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Miami Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen hunts down Perez to win Miami Grand Prix

The World Champion extended his points lead after a late pass on Sergio Perez, with Fernando Alonso taking third for Aston Martin.

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Max Verstappen hunted down and passed Formula 1 title rival Sergio Perez in the closing laps to claim victory in the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen started down in ninth with Perez on pole position, but both Red Bull drivers elected to start on different strategies, meaning they would converge late in the 57-lap race.

The World Champion was equipped with Hard tyres for a long opening stint, and having scythed through the traffic was leading when Perez dived for the pits on Lap 20 to get rid of the Mediums he started on.

Verstappen eked the advantage out to nearly a pit-stop advantage over the Mexican as he extended his run - before finally boxing for his own set of Mediums.

He would make short work of passing Perez on Lap 48, three laps after his stop and won by 5.384s.

Fernando Alonso was third for Aston Martin for the fourth time in 2023, as Charles Leclerc could only manage a lowly seventh with Lewis Hamilton sixth having also followed the Verstappen strategy.

Perez leads opening stint

At lights out, Perez maintained position with the only major contact being at the back between Nyck de Vries and Lando Norris - and began to pull away as Verstappen moved his way through the pack.

On Lap 4, the #1 passed both Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen at Turn 1, before also dispatching George Russell, Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz and Alonso over the next few laps to run 3.9s behind Perez when assuming second place on Lap 15.

Verstappen began to whittle away Perez's advantage before the leader came in at the end of Lap 20, just as he was about to be just one second - and within DRS activation - ahead of the chasing RB19.

On his Hards, Perez emerged about 15 seconds down on Verstappen, but with 20 seconds needed for a pit-stop, would emerge ahead.

However, over the course of the stint, Verstappen pulled that theoretical lead closer to one second.

When he became the last driver to pit at the end of Lap 45, Perez reassumed the lead, but Verstappen was just 1.2s behind, who had 25 lap fresher tyres on the softer rubber.

A cautious Verstappen backed out of a Lap 47 move at Turn 17, but made the move stick at Turn 1 on Lap 48 and pulled away for the victory.

Verstappen would make short work of chasing down Perez, pulling out of a move at Turn 17 on Lap 47 to only make the pass for the lead moments later at Turn 1 on Lap 48.

In taking the win - and fastest lap bonus point - Verstappen pulled out eight points on Perez to extend his lead to 14 points while also matching Sebastian Vettel's tally of 38 wins for the team.

Result Race - Miami

# Driver Team Time Tyre
Results are being loaded...

Alonso podium after Sainz penalty

On Lap 19, Sainz pitted from fourth in an attempt to force the undercut on Alonso ahead, and filtered back out just ahead of Alex Albon.

However, the Ferrari was caught speeding in the pit-lane, and was handed a five-second time penalty for his trouble.

It was academic however in the battle for the final podium slot as Alonso built a six-lap tyre offset to his compatriot.

Two laps later, on Lap 27, Alonso made the move on Sainz at Turn 11 with the assist of DRS, with the #55 also falling behind the Mercedes of George Russell who claimed a season-equalling best of fourth.

Sainz was fifth ahead of Hamilton who put in a stunning late pass on Leclerc to grab sixth at Turn 11.

Hamilton was bottled up in the early stages in a Valtteri Bottas-led DRS train, but quickly began to move forwards before his pit-stop on Lap 38 having let Russell through.

On the Mediums, he hunted down the struggling Pierre Gasly and after passing the Alpine, made short work of Leclerc on a quiet afternoon for the Monegasque who was only seventh.

Ocon, having been undercut by Hamilton, was ninth, with fourth-place starter Kevin Magnussen picking up the final point in 10th.

Tsunoda out of points

Yuki Tsunoda was the first driver outside of the points positions in 11th ahead of Lance Stroll in the second Aston Martin.

Stroll, who was dumped out in Q1, was unable to clear traffic and came home ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Alex Albon - who complained about the pace being requested of him.

Nico Hulkenberg, Zhou Guanyu, Norris, de Vries, Oscar Piastri (who was struggling with a long brake pedal) and Logan Sargeant also all finished in a race run without any retirements or Virtual or actual Safety Cars.

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

F1 2023 Miami Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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