Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen discussed on The Autosport Podcast
Max Verstappen beat Charles Leclerc to victory, in Formula One's first Miami Grand Prix, winning after passing on track early on and defying pressure after a late safety car caused by a collision between McLaren's Lando Norris and Pierre gasly. Ferrari could not turn their front row lockout into a one two finish and I want to know from the guys on the podcast today where the Red Bull considered themselves unlucky not to get a one to finish. It was a power unit issue possibly holding Perez back in fourth. Instead, it would be Verstappen, leclerc, science, podium, not the last time we've seen that podium I bet you in 2022. I'm joined on the podcast today from Miami. It's so nice to have you guys all sat around a table back at the races again. We've got Luke Smith, Jess mcfadden and out of his box, Stuart coddling at cottage will start with you back at a Grand Prix. Literally out of my suitcase and out of the box room, which I share with the air con unit, which we've fortunately turned off so that our listeners don't hear some terrible wine in the background. Usually the wine in the background is me, of course. Carlos Sainz finished third ahead of a hobbled Sergio Pérez. George Russell coming in 5th in the first of the Mercedes followed by Lewis Hamilton, Russell would gain massively with the safety car timing and beating his teammate in that battle afterwards. Verstappen, well, he would do half the job at the start of the race, being aggressive around the outside of turn one to take second place from Carlos Sainz and really science had nowhere to go if he had a break any later. He risked running into the back of his teammate so Verstappen taking one place there on lap 7 Verstappen would get within DRS range of Leclair and two laps later passed him at the same turn one to take the lead and from them never looked back. Was it an easy cruise to victory? Could Ferrari have won today in any way? Well, Mercedes Benz delighted after that 5th and 6th. Other stories to get into today Bottas, finishing 7th, but will he feel hard done by because he was running much higher for much of the race. Aachen finishing in 8th some late penalties, which if you turned off the coverage, straight after you might not know about, Alonso, you might think was 9th, but he wasn't two 5 second penalties. In 9th place, Alex Albon and in tenth, Lance stroll. So let's start with Luke. From the coverage, which always is difficult when you're watching the Formula One on the director is choosing certain things. It looked like a bit of a not quite a walk in the park because he looked pretty shattered afterwards with his helmet off, but it did look like Verstappen had that one under control. What's your analysis? I think he did definitely face pressure from leclerc. I think Red Bull definitely had the pace of advantage this weekend. I think that we saw it was pretty comfortable once he got those moves completed and got into the lead and he managed to build up quite a decent advantage over the first and he didn't need to react immediately when the clerk tried to get a bit of an undercut because the gap was so big left it too laps and came in. And yeah, it was still a good sort of 6, 7 seconds up the road and was able to hold that gap pretty firm. And I think that the only real pressure we saw max come under was after the safety car period and that obviously gave the clerk a chance to get back into the fight. They were on the same similar age of hard tires. That obviously meant there wasn't a huge advantage either way. And DRS meant that leclerc was able to get close. Now a few times he was sort of having a little look, getting quite close, but he can never get close enough to really go for a proper lunge and make a move and then yeah, we saw leclerc in the closing stage just began to fall away a little bit and that max was able to get home pretty comfortably in the end. But I think it was, yeah, it was a weekend that I think he definitely had to fight through. I thought that he was brilliant at the start. He said that he found a lot of grip on the outside of turn one, which was something a lot of the drivers didn't really find. They were all trying to stick on that inside, but he swung it around the outside well to get science. And I think that it was a really good performance for max. I think he's going to be quite high on Alex's drive ratings, not a ten though, without wishing to bring any spoilers in, but it was, yeah, I think a really good display from max. And I think that, again, points to the fact that Red Bull does have a very slight but very important pace advantage over Ferrari at the moment. And for max, I think there's a stack going around Twitter of all the races he's actually finished this year and that includes the sprint race at imola, of course. He's won. So it's a really, really strong start to the year for him. And obviously not leading the championship, but I think him and Red Bull are in a really good spot right.