Defending Formula One champion Max Verstappen raced to his third win of the year Sunday in the series’ inaugural Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome.
The Red Bull driver started third and passed pole-sitter Charles Leclerc for the lead on Lap 9.
He would lead the rest of the way, but not before a late caution created some drama.
The caution came on Lap 41 of 57 and was caused when Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris made contact, sending Norris into a spin as his right-rear tire came off.
After pit stops, Verstappen then had to hold off Leclerc over the final run once the race resumed. He ultimately finished more than three seconds ahead of the Ferrari driver.
“It feels amazing to win in Miami, the whole atmosphere this weekend has been incredible and to win in the US is always a nice feeling,” Verstappen said “It was a physically tough race; I think I must have lost around 3kgs! We had a really good pace on the minimum tire, that for sure helped to make my race. Once we had the pitstop I was just managing my time to Charles, I think we were very closely matched on the hard tire. Then the safety car came out which made it more entertaining for the fans, I had to push hard today but we made it work. I’m super pleased for the team, we didn’t have a great start to the weekend so we’ve come far, a big thank you to everyone.”
With Verstappen’s thee wins, Red Bull is now only six points behind Ferrari. Verstappen is 19 points behind Leclerc, who had won twice.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third, followed by Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ George Russell.
Russell started 11th and pit during the caution. Using new tires, he passed teammate Lewis Hamilton on Lap 54.
Hamilton, who remains winless this season, finished sixth.
Next up for Formula One is a trip to Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 20-22.