In front of a star-studded audience, a late safety car made sure Max Verstappen again stole the show by beating Charles Leclerc at the Miami Grand Prix.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz rounded out the podium after a battle with Red Bull No.2 Sergio Perez, while Lewis Hamilton was beaten to fifth in an awkward battle with teammate George Russell.
Reigning world champion Verstappen made up for a poor qualifying effort by passing the Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc in an epic start, and then made tracks.
Championship leader Leclerc’s race looked as good as over as Verstappen crafted an unassailable lead, and he wasn’t the only one.
The race looked all-but finished as the new tarmac in south Florida spread the pack, but a late safety car gave the race a finale its build up deserved.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was clipped by a slowing Pierre Gasly 16 laps to go, and the Brits’ wheel was taken off in an instant before he was thrown into the barriers.
The stoppage allowed the grid to bunch right up, and with few drivers taking a risk on their tyres, it was at the front where the drama quickly resumed.
Verstappen and Leclerc again crossed swords, but the Red Bull man prevailed as his car’s supreme straight-line speed put paid to the threat of his title rival.
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Behind them, Red Bull’s Perez made an overly-ambitious, and ultimately unsuccessful lunge on Sainz for the final podium spot, while there was even more drama further back.
Hamilton in fifth was on harder rubber than teammate Russell, but he made it far from easy for the young Brit who was squeezed off the track before making the move stick.
It was a weekend that promised much for the Mercedes duo, but almost ended in disaster as they sparred for the position as best of the rest.
Verstappen and Leclerc, though, were once again in a different class, with another flawless display from the Dutchman cutting Leclerc’s lead to just 19 points.
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Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport