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Max Verstappen Steals Miami Grand Prix on Tire Strategy

*** BESTPIX *** F1 Grand Prix of Miami - Max Verstappen Win

Max Verstappen swept Sunday’s (May 7) Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix out from under Sergio Perez with a long-game pit strategy that allowed the Dutchman to breeze by his teammate in the race’s closing stages.

This win is Verstappen’s fourth on American soil, having won the United States Grand Prix in both 2021 and 2022, and the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in 2022. Verstappen extends his points lead over Perez to 14 points with 119 to Perez’s 105.

Verstappen started the race from ninth place on hard tires after being caught timeless in Saturday’s (May 6) qualifying session. The two-time champion stretched his initial set of rubber to lap 45, while Perez struggled for sustained pace on the softer, faster-degrading medium tires. Perez pitted for hards on lap 21, aiming to stretch the to the end of the 57 lap race.

Even with a fresher set of the same tire compound, Perez couldn’t consistently exceed Verstappen’s pace. Verstappen rejoined the track from his lap-45 pit stop only 1.3 seconds behind Perez, leaving the Mexican driver effectively in damage control vis-a-vis his teammate.

Despite a vicious defense from Perez, Verstappen took the lead on lap 47 and was free to waltz into the distance from there on, even setting a lap time of 1:29.708 – the first lap of the race in the 1:29 range – on his penultimate trip around the circuit. Verstappen earned an extra point by virtue of setting the fastest lap of the race, bringing his total points payout on the day to 26.

The next round of the 2023 F1 calendar will take place on Sunday, May 21, from the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Coverage will begin at 9:00 a.m. ET on ESPN.

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