Max Verstappen, the reigning champion, emerged victorious in the Miami Grand Prix after starting ninth on the grid. He overtook Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez on lap 48 of 57. The presentation of the drivers before the race saw all 20 of them presented in reverse championship order, with Verstappen emerging last. The temporary stage on which he stepped drew audible boos from the crowd before and after the race, but Verstappen said the negative reactions did not affect him.
Verstappen said he only cared about going home with the winner’s trophy and that he was fine with being booed for winning. He stated that the reaction would have been different if he had been in the back of the grid. However, Verstappen was on top of the podium, taking the trophy home, while those at home could have a nice evening.
Despite starting ninth, Verstappen proved unbeatable, moving up to second place after 15 laps and remaining within 1.3 seconds of Perez by lap 20. He always felt unbeatable, he said, but acknowledged that sometimes, other people could match or surpass his performance. For Verstappen, what is important is always trying to be close to 100 percent or perfect every single time.
Perez, who had significant support from the grandstands, put the team ahead of himself, stating that they had a good fight, but any more and it would have been contact, which would not have been fair for any of them, except perhaps Fernando.
In all, Verstappen emerged victorious, and the crowd’s boos did not affect the reigning champion in any way. He took the winner’s trophy home and remained focused on perfection in line with his intense drive to always be the best he could be.