This is why Verstappen won so easily from Leclerc in Miami

14-05-2022 16:03 | Updated: 14-05-2022 16:11
by GPblog.com
F1 News
This is why Verstappen won so easily from Leclerc in Miami

Max Verstappen won convincingly over his rival Charles Leclerc in the Miami Grand Prix last weekend. For almost the entire race, the Monegasque failed to make things difficult for him: a striking observation. In what areas was Verstappen the stronger on Sunday?

Verstappen started the race in third place, but at the first corner, he already passed Carlos Sainz. The Dutchman cleverly put his car on the outside of Sainz, braked late, claimed space and thus advanced to the second position. It was a crucial overtaking action by Verstappen. Although he was still 1.5 seconds behind Leclerc, he was one step closer to the first position. On the medium tire, he managed to get within a second of his predecessor on the eighth lap. At start/finish, he could use his DRS and simply pass Leclerc.

Leclerc did not leave it at that, however, as the leader in the world championship went straight after Verstappen and tried to catch him. Mainly in the third sector, Verstappen simply had the faster car, which allowed Leclerc to drive towards it with his DRS, but was unable to beat Verstappen. It ensured that Verstappen ran out at lightning speed and by lap 17 had a 3.5-second lead.

Moderate pit stop by Ferrari

After the Ferrari driver started complaining about his car on lap 24, and the gap had now increased to 4.7 seconds, Leclerc went in for a tire change. With a pit stop of 3.2 seconds, he fell outside the ten fastest pit stops of the weekend, losing a lot of time. Red Bull decided to let Verstappen drive two laps longer on the medium tire and that proved to have a positive effect. In the meantime, he had gone from a four-second lead to eight seconds, while with a pit stop of 2.4 seconds he could be very satisfied.

Verstappen keeps Leclerc behind him

His lead remained at 7.5 seconds for much of the race, until Lando Norris crashed and a safety car came onto the track. It was an ideal moment for Leclerc to get behind Verstappen, but he didn't manage to take advantage of it.

Seven laps before the end he had Verstappen within a second of him, but the Dutchman parried excellently. So Verstappen built up his lap well each time, so Leclerc could not get within a second to use his DRS. One lap before the end the difference was even 1.6 seconds, after which Leclerc gave up the fight and settled for a difference of over three seconds.

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