Formula One: Verstappen wins sprint race at Miami Grand Prix

AFP , Saturday 4 May 2024

Red Bull's Max Verstappen cruised to victory in the Miami Grand Prix's sprint race on Saturday finishing a full 3.3 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Max Verstappen
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, of the Netherlands, waves after winning the Sprint race at the Miami Formula One Grand Prix, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Photo: AP


The reigning three-times world champion and current championship leader, who is looking for a third straight Grand Prix victory at Miami on Sunday, led from pole and was never challenged after a chaotic opening lap.

Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez was third as the world champions gave themselves a points boost ahead of qualifying later on Saturday.

Dutchman Verstappen held off Leclerc's strong start to secure his place at the front but there was plenty of action and incident in the middle of the pack.

Haas's Kevin Magnussen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton jousted hard but in the end the Dane picked up three penalties, adding 25 seconds to his time, after frequently leaving the track and gaining advantage.

Hamilton also received a penalty, leaving him outside the points positions in 16th after speeding in the pit lane.

The safety car was brought out after the first lap which saw a start line incident involving Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris.

But away from those skirmishes, it was business as usual for Verstappen, who adds another eight points to his season tally with the victory.

"I think my engine wasn't good in the start and so then I had to speed it a bit, luckily everything worked out in turn one," said Verstappen.

"Then we had the safety car just to calm things down a bit after that. Steadily we could increase the gap a little bit, but it wasn't entirely perfect so we still have a bit of work to do," he added.

"We can still fine tune the car a little bit, so hopefully we can improve for later on in qualifying and especially for tomorrow in the race".

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