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International media react: 'Majestic' Verstappen and questions for Mercedes

Various international media outlets have given their take on the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, in which Max Verstappen claimed victory ahead of Charles Leclerc, whilst Mercedes continued to struggle with resolving their car issues.

Max Verstappen claimed his third victory of the 2022 season at the Miami Grand Prix, further cutting into Charles Leclerc's lead at the top of the World Championship standings. Whilst Leclerc initially led from pole, Verstappen soon overtook the Ferrari driver in the opening stages of the race, and from there went on to take a dominant win. Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz completed the podium in second and third, while Sergio Perez took fourth. Following them were the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. The team faced another challenging weekend, with their stronger form on Friday seemingly disappearing on Saturday and Sunday. With all of this going on, there has been plenty of reaction to the race amongst various international media outlets.

Verstappen "too much" for Ferrari in Miami

Verstappen's drive to the win at the Miami International Autodrome has attracted lots of praise. French publication L'Equipe felt that the Dutchman's performance "confirmed his rise to prominence", adding: "Max Verstappen won the first Miami GP by crushing the entire race with his mastery. Only Charles Leclerc was able to resist him for a while." They wrote that Verstappen "gained confidence" on Saturday despite not taking pole position, and hailed the Red Bull driver for using his "fighting spirit" in the race. In Italy, La Gazzetta dello Sport argued that Verstappen was simply out of reach for Ferrari in Miami. "Too much Red Bull, too much Max Verstappen," they stated. "In Miami, a good Ferrari bowed to the majestic performance of the Dutch World Champion, who, despite starting from third position, managed to beat the Reds even managing the delicate final, when a Safety Car allowed the Prancing Horse a desperate final assault."

Concerns for Ferrari in upgrades battle

The La Gazzetta dello Sport also reflected on Ferrari's reversal in fortunes following their front row lock-out in Saturday's qualifying. "Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were certainly dreaming of something different after yesterday's beautiful qualifying, a very promising front row," they added. "But both feared the speed of the Red Bull and they were right. The race confirmed that in the straights, especially in the race, the RB18 at this moment has something more than the F1-75." In the Spanish media, Marca echoed this and warned the Scuderia of the need to upgrade their F1-75, which is due to happen at the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix. "Ferrari needs improvements intravenously," the outlet said. "Charles Leclerc's tremendous lead over Max Verstappen's double zero has already been cut by race five to 19 points, less than a race and it's imposed to upgrade the F1-75. "Charles lost the race lead to a Verstappen with better pace and no tyre consumption problems, a Max who got rid of Sainz at the start. "Then the World Championship leader couldn't get his nose in front of him, or even get close, not even after the Safety Car was brought into the pack. Nothing. Race finished by the champion, race won by him." There were, though, some words of praise for Sainz, who Marca said could "make podiums even with a bad neck" following his crash in Friday's free practice.

Mercedes left "even more confused" after Miami

British publication the BBC focused their attentions on the plight of Mercedes, who endured mixed fortunes over the course of the Miami weekend. "While Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc staged another wheel-to-wheel battle for the win in their private contest for the world title, Mercedes left a Miami Grand Prix weekend – characterised by the remarkable buzz around this new event – more confused than ever as to why they are struggling for pace this season," they wrote. The outlet added: "On Friday, it looked like it might be the magic key that unlocked the potential Mercedes still think is in the car. But the rest of the weekend proved they simply don't know what is going on with it." There are now questions over whether the Silver Arrows might choose to abandon their sidepod-less concept for next season, according to the BBC , with speculation over whether the team could revert to the design that they previously unveiled at their launch event of the W13.

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