Max points for Verstappen again: 2022 Miami GP as it happened


Max Verstappen passed Charles Leclerc to win the first Miami Grand Prix and close the gap in this year's F1 championship

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

It was an ultimately dominant performance from Verstappen in Miami

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Max Verstappen resisted intense pressure from Charles Leclerc in the closing laps to win the first Miami Grand Prix, as he once again took maximum points from the race weekend.

The championship gap between the Dutchman and Leclerc is now 19 points, after a race in which he passed the Ferrari, stayed ahead through a safety car period and set the fastest lap as Leclerc followed closely.

Despite concerns over safety and the track surface, there was plenty of overtaking and a single safety car during the 57-lap race, in which Carlos Sainz held on for the third podium place despite the best efforts of a fresher-tyred Sergio Perez.

There was action aplenty further down the grid, providing much entertainment for spectators in the stands, beach club and yachts.

Lando Norris failed to finish after he was clipped by a slow-moving Pierre Gasly — who had suffered earlier damage in a clash with Fernando Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel was taken out as well; good friend Mick Schumacher punting him off the circuit in an over-ambitious overtaking attempt.

Here’s how the race played out:

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 leads Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari F1-75 and the rest of the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Leclerc converted pole into the lead

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The Aston Martins didn’t take the grid after the team found that the cars’ fuel was too cool and needed draining and refilling to avoid the risk of a penalty.

They started from the pits on hard tyres; one of the few teams to choose that option along with Esteban Ocon, Nicholas Latifi and George Russell.

Third-placed Verstappen got the jump on Sainz, who was second on the grid at the start, and kept level alongside him on the outside of Turn 1, which became the inside of Turn 2, allowing him into second.

Ahead, Leclerc pulled away and was already 0.8sec clear at the end of lap 1.

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Lewis Hamilton lost out when he locked up at the inside of Turn 1 alongside Gasly, who gained sixth position. As he moved to the inside of Turn 1, Hamilton’s Mercedes tapped Alonso’s front wheel and dropped down to eighth, just ahead of Norris.

Russell on hard tyres slipped down to 15th from 12th.

Leclerc had pulled out a second over Verstappen by the start of the lap 3, clear of DRS range. Alonso wasn’t safe though and Hamilton pulled past with the aid of DRS on the run-up to Turn 11.

By the start of lap 6, Hamilton was past Gasly on the inside of Turn 1 Schumacher was also in action as he muscled his way past tenth-placed Yuki Tsunoda and into the points; the pair fighting side-by-side for several corners.

He was followed through by Kevin Magnussen. In the pits, Zhou Guanyu retired with car issues on lap 7.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 leads Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW44 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Russell sliced his way through the field after fending off Albon early on

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On lap 8, Verstappen was told by his pitwall that they could see some damage to Leclerc’s front-right tyre; the Red Bull was within DRS range at 0.9sec behind the Ferrari and closing.

It didn’t take Verstappen long, as he got a run on Leclerc going into lap 9, activated DRS on the pit straight to pull alongside and secured the position under braking for Turn 1.

Leclerc appeared to have no comeback, despite initially being within DRS range.

Despite Red Bull’s messages about Leclerc’s tyre wear-rate, there didn’t seem to be any concern for Sainz’s engineers; the Spaniard was told on lap 11 that his first stint was being extended.

Yuki Tsunoda was the first to pit on the same lap, swapping medium tyres for hards, and he was followed in by Kevin Magnussen who also put hard tyres on.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 overtakes Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 for the lead during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Verstappen passes Leclerc on the run up to Turn 1

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Leclerc looked to be struggling by lap 12, falling 2.5sec behind Verstappen and running wide.

At the front, Max Verstappen continued to set fastest laps, clocking a 1min 33.510sec lap on lap 14.

Fernando Alonso looked to be targeting an undercut on Pierre Gasly with a stop at the end of lap 16 but a problem with the right rear tyre left him stationary for too long. Gasly pitted on lap 17 and emerged ahead.

Sebastian Vettel forced his way out from behind Nicholas Latifi in 17th, proving that it is possible to overtake in the tight chicane section

Lando Norris pitted on lap 18. A slow stop saw him emerge between the Aston Martins, but he lost out to Sebastian Vettel immediately and then fell victim to Kevin Magnussen soon afterwards.

22 MIA VER 3

Verstappen took the initiative on lap nine and never looked back


Sergio Perez was within DRS range of Carlos Sainz on lap 20, but soon afterwards complained of losing power. He was told by the team that everything was ok and that he had just lost the tow from Sainz, but a laptime 4sec slower than previously suggested otherwise, as did a forceful Perez..

“Keep going, we’re doing all we can,” Perez was told on lap 21, “the power unit looks good now.”

Lewis Hamilton came in at the end of lap 22, which promoted Russell to sixth. He came out behind his team-mate and ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in eighth.

