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Next Event Starts in:
3hrs 24min - MotoGP Qualifying
May 7, 2024
Alex Somerville

Miami the Grand Prix has taken a lot of heat over the last several years, with most fans seeing it as a somewhat dull race. It's a difficult track to overtake, even with a long DRS straight, but it's not impossible. Drivers have to work to gain spots, and in some cases, like this weekend, that gave us some great positional battles. The Sprint ended up being a decent race, helped in part by Daniel Ricciardo's fight with Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen's battle with Lewis Hamilton (I don't know if it was a battle as much as it was a fist fight, but that's neither here nor there). The race gave us some interesting storylines, so let's get into it now.

Miami Race Review

To address the elephant in the room, little Lando Norris has taken his maiden win; and what a drive he delivered. From starting in 5th position Lando, who at the race start was jumped immediately by Sergio Perez in the Red Bull, fought back hard. Throughout the first half of the race, Oscar Piastri, the other man in papaya, had the better of his McLaren teammate. After initially grabbing several positions and fighting past the struggling Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, Oscar Piastri found himself trailing only the man to beat; Max Verstappen. Max would go on to pit at the end of lap 23, leaving Oscar to lead the Grand Prix. Several minutes later, on lap 27, both the race leader in Oscar Piastri and his adversary in second, Carlos Sainz and his Ferrari would attempt to cover each other off with pit stops. All this, to grant a not-yet-pitted, and running in third, Lando Norris the opportunity to take the race lead. 

Shortly thereafter, on lap 29, the Danish viking Haas driver Kevin Magnussen had a run in with local Florida talent Logan Sargeant, resulting in yet another 10 second penalty for Magnussen (that’s added to 35 seconds in other penalties KMag acquired this weekend), a swift end to the race for William’s Sargeant, and a safety car for the rest of the field. 

This was a stroke of luck for McLaren and Norris, whom having not yet pitted, would directly benefit from making a pit stop under the safety car. Upon completing a timely stop, and some shenanigans with safety car driver Bernd Mayländer, we were racing once more. 

A poor restart for Lando meant trouble as Verstappen roared close, but after successfully fending off the current championship leader, Norris quickly began working - a full second gap by the end of the 35th lap, which would only widen to 7 and a half seconds by race end.

The last 25 laps saw movement among the rankings, ending in points finishes for VCARB’s Tsunoda, and the first points of the season for Alpine via Ocon. Fernando Alonso managed to scrape together a points finish after his worst qualification of the season, starting in a poor 15th. His Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll succumbed to the field after out-qualifying his teammate for the first time this season, and subsequently fell to 17th position by race end.

Due half in fact to Sargeant being crashed out of the race, William’s expectations for the weekend ultimately faltered, with one car DNF’d, and Alex Albon being unable to deliver better than 19th.

Kevin Magnussen picked up a further 20 second time penalty post race (make that 65 seconds total) for entering the pits under safety car and not changing tires.

Eyes are now on Imola and whether or not McLaren will continue to contend for race wins. Can Ferrari join in and put additional pressure on what seems like a suddenly mortal Red Bull car? We'll have to wait till then to find out.

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