2023 Miami Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: True champions brush off setbacks. True champions make it look easy. Max Verstappen did both this weekend.
EVENT: Like the Miami GP or not, you have to hand it to the Miami promoters. They didn't sit on their hands. They evaluated everything about the 2022 event, making the necessary changes/improvements for 2023. And they admit there will be more to do for 2024.
TRACK: The repaving solved last year's problems. Surprisingly, the shorter DRS zones actually were okay, unlike at Baku last week.
QUALIFYING: Stop us if you heard this before -- Charles Leclerc crashes in Q3 ending the session early, causing a bit mixed up top ten, while Perez is happy. Meanwhile, Hamilton and Mercedes mess up Q2 and McLaren is worthless overall.
RACE: They say these are the best drivers in the world. And they proved it at Miami -- a street circuit no less. Not one DNF. Not one wall hit. Not one VSC or SC. Out of a possible 1,140 total laps the competitors could run, 1,138 were completed.
START: This clean on a street circuit? Two races in a row? As Perez does exactly what he needed to do.
VERSTAPPEN: Max gave an emphatic, Sorry Sergio, you have no chance in hell of taking this championship from me. He was running faster laps on hard tires 20 laps older than Perez and while in traffic.
PEREZ: Sergio got out-Perezed by his teammate in terms of tire management and street racing.
RED BULL: In a league of their own.
ALONSO: Four out of five third places and a fourth place in the other. Fernando appears to be our only hope of preventing a Red Bull undefeated season.
RUSSELL: Better result than George expected.
HAMILTON: Nice teammwork to ensure a better overall Mercedes result.
MERCEDES: Now let's see what the (don't call them massive) upgrades will bring at Imola.
SAINZ: This time, a penalty didn't effect his result.
LECLERC: Charles had trouble beating a Haas...
ALPINE: The CEO sure laid down the law. Advice to all Alpine F1 employees -- especially Otmar Szafnauer -- make sure your resumes are updated.
MAGNUSSEN: What a magnificient battle Kevin has with Charles Leclerc. Not once, but twice!
TSUNODA: Another solid performance, especially against his teammate.
BOTTAS: Looked promising early on for Valtteri.
ROOKIES: All three rookies finished in the bottom three positions.
SARGEANT: Not the home race Logan wanted.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Hype.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 38 -- Max Verstappen ties Sebastian Vettel for most race wins on the Red Bull team.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Major racing in the Miami area goes back to 1926 when a 1.25-mile board track was built in Fulford-by-the-Sea, now the North Miami Beach area, called the Fulford-Miami Speedway with banking at 50 degrees. It was built by Carl Fisher, founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And the General Manager was Ray Harroun, winner of the inaugural Indy 500. Peter DePaolo, the 1925 Indy 500 winner, won the first and only race there of 240 laps, 300 miles, at an average speed of 129.295 mph. Only six of 19 starters finished. Seven months later, the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 wiped the track out. The scattered wood was used to reconstruct the damaged city.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: From @flblag: Oh. No. That. Cost. Cap. Penalty. Is. Really. Harsh.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sergio Perez could only admit it, "He was clearly the fastest car out there."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Max Verstappen explains the win in a matter-of-fact manner, "I picked the cars off one by one and then I could stay out really long on the hard. And that's where we made the difference today. And then a good little battle with Checo at the end."
SCHEDULE: We head off to perhaps the longest race name in F1 history. And that's saying a lot in today's corporate world. The Qatar Airways Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna.
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