Max Verstappen has won the inaugural Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome.
The Red Bull driver started third on the grid and made an early overtake on the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz on Lap one followed by a move on Charles Leclerc for the lead on lap nine.
After a safety car was deployed due to McLaren’s Lando Norris crashing out, the field bunched up and brought Leclerc right into Verstappen’s rearview mirrors.
He managed to hold the championship leader off for the final ten laps – although there were a number of close calls – and crossed the line victorious.
This marks the Dutch driver’s third win of the season as he secures his place in the battle for this year’s championship title with Leclerc.
Joining him on the podium were the two Ferrari men – a familiar sight this season – as Leclerc finished in second and Sainz in third.
Speaking after the race, Verstappen told reporters: “It was an incredible Grand Prix.
“Very physical but I think we kept it exciting until the end.
“I am incredibly happy with winning here in Miami, it was an incredible Sunday for us.”
Leclerc then said: “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.
“On the hard we were very competitive and towards the end I thought I could get Max at one point but today 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.”
Carlos Sainz added: “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.
“Especially with Checo 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.”
Meanwhile in fourth was the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, followed by George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in P5 and P6 respectively.
Closing out the top ten in Miami was the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas in 7th, the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso in P8 and P9, and Williams’s Alex Albon in tenth.