2024 Miami GP Sprint Race: Verstappen Charges To Win

Max Verstappen clinched the win in a thrilling Sprint on Saturday, fending off Charles Leclerc in a dramatic finish.


By Ben Bush
Updated on May 9, 2024

Max Verstappen Sprint Race Winner Red Bull Racing 2024 Miami Grand Prix
Max Verstappen won the Sprint Race for Red Bull Racing at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix

During Saturday’s Sprint race at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix, Max Verstappen capitalised on pole position to secure victory, leading Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez across the finish line in an eventful race.

Verstappen defended his lead from the start and navigated through an early Safety Car period before establishing a comfortable lead at the front. Meanwhile, Leclerc settled for second place, while Perez battled past fast starter Daniel Ricciardo in the RB to claim third.

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Ricciardo showcased his skills by holding off Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri, the sole McLaren finisher after Lando Norris retired on the first lap, to secure fourth place. Nico Hulkenberg in the Haas finished seventh, with Yuki Tsunoda in the sister RB inheriting the final point after Lewis Hamilton received a post-race penalty.

As with the previous race in China, Friday’s Sprint Qualifying session determined the starting grid for the 19-lap, 100-kilometer race. Verstappen emerged on top in a challenging SQ3 phase, where many drivers struggled to extract the best performance from their mandated soft tyres.

Before the race, Valtteri Bottas was relegated to the back of the grid due to a three-place penalty for impeding Piastri during qualifying, while Alex Albon started from the pit lane due to suspension changes under Parc Ferme conditions.

An unusual incident occurred as Leclerc and Esteban Ocon left the pit lane. Ocon was released into Leclerc’s path, needing a new front wing and receiving a 10-second time penalty.

When the race began, most drivers opted for medium tyres, with only Tsunoda and home favourite Logan Sargeant choosing softs, starting in 15th and 18th positions, respectively.

As the highly anticipated race began, Verstappen, starting from pole position, swiftly moved to the right side of the track to defend against Leclerc heading into Turn 1. However, a daring manoeuvre by Perez around the outside caused the Mexican to run wide, allowing Ricciardo to slip through into third place.

Further behind, Norris faced drama for the second consecutive Sprint start, as he was spun around at the first corner, sustaining terminal damage due to contact between Hamilton, Alonso, and Stroll. Stroll’s Aston Martin collided with Norris’s McLaren after being squeezed into the bottleneck.

Hamilton explained over the radio that he saw an opportunity on the inside, prompting his move, while Alonso likened Hamilton’s approach to that of a bull. Despite their disagreement, stewards opted not to take further action on the incident.

Alonso and Stroll both suffered damage, with Alonso requiring a pit stop for a new front wing and Stroll retiring his heavily damaged car. Ocon took advantage of the Safety Car period to serve his 10-second penalty, allowing him to catch up to the back of the field.

At the restart, Verstappen maintained his lead over Leclerc, with Ricciardo holding onto third ahead of Perez, Sainz, Piastri, Hulkenberg, and Magnussen, who had advanced from 14th to eighth due to the preceding chaos.

On Lap 5, Perez utilized DRS to close the gap to Ricciardo and successfully overtake him into Turn 11. Meanwhile, Ricciardo had to defend hard against Sainz and Piastri in the following laps.

Despite struggling with balance and rear grip, Verstappen maintained a two-second lead over Leclerc by mid-race, with Perez trailing three seconds behind. Meanwhile, Ricciardo fought to keep Sainz and Piastri at bay.

Another intense battle ensued between Magnussen and Hamilton, with Magnussen receiving a 10-second penalty for cutting the track and gaining an advantage at Turn 14/15 chicane while defending his position.

The battle intensified when Hamilton attempted an inside move at Turn 11, resulting in Magnussen running wide, rejoining the track at Turn 12, and making contact with the seven-time world champion. Despite the skirmish, Hamilton held onto ninth place.

On Lap 14, Hamilton attempted to overtake Magnussen once more, resulting in another incident between Turns 11 and 12. Hamilton claimed that Magnussen pushed him off the track, allowing Tsunoda, who started on soft tyres, to pass into ninth place and secure a potential points finish due to Magnussen’s forthcoming penalty.

Shortly after, Tsunoda and eventually Hamilton successfully passed Magnussen. Magnussen received additional penalties for the aforementioned clash and exceeding track limits. This set the stage for a tense battle between Red Bull and Mercedes for the final points-paying position until the checkered flag.

Meanwhile, Verstappen maintained his composure at the front, securing the Sprint victory, followed by Leclerc and Perez. Ricciardo held onto fourth place by a narrow margin, with Sainz and Piastri closely trailing behind.

Hulkenberg delivered an impressive seventh-place finish for Haas, while Hamilton managed to finish ahead of Tsunoda in eighth. However, Hamilton’s race took a turn for the worse as he was investigated for speeding in the pit lane during the early Safety Car period and subsequently received a 20-second time penalty.

This penalty pushed Gasly into ninth place for Alpine, followed by Sargeant, Zhou Guanyu, and George Russell in the other Mercedes, Albon, Bottas, and Ocon. Hamilton ultimately finished in 16th place, ahead of Alonso, who encountered delays, and Magnussen, who faced heavy penalties.

Miami GP Sprint Race Results

2024 Miami Grand Prix Sprint Race, 4 May 2024

11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1931:31.3838
216Charles LeclercFerrari19+3.371s7
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT19+5.095s6
43Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT19+14.971s5
555Carlos SainzFerrari19+15.222s4
681Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes19+15.750s3
727Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari19+22.054s2
822Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT19+29.816s1
910Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault19+31.880s0
102Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes19+34.355s0
1124Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari19+35.078s0
1263George RussellMercedes19+35.755s0
1323Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes19+36.086s0
1477Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari19+36.892s0
1531Esteban OconAlpine Renault19+37.740s0
1644Lewis Hamilton1Mercedes19+49.347s0
1714Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes19+59.409s0
1820Kevin Magnussen2Haas Ferrari19+66.303s0
NC18Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1+0 lap0
NC4Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes0+0 lap0
1Hamilton incurred a 20-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
2Magnussen was penalised with three 10-second time penalties for leaving the track and gaining an advantage and an additional five-second penalty for exceeding track limits.

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Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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