The Miami GP was a success, with close to 240,000 spectators throughout the weekend and a great atmosphere around the paddock despite the youth of the event, in its first edition. However, the drivers were critical of the state of the asphalt and the design of the “Mickey Mouse” chicane, that slow sector before the longest straight. On Sunday, after the race, opinions softened. “A great atmosphere, very well organized, it’s not easy at all to get such an event up and running. As for the circuit, a couple of areas can be improved. In the race, the first sector was fun. The second… it would be nice if it was faster and more fluid for an F1 like these, so long and heavy, because turns 14-15 were a complicated combination,” said Verstappen, the first winner in Miami Gardens.

Leclerc, second, confesses: “I’m the only one on the grid who liked the chicane. Although I agree that it wasn’t easy to follow the cars there, not even because of the lack of visibility, you had to be very precise with the pianos”. Sainz clarifies the concept error of that combination of turns: “It is a chicane that for these cars, so heavy and wide, you almost need luck to save it without entering a strange angle, sometimes you nail it and win two tenths. But it is an unnatural curve that can be easily altered to generate a better match. We need something slow because then there is not much space. But in a new circuit these things always happen and we are talking to Ross (Brawn) and FOM to solve it”. Max closes: “In a kart, it would be a good chicane. But not in an F1. The curb is too wide and too high.” There were protests the day before about the safety barriers in that area, with Sainz limping after Friday’s crash and Ocon taking a 51G impact on Saturday which broke the chassis.

“Being slow but reliable is not a good thing”

On a sporting level, Verstappen cut points from Leclerc and Hamilton feels in 2021, against a more powerful car: “Last year I was the one being hunted and it’s not a great position, because I didn’t have the pace and I knew it would be difficult. I like the position I have now.” In fact, this third victory of the year for Max did not come on a clean weekend, he had reliability problems on Friday that seriously limited his running: “We have to nail a weekend without problems, like in Ímola and to be more reliable, to be on top of things. Although you can see that the car is fast and I am happy with that. Being slow but reliable is not a good thing.”

Although for persecuted Sainz, who had to save an ax to the limit by Pérez (“A little dirty”, said Checo) at the end of the grand prix to take the third podium of the year and come back to fifth in the World Championship. “I knew that Checo was going to stop because he had a new set of mediums, our alternative was the used soft or the new hard, neither was the best for 10-12 laps, so it was best to stay on track with the used hard. I think it was the right thing to do because in the end I managed to keep him behind. But it was tight, he had everything, all the cards to overtake me. I’m surprised to finish ahead because he was very, very tight”, he commented with AS regarding the strategy. The final result, with Pérez fourth, proved them right.

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