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Martin Brundle on Miami GP: Max Verstappen makes most of Red Bull's irresistible speed

Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle reviews the Miami GP weekend as Max Verstappen leads another Red Bull one-two, Charles Leclerc has another crash-littered weekend, the battles behind Red Bull remain intense and Miami delivers another chaotic grid walk

Miami GP podium celebrations
Image: Max Verstappen picked up his third win of the season at the Miami GP

Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle delivers his expert verdict on the Miami GP weekend as Max Verstappen continued Red Bull's perfect start to 2023 and Sir Jackie Stewart starred as a chaperone on another chaotic grid walk...

I enjoyed the Miami Grand Prix. There was an (almost) race-long intrigue as to which Red Bull driver would take victory, at least until Max Verstappen put in a blistering stint to ensure he won the race for the team's fourth one-two of this season in five races.

Further down we saw great wheel-to-wheel action including some very decent overtakes, not least George Russell in the Mercedes on Carlos Sainz's Ferrari.

Throughout the rest of the field the competition is so close that it looks desperate at times in both Qualifying and the race, and also so entertaining. Of course, if it's not for victory or even the podium then we lose some of that impact.

Kevin Magnussen, my driver of the day, started a remarkable fourth in his Haas team's home country and finished 10th in an aggressive style not least when counter-attacking the works Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

There were lots of lunges and overtakes offline into turns one, 11 and 17, and the fact that despite the 210+ mph top speeds and the confines of a street circuit, all 20 cars and drivers finished the race is something to celebrate rather than criticise. Having no Safety Car or red flag of any kind did rather take away a key variable I must concede.

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

Verstappen makes most of Red Bull's irresistible speed

It's a pity that Red Bull breached the cost cap regulations last year because it's too easy for some to try to minimise what they are achieving now. They are dominant, and it's for the other teams and drivers to do a better job.

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With the DRS rear wing open the Red Bull is fundamentally much faster in top speed than the other nine teams, so much so that I suspect that wherever they start on the grid, and given no outside factors, they can finish one-two. Their speed is simply irresistible and that's where the other teams must focus. It won't be easy, that's an overall car design philosophy rather than an update, and even then, only after they've understood what Red Bull are doing to dump so much drag.

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Watch all of Max Verstappen's overtakes at the Miami GP as he went from ninth to first place.

A cautious Verstappen even lost a place on the opening lap, dropping to 10th, fully aware that he'd cruise past the pack in relatively short order as soon as DRS was enabled, and using his prodigious, metronomic speed and tyre management thereafter.

Of course, I'd rather there were at least two teams fighting for the victories, that would be much better, but believe me when I say that Murray Walker and I would have killed for that much race action 25 years ago in the commentary box on many occasions.

That doesn't mean to say we shouldn't focus on improving the racing and I am concerned that the 2023 cars, loaded with ever more downforce, are not helping in that respect.

The Red Bull DRS success creates another fundamental issue in that they simply breeze past the opposition as I've described above, but shortening the length of the DRS zones (based on 2022 data) is not helping the rest of the field make passes. Quite a dilemma but nothing the FIA can really do there, the other teams simply must catch up.

Alonso stars on Sunday again | Leclerc must stop crashing

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Charles Leclerc had a massive crash in his Ferrari towards the end of Q3, bringing out the red flag and in the process handing pole to Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

Saving the day to an extent is Aston Martin in general and Fernando Alonso in particular. His fourth podium of the season was a gem, and a classy performance to be comfortably the best of the rest after the Red Bull bandits. And who doesn't like a happy and on-form Alonso?

George Russell was another contender for driver of the day in my book, he really raced well, and Mercedes found some race form to underline his performance.

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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.

Ferrari are struggling for race pace and a distant fifth and seventh was a poor result for them. Leclerc must stop crashing his car, it's holding him and the team back. There are always knock-on effects during a race weekend from those incidents, and he needed a new aero underfloor after the Qualifying crash which may have contributed to the bouncing and issues he reported in the race.

He is unbelievably fast and committed, and he can afford to trade a fraction of that to build a better race weekend, and so a better season. He must lead the team to higher things and not keep the repair shop so busy.

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Fernando Alonso plays padel, reveals his retirement plans and what it's like competing for pole position near the end of his career.

The Alpine team had a solid weekend in eighth and ninth which was a light relief for them after so much damage in Australia and Azerbaijan, and not least after the Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi gave them all a massive public lashing. There's an awful lot of pressure in all the teams which are not Red Bull, and that's how it will remain.

Let's politely ignore McLaren's horrendous weekend, I really don't know what's going on with that car and clearly nor do they currently. Lando Norris is outwardly handling it very well and with great loyalty, and Oscar Piastri is doing the only thing he can in chasing Lando hard.

Sir Jackie's starring role on grid walk

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Sir Jackie Stewart defies security guards (and George Russell) to grab Roger Federer to make him speak to Martin Brundle...

The new grid procedure introducing the drivers one by one didn't do much for me, but then it's not aimed at me. We have an incremental and new audience in F1 from an altogether different demographic, and F1 is right to try new things. It must be said that the drivers had already been on a parade lap by then in open-top cars.

Also, I felt the long preamble took away from the compulsive energy as 20 cars leave the pit lane at the green light at the same time hundreds of skilled people and piles of high-tech equipment head to the crucible of the grid. We need to keep that at fever pitch where possible until the race starts.

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

The grid walk was the usual chaos, I really don't know how that happens as nothing is planned, but Sir Jackie Stewart was the absolute star. He's 83 but decided that he personally would immediately get Roger Federer out of a roped-off zone for an interview with me. I became rather concerned for him as the saga unfolded and security guards and George Russell got dragged into it too.

Meanwhile, I was getting a 'hard countdown' in my ear to throw to the LL Cool J driver introductions, but we got our man Roger in the end, and he was pure quality.


Formula 1 returns to Imola for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix from May 19-21. Watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 including the race from 2pm on Sunday May 21.

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