Just over eight years since making his professional racing debut in the Florida Winter Series, Max Verstappen returned to the Sunshine State with his sights set on coming away with another victory. After 57 laps in Miami on Sunday, he accomplished his goal.
Verstappen won the Miami Grand Prix, beating out a late push by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to secure the victory. It was Verstappen’s second straight win, coming weeks after finishing first in Italy at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
Leclerc finished in second place, while Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz came in third to take the last spot on the podium.
The win moves Verstappen to within 19 points of Leclerc for the drivers’ championship, with Leclerc now holding a 104–85 lead. Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Pérez, is in third with 66 points. George Russell of Mercedes (59 points) and Sainz (53) round out the top five.
After the race, Leclerc noted his car’s difficulty with medium tires and thought that he would be able to overtake Verstappen in the final laps, but ultimately fell short.
“It was a very difficult race physically,” Leclerc said in a post-race interview. “We struggled quite a bit with the medium tires, especially in the first stint, and got overtaken there. It made our race a bit more difficult from that moment onwards. We were very competitive, I thought I could get Max at one point but today they had the advantage in terms of pace.”
Up next on the F1 schedule is the Spanish Grand Prix, which is set to be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 22.