Formula 1 – The Formula 1 premiere in Miami had one thing above all: a big show. It set new standards and in all of the American giants produced a deserved winner at Max Verstappen.
Americans are famous for being artists. With the Super Bowl, the annual NFL final game, they’ve built one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sporting event in the world.
Miami has already hosted this mega event six times, which attracts about 100 million TV viewers in the United States each time. The numbers that Formula 1 makers only dream about. But the hype in recent days over the first class motorsport debut in the Sunshine State has been enormous. “It’s exciting to see that Formula 1 is getting bigger and bigger in the USA,” world champion Max Verstappen said before the premiere in Miami.
The stars are as far as the eye can see
A dazzling city in the land of opportunity, Florida is a reflection of Formula 1: a world with more appearances than reality. So it came as no surprise that the circuit was swarming with stars from the fields of film, music, politics and sports. From basketball legend Michael Jordan and hotel heiress Paris Hilton to football icon David Beckham, musician Pharrell Williams and former first lady Michelle Obama, they all attended the show in Miami.
When the stage was finally handed over to the Formula 1 stars, the action on the racetrack around the NFL Stadium in the Miami Dolphins could barely keep up with the hype all around. After turbulent training, everything was prepared for a crazy race. Instead of a Grand Prix race with mayhem, lots of crashes and safety car stages, the game’s champions showed only a mild spectacle in front of a full audience at the Miami International Circuit. On the one hand, because the dreadful rain did not occur despite the 40 percent probability, but on the other hand also because the newly paved track caused significantly fewer problems for the drivers in the race than the previous two days.
The battle for the title continues
The duel between world champion Max Verstappen and world championship leader Charles Leclerc has been far less exciting than it has been this season. Leclerc, who started from pole position, was able to defend his starting position, unlike teammate Carlos Sainz, who also started from the front row, who had to let Verstappen pass after only a few metres. But after only nine laps, Leclerc could no longer handle Verstappen’s pressure with the deteriorating front tires and his Dutchman’s pass.
After that, Verstappen’s 23rd Grand Prix victory wasn’t really in danger again, even if he said he had problems with cold tires after restarting after the safety car stage at the end. Verstappen also kept Leclerc on alert for the last 10 laps, as he led the fifth race of the season to his third win, his second in a row. In doing so, he kept pressure on Leclerc in the World Championship fight and almost forgot his failures at the season openers in Bahrain and Australia. Leclerc’s lead over Verstappen melts from 27 to 19 points, with 17 races remaining.
Red Bull’s reliability is not at the top
The truth is: If Verstappen hits the target this year, he will always be the winner. But Red Bull doesn’t seem to have the most reliable cars in the field yet. Because Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez had to deal with technical difficulties again in Miami. Due to sensor issues, the Mexican, who finished fourth behind both Ferraris, was lacking speed on the straights.
The winning cards in the World Championship battle don’t seem to be clearly distributed at the moment. After a week-long break from racing, the cards will be redistributed for the Spanish Grand Prix in Montmelo on May 22, before accelerating in Monte Carlo seven days later in an event of equal glamor and magic as the one in Miami. For Formula 1, the following inevitably applies: The show must go on.
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