Max Verstappen claimed victory in the Miami Grand Prix despite starting from ninth on the grid. Verstappen missed out on a chance to set a qualifying time on Saturday due to a botched first run and was later denied another opportunity by Charles Leclerc‘s late-session crash. The Dutchman, equipped with the hard tyre, had a contra-strategy to polesitter Sergio Perez, who started on the medium compound, and stayed ahead of Fernando Alonso, who also started on the front row alongside Perez.
Verstappen fell to tenth place initially as Valtteri Bottas got a better start and overtook him along with Esteban Ocon. However, Verstappen‘s determined driving quickly resulted in him passing those ahead of him, including Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen. After consecutive fastest laps, he was towed by George Russell and used DRS to overtake him at Turn 17. Verstappen passed Pierre Gasly, moving him into fourth place by lap 10.
Verstappen eventually found his way to the front of the field after a prolonged battle on lap 14 with Carlos Sainz, who had DRS from Alonso ahead. On lap 15, Alonso was also passed, and Perez reported that his front right tyre was beginning to give up due to the hot Miami weather. Perez pitted on lap 20 to switch to hard tyres, and Verstappen, with an 18-second lead, followed later in the race.
Verstappen maintained a comfortable lead for the remainder of the race, eventually crossing the finish line 5.3s ahead of Perez. Alonso completed the podium, while Russell finished in fourth place after passing both Ferraris. Lewis Hamilton, who started in 13th place, finished sixth after passing Leclerc late in the race.