2022 F1 Miami GP: Race Review

Max Verstappen closed down the gap to Charles Leclerc to less than 20 points in the championship
Max Verstappen closed down the gap to Charles Leclerc to less than 20 points in the championship

The inaugural Miami GP is finally behind us now and saw Max Verstappen reducing the championship deficit to less than 20 points. The maiden Miami GP was more of an off-track spectacle than it was an on-track one as there were a few teething issues that needed to be resolved for the future. However, a solid foundation on which future long-term fan engagement can be built was laid in Miami.

Let's take a look back at what really happened on Sunday and review the Miami GP.

2022 F1 Miami GP: Race Review

Driver of the Day

Esteban Ocon

We endeavor to spotlight drivers who might not have received enough attention and coverage during the race, hence, for the Miami GP, our choice for Driver of the Day is Alpine's Esteban Ocon.

Ocon started the race in 18th position and managed his tires in traffic, thereby extending his stint on the hard tires throughout the first phase of the race. His race truly came alive when the safety car gave him the opportunity to put on soft tires for a 10-lap dash at the end of the race. This 10-lap dash helped him finish the race in 8th place and be the sole point scorer of his team this weekend.

Now if that is not worthy of the Driver of the Day, then what truly is?

Surprise of the weekend

Alfa Romeo's speed

Alfa Romeo's speed has been turning heads since the beginning of the season and this weekend has been no exception. Their car was legitimately the third fastest on the grid and Valtteri Bottas was truly holding his own against the advances of the Mercedes drivers.

After this Miami GP, Alfa Romeo, which has regularly been in the spotlight due to Bottas' incredible performances, will surely be the team that everyone will be looking out for.

Disappointment of the weekend

McLaren's drop in form

McLaren fell from grace hard this weekend. After a few races where the team had shown relentless growth, the Miami GP might sticks out like a sore thumb for the British team. The McLaren drivers that were somewhat cruising into Q3 in the previous races struggled to make the same happen on Saturday.

Mclaren was roughly the fifth or sixth fastest car on the grid and will be looking to bounce back at the next race.

'Feel-Good' moment of the weekend

Leclerc fighting back against Verstappen post the SC restart

After Max Verstappen's overtake, there were already suggestions, even from the commentators, that the result might already have been decided in that moment. The Red Bull was able to stay ahead and even pull a gap over the Ferrari during the pit stop period.

However, things got exciting when Leclerc attacked Max relentlessly after the safety car restart. If not Ferrari's deficit in straight-line speed, we might have seen a different result at the end of the Miami GP.

The battle between Red Bull and Ferrari is going to go down to the wire this season and it's hard to expect either team to establish any kind of lasting superiority over the other due to the cost cap.

Biggest shock of the weekend

The Schumacher-Vettel crash

Mick Schumacher, after being under pressure for so long this season, appeared to, finally, be turning things around during the Miami GP. He had a clear advantage over his teammate Kevin Magnussen in the race and looked destined for his first points finish near the end of the race.

Sebastian Vettel, too, was putting together another measured performance, as he had made his way through the field and was fighting for points in his Aston Martin.

However, as it turned out, a rather impetuous move by Mick Schumacher to sneak through Vettel, ultimately, resulted in both drivers incurring significant damage to their cars and falling out of the points.

Just when it appeared that everything was falling in place for Mick, he lost out big time.

The Miami GP Sympathy Corner

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso's run of no points this season now extends to five races after the Miami GP. The Spanish driver was not lacking speed at any point in this season, but there appears to be a sense of frustration that is starting to creep into his driving.

The move on Lewis Hamilton earlier in the race was vintage Alonso, but later in the race, when he thumped past Gasly, it was a clear sign of desperation. To make matters worse, Alonso's teammate Esteban Ocon took advantage of the safety car to effectively finish ahead of him in the race, despite starting last.

If it was not for the safety car, Alonso was in for a very strong race. However, as it turned out, not one, but two five-second penalties dropped the Alpine driver out of the points altogether. The Spanish legend will be hoping for just one race where he does not get bogged down or hampered by external circumstances so that he can show his true potential.

The teams and drivers will be hoping to maximize their results at the Spanish GP in Barcelona in two weeks' time.

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Edited by Anmol Gandhi
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