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Miami GP: Max Verstappen comes from ninth on grid to beat Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez to victory

Max Verstappen maintains world championship lead after beating Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez to victory at Miami Grand Prix; Verstappen started ninth on the grid after Qualifying error; Fernando Alonso takes his fourth podium in five races for Aston Martin

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Highlights of the Miami Grand Prix at the fifth race of the season.

Max Verstappen produced a stunning recovery from ninth on the grid to beat team-mate Sergio Perez to victory as Red Bull's dominance continued at the Miami Grand Prix.

A Verstappen error in Qualifying saw pole-sitter Perez gifted a chance to claim a victory that would have given him the world championship lead, but the Dutchman produced a scintillating drive to win by five seconds and extend his advantage to 14 points.

Verstappen took just 15 laps to charge into second, and was able to outpace Perez as the pair drove on opposite strategies, eventually passing the Mexican with nine laps remaining.

"It was a good race," Verstappen said. "I stayed out of trouble at the beginning, had a clean race, picked off the cars one by one and I could stay out really long on the hard tyre.

"I think that's where we made the difference today and then a good little battle with Checo at the end.

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Watch all of Verstappen's overtakes as he goes from ninth to first place.

"Yesterday was a bit of a setback, but today we kept it calm and clean, and winning a race from P9 is always very satisfying."

Fernando Alonso, who started second, drove a solid yet lonely race to claim his fourth third-place in five outings for Aston Martin.

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George Russell was fourth as Mercedes showed improved race pace after a disappointing Saturday, finishing ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Having started in 13th after a poor Qualifying display, Lewis Hamilton also took advantage of the improved W14 to take sixth, completing a late pass on the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc to seal the position.

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Lewis Hamilton hits Nico Hulkenberg at the start of the Miami Grand Prix.

Alpine completed a solid weekend as Pierre Gasly finished eighth, a place ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon, while Kevin Magnussen took the final point for Haas after starting fourth.

Red Bull have now won all five races of the 2023 season, with one-twos in four of them, and lead Aston Martin by 122 points at the top of the constructors' standings.

Miami GP Race Result
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
3) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
4) George Russell, Mercedes
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
6) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
7) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
8) Pierre Gasly, Alpine
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
10) Kevin Magnussen, Haas

Verstappen offers reminder of class

Verstappen had made an error on his first flying lap attempt in the final part of Qualifying on Saturday, before being denied the chance to complete his second as Leclerc crashed out.

Up until that point, the Dutchman had appeared in a league of his own at the Miami International Autodrome, and that form returned on Sunday as he produced a faultless display.

Starting from ninth, Verstappen was careful to avoid danger in the opening stages, before producing a brilliant double-overtake on Magnussen and Leclerc to jump up to sixth.

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Verstappen overtakes Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to claim first place.

From there, he eased past Russell, Gasly, Sainz and Alonso to move into second on lap 15, and crucially was just four seconds behind Perez, who had failed to open up a more significant advantage as Verstappen made his way through the field.

While it was apparent that Verstappen was simply quicker than Perez all weekend, the Dutchman appeared to benefit from the team's decision to split their drivers' strategies.

While Perez, along with the rest of the top seven, started on medium tyres, Verstappen was one of seven drivers to start on the harder compound, leaving the pair to run their one-stop strategies in reverse order.

That meant that Perez, who was struggling to take care of his mediums early in the race, pitted on lap 20 to switch to hard tyres, giving up the lead to Verstappen.

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen reflects on victory at Miami after climbing up from P9 to P1.

For a long period the race seemed set for a grandstand finish as the margin remained around 16 seconds, four seconds less than the time Verstappen would need to complete his pit stop.

The pendulum seemed to be swinging in Perez's favour as he closed to inside 14 seconds, but an error from the Mexican that saw him go off track at Turn 7 opened up the gap once more.

That meant when Verstappen eventually came in at the end of the 45th circuit of the 57-lap contest, he was immediately on the tail of Perez, and armed with fresh medium tyres.

Perez was powerless to hold off his team-mate, and despite his best efforts, Verstappen completed a move into the first corner of lap 48, before easing into the distance.

