Martin Brundle has warned Ferrari that they need to fix their lack of straight-line speed if they are to remain in touch with title rivals Red Bull.
The Miami Grand Prix weekend got off to a promising start for the Italian outfit, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz locking out the front row in Saturday's qualifying session, and Max Verstappen starting behind in third.
However, Verstappen got the leap on Sainz at the race start, before overtaking Leclerc for the lead on Lap 9 of 57. The Dutchman remained in P1 until the chequered flag, meaning that he secured his third victory of the season.
Ferrari were unable to keep up with Red Bull on the straights, and Brundle thinks that the Milton Keynes-based team could go on to dominate both championships if the Scuderia do not make changes to the F1-75.
"Once again, Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari were the fastest combo on the track to secure pole position, but also once again, Ferrari had no answer to Red Bull's prodigious straight-line speed, with or without the DRS rear wing open," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports F1.
"Unless they fix that with less high-speed drag then these will be Red Bull's World Championships."
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Praise for "mature" Verstappen and Leclerc
Despite Verstappen getting the better of Leclerc on this occasion, Brundle had words of praise for both drivers in terms of how they performed at the Miami International Autodrome.
"It was another very impressive and mature drive from both Verstappen and Leclerc, but the Ferrari drivers simply can't breeze back past any more like Leclerc did to Verstappen in Bahrain," the former F1 driver said.
"This gives Max and teammate Sergio Perez the comfort zone of looking after their tyres and playing the longer game, knowing they can pounce down a relatively risk-free straight later on."
Brundle also felt that Sainz bounced back well to claim P3 following a spate of recent incidents.
"Carlos Sainz had a very important weekend for his confidence as the Ferrari pair were on the podium together for the third time in five races so far this season," he explained.
"He hadn't completed a lap in the previous two races and had another sizeable shunt in practice. He kept his head and did well to hold off Perez, who was on fresh Medium compound tyres, albeit carrying an engine gremlin."
Will Ferrari be regretting their strategy call?
A potential opportunity arose for pit-stops on Lap 41 of the race, when a Virtual Safety Car was called following a collision between Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly. This was then escalated to a full Safety Car.
Ferrari did not opt to pit either of their drivers during this phase, and Brundle has questioned whether they might have been regretting this later on.
"Ferrari must surely wish they had pitted at least one of their cars under the inevitable VSC and full Safety Car, when a limping Pierre Gasly came together with a passing Lando Norris in a relatively narrow part of the track," Brundle said.
"Verstappen had just passed the line when the Virtual Safety Car was declared."
F1 Podcast: Is F1 at risk of alienating fans with its quest for a show?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Michael Butterworth look back over the first-ever Miami Grand Prix, in which Max Verstappen once again beat Charles Leclerc – but was the racing less important than the show?