstappen regained the momentum in the championship fight with a ruthless fightback through the field to win the Miami Grand Prix, but a fair few of his rivals didn’t have the best time in the Sunshine State. Here are our picks for this week’s edition of Winners and Losers…
Winner: Max Verstappen
Verstappen was pleased there was only a week to wait for the next race after a difficult weekend in Baku – and the Dutchman made fine work of putting that disappointment behind him in Miami.
After an error in qualifying left him ninth on the grid, the Red Bull driver blitzed through the field, his care and pace on the hard tyres so good, he could extend the stint and then easily pass team mate Sergio Perez for the win with softer tyres.
This was his fourth consecutive win in the United States, his 24th consecutive finish – that’s the current longest streak – and his 38th win for Red Bull, tying Sebastian Vettel’s team record. He’s also 14 points clear in the championship.
Loser: Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez was having a torrid weekend right up until qualifying, where he capitalised on Verstappen’s mistake to take pole, giving him eight places' breathing space from his team mate.
However, the medium tyre wasn’t as good as the hard compound in the first stint on high fuel and when he swapped rubber, he could do little to defend from his team mate on fresher, softer tyres.
It means that while this was his fourth top-two spot in five races this season, he lost vital ground to Verstappen in the title race.
Winner: Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso is loving life at Aston Martin, the double world champion revelling in a car that is allowing him to showcase his impressive talent. That was on display once again in Miami as he secured an unlikely front row start.
He knew he couldn’t keep Verstappen behind, but easily had the pace to beat Ferrari and Mercedes to give him his fourth podium in five races to sit third in the drivers’ standings. Those four podiums are more than he’s managed in his previous seven seasons of Formula 1 combined.
This was a painful weekend for McLaren, the orange cars lacking the pace to even escape Q1. Things didn’t get much better on race day, with Lando Norris picking up damage worth 0.2-0.3s per lap when Nyck de Vries clattered into him at the start.
His team mate Oscar Piastri endured a brake-by-wire problem for most of the race and while he showed decent pace considering, he was never in contention for points. More upgrades are coming – they can’t come soon enough.
Winner: Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen was dreaming of a big points haul after starting a superb fourth on the grid but with no retirements and the big teams delivering, the fact he hung on to score the final point in 10th was impressive.
Overall, it was a strong weekend for Haas, the team very much in the mix from practice onwards, allowing them to build a good rhythm. That point means the team have scored in three of the first five races, delivering the kind of consistency they need if they want to improve their championship position from last year.
Loser: Nyck de Vries
De Vries’ challenging start to life as a full time F1 driver continues, as the Dutchman left Miami with his points tally still on zero after a race that was ruined by a first corner error.
He locked up heading into Turn 1, crashing into the back of Norris. Though he continued, he did so with a flat spot on his tyres and subsequent vibrations, and limped home to 18th.
It’ll hurt even more as team mate Yuki Tsunoda delivered another very impressive race, his fifth top 11 finish of the season. He was consistent and patient while delivering very good tyre management.
Winner: George Russell
George Russell is making a habit of getting more out of his difficult Mercedes than the car really deserves.
He followed up a decent P6 on the grid with some very good overtakes, including on Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, to battle his way up to fourth. That ties his best result of the season and closes the gap to team mate Lewis Hamilton to 16 points.
Losers: Alfa Romeo
Despite not having any upgrades on the car in Miami, Alfa Romeo delivered a step forward in performance on Friday and Saturday, with Valtteri Bottas getting his car into Q3.
However, he simply didn’t have the pace to maintain that position and tumbled out of the top 10. His team mate Zhou Guanyu couldn’t fight his way into the points either, meaning the Swiss team have now gone two races without a score.
After two depressing race weekends, Alpine got themselves back on track with their second double points finish of the season.
Pierre Gasly’s P8 equals the team’s best result of the season, with Esteban Ocon finishing a place behind – a result that echoed Saudi Arabia, but with the drivers swapping positions.
They are now level on points with McLaren on 14 – but face a difficult task to haul themselves into the top four and replicate last year’s finish.
This was a humbling weekend for Ferrari, who had the wind knocked out of their sails having showed an upturn in form just a few days ago in Baku.
While qualifying was their strongest of the season – with the red cars almost a match for the Red Bulls – they were in a world of pain come Sunday.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc said the car was unpredictable when on the limit – with Sainz no match for Alonso, and Leclerc spending way too long getting past Magnussen.