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Red Bull driver Sergio Perez pays homage to teammate Max Verstappen for being the stronger driver and taking victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

A sprint and race double for Perez in Azerbaijan last weekend had left the Mexican convinced he was ready to sustain a season-long title battle with his team-mate, but Verstappen's performance on Sunday offered a reminder of who the clear top dog at Red Bull is.

"I gave it all," Perez said. "I think the first stint was really poor with the graining we had and that compromised quite a lot of the race because we didn't have too much of a difference.

"It is a well deserved win (for Max).

"I think the medium initially was really poor and that was unexpected. That really compromised our pace and I also think Max had tremendous pace on the hard tyres."

Alonso scores podium, Mercedes improve, Ferrari struggle

With the battle between Verstappen and Perez understandably stealing the show, Alonso's typically composed display snuck somewhat under the radar.

Early in the race he appeared to be in a tussle with fellow Spaniard Sainz for third.

They were closely matched until Sainz came in on lap 18 in an attempt to pull off an undercut, but the plan was ruined by the fact a lock up the way in meant he was guilty of breaking the pit lane speed limit, and consequently given a five-second penalty.

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Anthony Davidson takes a look at why Carlos Sainz received a five second penalty at the Miami Grand Prix.

As it was, on the hard tyres they switched to, Alonso had far too much pace and soon eased past Sainz, whose undercut had been successful, before simply managing his tyres to the end as he came home 20 seconds behind Perez.

Alonso remains third in the drivers' standings, 19 points clear of Hamilton, his nearest challenger to be best of the rest behind Red Bull.

"The car is amazing and it was a bit of a lonely race today," Alonso said. "It's never easy, but it was a lonely race.

"Everything was fine, we take the podium, and going into Imola, Monaco and Barcelona we hope to keep going.

"At the beginning of the year a podium was amazing, but now we want more."

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Fernando Alonso reacts to Lance Stroll's Alex Albon overtake.

For Sainz, it turned out that he didn't have enough pace to stay in front of Russell either, with the Mercedes passing the Ferrari on lap 38.

Mercedes' speed advantage over Ferrari would be emphasised once more as Hamilton passed Leclerc to move up to sixth with two laps remaining.

While it was Mercedes who had been left downcast after a poor Qualifying showing, it's Ferrari who will leave Miami more disappointed.

The new floor they brought to Miami appears to have failed to make a significant impact, and there will be huge pressure on the team when they return home to Italy for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in two weeks' time.

Hamilton, who like Verstappen began the race on hard tyres, produced a patient drive to reap the rewards of being on the medium compound in the closing stages, producing several late passes to minimise the damage of his Qualifying display.

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Anthony Davidson was at the SkyPad to look at how George Russell managed to finish fourth in Miami after starting the race in sixth.

Imola is also set to be a significant race for Mercedes, who will bring major upgrades that they hope will at least close the gap to Red Bull.

After a disastrous weekend in Baku, Alpine were finally able to take advantage of the updates they brought to Azerbaijan, with Gasly and Ocon point-scoring performances offering some respite for team principal Otmar Szafnauer following heavy criticism from chief executive Laurent Rossi.

There was no such let up for McLaren, with Lando Norris 17th and rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri 19th as their hugely disappointing campaign continued.

Also disappointed to miss out on points was Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, who was unable to recover from Qualifying 18th as he finished 12th.

Star-studded Miami here to stay on F1 calendar

If there was any shortage of drama in the race, with no Safety Cars, red flags or retirements, the star-studded build-up more than made up for it.

Some of the biggest names in sport flocked to Florida as Miami hosted F1 for the second time after debuting last year, with Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Patrick Mahomes just a few of those in attendance.

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Rapper LL Cool J introduces the starting grid at the Miami Grand Prix.

While traditionalists might not have loved it, musician LL Cool J's pre-race introductions were certainly something different and embraced by the thousands in attendance.

Formula 1 continues to search for the right balance between adding new venues and keeping historic circuits on the calendar, but Miami looks to have established itself as one of the sport's destination races.

What's next?

There's a brief pause for breath before Formula 1 returns to Europe for a triple-header of back-to-back races.

The first of those is the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola from May 19-21, with Mercedes and Ferrari expected to bring significant upgrades which they hope will move them closer to Red Bull.

All eyes will be on Ferrari at the first of their two home races this season, with the team's inconsistent start to the campaign likely to come under major scrutiny in front of the tifosi.

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