Formula 1 Racing

10 things we learned at the 2023 F1 Miami Grand Prix

Perez and Verstappen had won two races each heading to Miami, but the Dutchman's stylish victory was a mark of authority

With five successive wins at the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season, there was little to be learned in Max Verstappen’s Miami Grand Prix triumph for his Red Bull squad – bar the team nailing the tricky demands of the track’s new surface around the home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

But for the Dutchman, his recovery from a wrecked Q3 to win ahead of pole-sitting team-mate Sergio Perez set out a narrative-shifting marker that is predicted to become the main basis of his title defence in what is clearly, solely, an intra-Red Bull affair.

Elsewhere, Ferrari’s tough 2023 start continued, Alpine had to hear some strong criticism from its boss and the FIA introduced new personnel rules following Esteban Ocon’s pitlane near-miss a week ago in Baku.

This what we learned from F1’s second trip to Miami.

1. Verstappen snaps Perez’s early title momentum

Perez and Verstappen had won two races each heading to Miami, but the Dutchman’s stylish victory was a mark of authority

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Perez arrived in Miami riding high after his impressive Baku weekend performances, where Verstappen had looked out of sorts and rattled. The Dutchman then rather startlingly admitted to not liking street tracks in the pre-event press conference once the paddock had rocked up on the other side of the world in Miami and was punished for his early Q3 error.

But, come the race, Verstappen showed Perez exactly how hard it’s going to be to mount at true title challenge as he quickly and ferociously rose from ninth on the grid to trail his team-mate after just 15 laps.

The pair engaged in a tyre management duel – not the stuff of F1 legend – with the hard tyre performing better and confounding Red Bull’s pre-race expectations Verstappen would have a harder race. In fact, Perez was worse off and that must be remembered. This was not an equal fight, but starting eight spots higher should’ve yielded a bigger advantage.

PLUS: How Verstappen deployed an under-appreciated strong suit to defeat Perez in Miami

Once they’d swapped rubber, the pair went wheel to wheel – Perez mounting a defence and earning credit, but it was to no avail. They gave each other respectful room at Turn 1 and Verstappen then disappeared, his dominance restored at a track with the higher speed stuff he excels in compared to Perez.

With only Monaco to come back on the ground Perez prefers for the next phase of the season, this felt like a defining,…

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