F1: Verstappen, unchained in Miami | Formula 1 | Sports

Given the obvious superiority of the Red Bulls over the rest of the cars that make up the F-1 World Championship grid, it would not be surprising that Liberty Media, obsessed as it is with the company that owns the exploitation rights of the great four-wheel circus , a decree was invented for Max Verstappen to start Sunday, yes, and Sunday, too, from the last positions of the formation. In Miami, the fifth stop on the calendar this season, he made it ninth and in just 21 laps he was able to regain the lead that he believes is his by nature.

The current world champion took the third victory of the season because of the devilish speed that he carries inside and because of the stupendous strategy projected by Hannah Schmitz, the compass that guides the energetic cars, which cleared the panorama for him to roam freely. . With those ingredients on the board and victory on the horizon, Verstappen offered the best version of him to unsettle all his rivals, starting with Checo Pérez, his workshop neighbor.

The Mexican finished second, and the worst thing for him is that he did everything right, but he was just slower than Mad Max. This represents the fourth double of five possible for the red buffalo brand, a most significant statistic. Fernando Alonso accumulated his fourth podium of the course, and confirmed that he is currently the third fastest driver of all, after the two Red Bull riders. Carlos Sainz crossed the line in fifth after being penalized with a five-second penalty for exceeding the maximum speed allowed in the pit lane.

The pass to the hole of Charles Leclerc that placed Pérez in the pole position It did not help the Mexican to get rid of the clutches of his partner, who played against and, as almost always, ended up winning. Verstappen’s ninth place out of it prompted him to look for something different, so he shod his car with the harder-tire specification, stretching out his visit to the garages as long as he could. The Jalisco driver stopped on lap number 21 and he did so on lap 46, with 11 remaining to go and when he had an 18-second lead in his favor.

decisive overtaking

Upon rejoining the track, with new and medium compounds (Pérez had placed the hard ones), the Hasselt rider only needed two laps to clear Checo of the 1.3-second margin he had in his favor, to move to the front of the pack nine laps to the checkered flag. That was the definitive overtaking, but the key to everything was the consistency in the rhythm that he showed with the first set of tyres, thanks to which he built those options that he later materialized, with a definitive attack on Pérez, completely exposed.

Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso on the podium this Sunday.
Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso on the podium this Sunday.ANGELA WEISS (AFP)

Thus, between Verstappen’s voracity and the muscle of the prototype he drives, the main entertainment for most of the paddock is guessing when he will be champion. Last year he did it in Suzuka, four tests before the end, and everything seems set so that this time he will get it even sooner.

To the technical mess in which Mercedes is involved with its W14 is added the mismanagement that has been installed in Ferrari after the departure of Mattia Binotto, its director, who has recently been followed by other decisive engineers in the design of the car. All in all, Alonso is the only one who is capable of optimizing the performance of the car he drives to the maximum, even though, at least for the moment, the Silverstone formation is not in a position to measure itself short with the champion team. “I was able to stay out of trouble in the first few laps, and then he overtook one by one. I extended my run with the hard tyres, which was what decided everything”, summed up Verstappen, who takes a breath at the head of the general table, in which he leads with a 14-point advantage over Pérez.

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