Miami Grand Prix Sprint goes to Verstappen, Ricciardo continues to impress

MIAMI – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen cruised to yet another victory this season at the Miami Grand Prix’s Sprint race this Saturday afternoon. His teammate Sergio Perez managed to nab third, while Charles Leclerc kept station and finished where he started in second place.

The big story from the Sprint though, is Daniel Ricciardo who finished strongly in fourth place, holding off a charging Carlos Sainz the entire race. Sainz flipped Ricciardo a thumbs up right after crossing the finish line, showing appreciation for the clean, all-out battle they had over the course of those 19 quick laps. There were several times where it looked like Sainz had a shot at making the move, but Ricciardo managed to hold him off even without the benefit of DRS for the majority of the race.

Lewis Hamilton was fighting his own battle for the last points-paying position of eighth in the Sprint. It began with a testy battle between himself and Kevin Magnussen. The Haas was handed a 10-second penalty for cutting a corner and further noted for infringing on track limits. Amid their fight, Yuki Tsunoda managed to sneak by the both of them before Hamilton rallied and passed Tsunoda on the final lap. Unfortunately for Hamilton, it was all for nought as he was given a pit lane speeding penalty, tacking on 20 seconds of extra time to his result. That put Tsunoda into the final points position, netting him a single point.

Hamilton’s speeding in pit lane didn’t exactly give him an advantage either, because the whole grid drove through after a first lap incident that put Lando Norris out of the race. The McLaren driver’s poor luck was the cause of Hamilton coming in a little too hot to the first corner, forcing Fernando Alonso into his teammate Lance Stroll and ultimately causing Stroll to clip Norris’ rear wheel. It’s the second disappointing result in a row for Norris after a less-than-stellar ninth-place Sprint qualifying result. His teammate Oscar Piastri salvaged sixth place after being stuck behind Ricciardo and Sainz the whole race.

Miami’s first Sprint yielded a lot of close racing, but there wasn’t a massive amount of passing or jockeying for position as we’ve seen in past Sprints. The teams will take to the track once more this afternoon to qualify for Sunday’s main event, the Miami Grand Prix.

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