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After Verstappen set a series of fastest laps, Leclerc took the mantle, clocking a 1min 33,141sec time on lap 23

He was in from second for hard tyres on lap 24, dropping below Perez to run fourth, ahead of Bottas.

Verstappen followed Leclerc in on lap 26, coming out ahead of Perez and 7.5sec ahead of Leclerc.

Sainz’s stop came at the end of lap 27, the Ferrari coming in from the lead and losing several seconds with a wheel nut issue. He retains third position ahead of Perez who stopped on the same lap.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Aston Martin AMR22 Mercedes leads Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 VF-22 Ferrari during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Most the mid-race action took place in an Aston / Haas RS train

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Hamilton complained that his tyres were overheating on lap 29 after seven laps on them, and locked up his front-left tyre going into Turn 11.

Vettel passed Magnussen for 13th on lap 31, while Daniel Ricciardo made his stop for hard tyres on the same lap, dropping to 17th, behind Albon. Team-mate Norris was only a short distance up the road in 15th.

Vettel lost his gains on lap 32, dropping behind both Haas cars, putting him in range of Norris.

Fernando Alonso clipped Pierre Gasly as he tried to make a move for ninth place on the inside of Turn 1. It was optimistic and the Alpine locked up under braking, but still slipped the side of Gasly, whose AlphaTauri appeared wounded and dropped back. “He turned into me,” Alonso claimed over the radio, although the stewards didn’t see it the same way, awarding him a 5sec penalty for causing a collision.

It would prove to be even more significant thanks to Gasly who was rolling towards the pits at reduced speed, trying to avoid the racing line.

At the narrow exit of Turn 7, he clipped Lando Norris as the McLaren went by on lap 41, sending the orange car spinning round, and dislodging its rear wheel.


Norris crash with Gasly brought first the VSC then full safety car

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A virtual safety car was imposed to clear the McLaren, shortly followed by the full safety car and George Russell immediately pitted for his only stop. He switched to medium tyres, but behind him several drivers took the risk of softs: Ocon, Ricicardo, Gasly, Tsunoda.

Perez stopped for medium tyres and resumed in fourth. It left him behind Verstappen who lined up first, ahead of Leclerc and Sainz all on their existing hard tyres.

Bottas, who remained on his hard tyres, was behind Perez, followed by Hamilton, also on hard tyres having chosen position over late-race pace.

George Russell was on medium tyres was seventh, followed by Alonso and Schumacher who hadn’t changed their hard tyres. In tenth was Ocon, the first of the soft-tyred runners.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 passes his team celebrating on the pitwall during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Verstappen weathered the late safety car to win

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The safety car was in at the end of lap 46. Verstappen was away clear at the front, with Perez already hassling Sainz and unsuccessfully attempting to pull alongside on the outside of Turn 1.

Magnussen and Stroll had minor contact as they fought for 14th and 15th, but there was more luck for the sister Haas: Schumacher passing Ocon despite staying on hard tyres.

Leclerc looked to be building up for a move on Verstappen. Further back, Sainz encouraged Perez by running wide but the Mexican still couldn’t find a way through.

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Russell was using his fresher tyres to pressurise Hamilton in sixth on the back straight on lap 49, but both drivers moved up when Bottas ran wide at Turn 17 and the Mercedes went by — Hamilton still ahead.

Russell was past on lap 50, running off the track as Hamilton squeezed him. He handed the position back to Hamilton but then shot past again.

Sergio Perez made a lunge into Turn 1 at the start of lap 52, but he left his braking too late, ran wide and allowed Sainz back into the final podium place.

At the front, Leclerc was bouncing over the kerbs in the Turn 14-15 chicane, as he attempted to keep as close as possible to Verstappen on the run to the back straight, but the Red Bull remained ahead.

Mick Schumacher had been running strongly in tenth but was aiming to go one better as he looked to the inside of his mentor Sebastian Vettel at Turn 1 on lap 54. The Aston Martin was well ahead, as Schumacher speared into the side, sending Vettel limping to the pits to retire, and dropping the Haas driver to last.

At the front, Leclerc had nothing more to give, and Verstappen crossed the line to win, with the fastest lap to his name for an additional point too.

2022 Miami Grand Prix results

Position Driver Team Time Points
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 57 laps 26*
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +3.786sec 18
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +8.229sec 15
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull +10.638sec 12
5 George Russell Mercedes +18.582sec 10
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +21.368sec 8
7 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +25.073sec 6
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine +28.386sec 4
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine +32.128sec 2
10 Alex Albon Williams +32.365sec 1
11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +35.902sec
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +37.026sec
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +40.146sec
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams +49.936sec
15 Mick Schumacher Haas +1min 13.305sec
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas DNF
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin DNF
18 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri DNF
19 Lando Norris McLaren DNF
20 Zhou Guanyu Ferrari DNF

*Includes additional point for fastest lap