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Miami Grand Prix Sprint Race: Verstappen wins an exciting, eventful Sprint

Written by Ria Ann Sam, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Max Verstappen reigned supreme once again in a sprint race, winning out by nearly three seconds from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, while Sergio Perez finished third in Miami’s inaugural sprint outing. 

Credit: Mark Thompson

After an exciting practice session which saw Charles Leclerc bring out the red flag, and an even more exciting sprint qualifying which saw neither Mercedes make it into Q3, it’s the Miami Sprint race. Max Verstappen starts on pole, with Charles Leclerc and Perez starting behind him. 

Homeboy Logan Sargeant started 18th ahead of teammate Alex Albon following a lap deletion for the Thai; marking the first time the Florida native has outqualified Albon.

Lights out, and the start proved action-packed with an immediate yellow flag, eventually bringing out the safety car. From the onboards, the two Aston Martins appeared to make contact, taking Lando Norris out in the process. 

The Spaniard managed to get away with a small puncture (and a new front wing after an early pit stop) but Stroll and Norris were out of the race. The stewards declared no further action.

The race was green-flagged by lap 3, with Daniel Ricciardo up into third. The Red Bull of Perez loomed large in the mirrors, and took the position back by lap 5. Race control noted Lando for leaving his car and entering the track on foot; he will be investigated after the race.

Kevin Magnussen’s elbows-out defence saw him receive two separate 10-second penalties, one for going off track at turn 15 and gaining an advantage over Hamilton, and another for his defence at turn 11, leaving him out of the points. 

As this happened, Race Control noted Hamilton was under investigation for speeding in the pit lane. Meanwhile, Magnussen was once again in the headlines, shown the black and white flag for exceeding track limits — another and he would receive a time penalty.

Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli

At the front of the grid, Ricciardo, Sainz, and Piastri battled each other for fourth position; Ricciardo put up an incredible defence.

Unfortunately for Hamilton, whilst he was battling Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda managed to creep into eight place. Magnussen also received another 10 second penalty, giving him 20 seconds in penalties overall.

Despite telling his race engineer that his tyres had no grip, Max Verstappen finished first, with Leclerc and Perez behind him. Ricciardo finished fourth ahead of Sainz and Piastri. On the final lap, Lewis Hamiton managed to overtake Yuki Tsunoda to take eighth, however, he was given a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane, promoting the Japanese youngster into the points

Magnussen would be in the spotlight for penalties once again, receiving a five-second penalty for track limit violations post-race. Nevertheless, his defence of the last points-paying positions on Saturday helped teammate Hulkenberg snatch two vital points, keeping Haas firmly in seventh in the standings. 

Do tune in to qualifying later in the day, to see the action unfold once again at the Miami International Autodrome. 


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