Leclerc thought he would catch Verstappen in tense Miami finale

By Sports Desk May 08, 2022

Charles Leclerc thought he was going to catch Max Verstappen towards the end of the Miami Grand Prix before settling for second place. 

Ferrari driver Leclerc qualified on pole but was overtaken by Verstappen – who started third – on lap nine and was almost eight seconds behind when a safety car was deployed with 16 laps remaining. 

Leclerc was initially able to keep pace with the reigning Formula One champion after the restart but was unable to find a way past the Red Bull even with DRS enabled. 

The Dutchman pulled out the fastest lap to get away from the championship leader, whose lead was consequently cut to 19 points. 

"It was a very difficult race physically. We struggled quite a bit on the medium tyres in the first stint and got overtaken. It made our race a bit more difficult from that moment onwards," said Leclerc. 

"On the hard we were very competitive and towards the end I thought I could get Max at one point, but they had the advantage in terms of pace. 

"We need to keep pushing. Upgrades will be important, and I hope now we can do a step up from the next race onwards. It has been an exciting beginning to the season and that's what we like to see." 

Verstappen acknowledged he had to dig deep in order to follow up his success at Imola with another victory. 

"It was an incredible grand prix. Very physical as well, but I think we kept it exciting until the end," said Verstappen. 

"I am really happy with winning here in Miami, it was an incredible Sunday for us." 

Carlos Sainz kept Sergio Perez at bay after the restart following the safety car to get back on the podium after retiring early in the previous two races. 

He had to battle through the pain barrier to achieve it, because he was still feeling the effects of a crash in practice. 

"I have been better. Obviously after the crash on Friday, I had a little bit of neck pain going into the race, but I had to manage it and I fought through it," said Sainz. 

"Especially with Checo [Perez] at the end on the medium tyres he was very difficult to keep behind, but we managed to keep the volume, which is a decent result.  

"It wasn't easy at all. It has been a tough race with the tyres and the heat, the car was sliding a lot, and we got what we deserved, I think, which is a decent P3, and we can build it up from here." 

Related items

  • AlphaTauri confirm Gasly drive for 2023 AlphaTauri confirm Gasly drive for 2023

    AlphaTauri have confirmed Pierre Gasly's seat at the team for 2023 amid speculation he could depart.

    The French driver is contracted with the team until the end of next season but, following Sergio Perez's two-year extension at Red Bull, questions on Gasly's fate emerged given his desire to return to the team in the future.

    However, AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has remained resolute, saying that Gasly was "100 per cent confirmed" at last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, and the team has now issued an official statement.

     "The 26-year-old Frenchman has been with us since 2017 and this continuity will be a great asset, as he enjoys an excellent working relationship with his group of engineers and everyone in the team," they said.

    "Pierre is a proven race winner, with three podiums and three fastest race laps and to date, he has scored a total of 325 points in Formula 1. He has also developed a reputation as a very strong qualifier."

    Gasly expressed his delight at the confirmation, stating: "I have been with this team for five years now and I am proud of the journey we’ve been through together and the progress we have made. 

    "I’m happy to remain with my Scuderia AlphaTauri team. This year’s new regulations have created new challenges for us and being able to plan our development with the team for the next 18 months is a good working basis for the future."

    Gasly has secured 16 points for his team this season following three top-10 finishes, the highest of which came with a sixth-placed finish in Azerbaijan.

  • Red Bull boss Horner fears F1 title battle could be 'decided in law courts' Red Bull boss Horner fears F1 title battle could be 'decided in law courts'

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner fears that the Formula One title fight in 2022 could be "decided in law courts" due to global inflation and the season's budget cap. 

    The 10 teams on the grid have an annual maximum spend of £119million for the 2022 season, but amid rising costs across the globe, some have pushed for an increase to be announced – including Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

    Others, such as Aston Martin, disagree, resulting in a difficult situation for F1 officials on what approach to take, but Horner has continued his push for a budget increase, warning the title battle could be decided in the courts.

    "The way you design your car is within your control. That is something that you, together with your group of designers, you create. You're in control of your own destiny," he told Sky Sports.

    "What we're seeing in the world at the moment, we're not in control of the inflationary costs that are affecting households around the world. In the UK, we're seeing predicted inflation at 11 per cent.

    "That's a direct effect on staff, on raw materials, on electricity, on commodities, on supplied parts. I think it genuinely is a force majeure situation that the FIA need to deal with.

     

    "There's probably about 50 per cent of the teams who are going to breach the cap at the end of the year if it continues the way things are. Probably even more.

    "We don't want a championship decided in law courts, or in Paris in front of the FIA. We've got six months of the year to address this, we need to act now."

    Horner also warned that failure to address the issue could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs within Formula One, while it may also lead to the budget cap being scrapped further down the line.

    "I think the top teams would have to get rid of circa two, three hundred people each, to get anywhere near addressing it. Is that right?" He added.

    "The problem is if the cost cap fails badly, it'll be gone forever.

    "We need to find a solution to this issue. Nobody could have predicted this. We lowered the cost cap by $35m during the pandemic, and nobody could have predicted the issues that we've got."

    Red Bull currently lead both championships, with Max Verstappen ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez by 46 points in the drivers' championship, while Red Bull holds a 76-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

  • Madrid launches bold quest to bring Formula One to Spanish capital Madrid launches bold quest to bring Formula One to Spanish capital

    Madrid put its Formula One ambitions in writing on Thursday as Spanish capital chiefs declared the city is ready to host future races.

    Enrique Lopez, minister of the presidency, justice and interior in Madrid, sent a letter to Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali in which he outlined the vision.

    The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has staged the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991, and the letter from Lopez did not explicitly state Madrid would seek to take over the hosting of that race.

    The Barcelona circuit has a contract that runs until 2026.

    In recent times, Valencia also staged the European Grand Prix from 2008 to 2012, while the Madrid region has not held a Formula One race since Gilles Villeneuve won in 1981 at the Circuito del Jarama.

    Lopez pointed to Madrid's strengths in his approach to Domenicali, mentioning "an outstanding economic and social development in the Spanish and European contexts".

    "I believe that holding in Madrid a motor racing event, which is one of the most exciting sporting phenomena of our time, would be a success for all the professionals, institutions and companies involved in the development of Formula 1. Of course, it would also be a satisfaction for the whole region and its citizens," Lopez wrote.

    "That is why the government of the community of Madrid has the greatest interest in making it possible.

    "In short, I would like to confirm our commitment to you and to this project, as well as our willingness to sign the appropriate agreements to promote the race and offer a great sporting and entertainment spectacle. We are ready to work with you and your team to bring Formula 1 to Madrid."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.