Miami F1 Grand Prix 2022 Results: Max Verstappen Holds Off Charles Leclerc for Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 8, 2022

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, steers his car during the practice session for the Formula One Miami Grand Prix in Miami Gardens, Fla. Saturday, May 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Tyler Tate)
AP Photo/Tyler Tate

Max Verstappen cruised to his third checkered flag of 2022 after winning the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Max Verstappen is the 2022 Miami Grand Prix Champion πŸ† <a href="https://t.co/wrUPorJJoV">pic.twitter.com/wrUPorJJoV</a>

Verstappen passed Charles Leclerc early in the race and then didn't look back from there. He held off a tough challenge from Leclerc inside the final 10 laps before steadily gaining more comfort at the front of the pack.

Leclerc ultimately finished nearly four seconds behind Verstappen in what proved to be a two-horse race. Carlos Sainz claimed a place on the podium in third.

Leclerc continued his strong start to the season by claiming the pole, narrowly edging out Ferrari teammate Sainz.

The Monte Carlo native only remained in that position for a little more than eight laps before Verstappen overtook him for the lead. The reigning F1 champion took advantage of being in the DRS range and catapulted into first on the inside.


Max's move on Charles to take the lead in Miami βš”οΈπŸŒ΄ <a href="https://t.co/8ekrYvrZPZ">pic.twitter.com/8ekrYvrZPZ</a>

Verstappen quickly widened his advantage after Leclerc locked up his car to lose valuable time.

Things weren't going much better elsewhere for the Ferrari team.

Owen Poindexter @owenpoindexter

Gasps from the media center as Sainz's pit stop takes a whole 5 seconds. <a href="https://t.co/riwSVkOsvF">https://t.co/riwSVkOsvF</a>

With around 40 laps in the books, inclement weather appeared to be a possibility. Mother Nature was one of the few parties who could extend Leclerc a meaningful lifeline.

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 37/57 <br><br>Will it stay dry until the end of the race? πŸ€”<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MiamiGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MiamiGP</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://t.co/datOrksYH2">pic.twitter.com/datOrksYH2</a>

The virtual safety car was also brought out on the 41st lap because of a collision between Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly. The prolonged caution allowed Leclerc to make up a lot of ground on Verstappen.

TSN @TSN_Sports

NORRIS IS OUT!<br><br>The McLaren driver gets hit by a slowing Pierre Gasly to bring out the Safety Car with 16 laps to go!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MiamiGP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MiamiGP</a> <a href="https://t.co/SACvb8JFH6">pic.twitter.com/SACvb8JFH6</a>

Verstappen maintained his hold on first coming out of the restart but couldn't restore the massive gulf he previously enjoyed on Leclerc. Leclerc kept knocking on the door and waited for an opening.

Jordan Bianchi @Jordan_Bianchi

Charles Leclerc hounding Max Verstappen for the lead with five laps remaining. Any mistake by Verstappen and Leclerc will have an excellent opportunity to move into P1.

Jeff Gluck @jeff_gluck

That safety car really changed this race. Seems to be great battles now after what had been a pretty dry race. Leclerc vs. Verstappen, Perez vs. Sainz, Russell vs. Hamilton.

Verstappen simply wouldn't oblige, demonstrating why he's one of the best in the world.

The Spanish Grand Prix outside of Barcelona is on tap for F1 on May 22. Lewis Hamilton is the five-time reigning champion in the event, so it could be a great opportunity for the 37-year-old to earn his first victory in 2022.

Hamilton started in the sixth position Sunday and struggled to move up the leaderboard from there. He complained about his tires around the midway point, which summed up how he didn't have the car to compete with Verstappen, Leclerc, Sainz and Valtteri Bottas.