Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez proved that they are indeed in another league as they locked in their fourth 1-2 finish in the star-studded Miami Grand Prix.
Verstappen, starting P9, wound his way to victory, once again widening the gap between him and Perez who closed in on the championship lead with 87 points against Verstappen’s 93 after a back-to-back win in Azerbaijan’s Sprint and main races last week.
‘Super Max’ on Lap 4 was in close battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen but was able to overtake them through the DRS.
On Lap 9, Verstappen breezed past Mercedes’ George Russell with whom he had a verbal altercation with due to a contact that resulted in a hole in his car during the last Sprint race.
Alpine’s Pierre Gasly also went defenseless against the Dutchman coming onto Lap 10.
Verstappen made it to the top three positions on Lap 14 after swiping P3 from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was also unable to defend his P2 from the reigning F1 world champion on Lap 15.
Come Lap 21 and Verstappen held the reins of the race as Perez went for a pit stop.
And then it was his turn to box on Lap 46 and Perez retained the lead. The two rivals got into a wheel to wheel combat but Verstappen eventually surged past his Mexican teammate on Lap 48.
Verstappen’s display of masterclass driving got him his second straight win in the Miami circuit which had its maiden race last year.
He tops the driver standings for the world championship with 119 points. Perez is second with 105 and Alonso in third place with 75.
Red Bull’s team principal and CEO Christian Horner said that this had been the most dominant car the team has ever developed.
“Of five races, five wins plus the Sprint, four 1-2 finishes, we’ve never, ever had a start like this and we're kinda wondering where are the others,” he said in a post-race interview.
As the other teams continuously worked on their upgrades, Horner said these may manifest from the next race onwards.
“I think you'll see from the next race. I think there are big upgrades coming,” he said.
He added, “We're just going to be super selective in terms of what we test and how we develop the car. Thankfully the cars go off to a great start and then for not having to solve big issues and big problems so we're able to focus on those incremental gains. But I do expect it still to converge later on in the year.”
The teams will next see action in the Emilia Romagna GP on May 21.