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Verstappen Miami victory 'a surprise' after "expensive" issues

Verstappen Miami victory 'a surprise' after "expensive" issues

F1 News

Verstappen Miami victory 'a surprise' after "expensive" issues

Verstappen Miami victory 'a surprise' after "expensive" issues

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has conceded Max Verstappen's Miami Grand Prix success to have been 'a surprise' after reliability problems again struck on Friday.

Verstappen missed the majority of Friday practice in Miami after a hydraulic problem restricted him to just four flying laps across the two hours of running.

Despite this handicap, the reigning champion qualified third behind only the two Ferrari drivers before putting in a dominant performance on Sunday.

Asked on the F1 Nation podcast if the victory was 'a surprise' given the early issues, Horner explained: "Absolutely, because losing that amount of track time at a new track was expensive for us.

"There were a few things we would have changed with a bit more data but he made a great recovery.

"And to win, that was a tough win. Ferrari was a great opponent but it was great for us [to close the gap in] both championships."

Verstappen start "crucial" to Miami win

The Miami International Autodrome had a clearly defined clean and dirty side of the grid, with the odd-numbered starting positions enjoying a clear advantage off the line.

Although the clean line gave pole-sitter Charles Leclerc and Verstappen the outside for turn one, the Dutchman was able to sweep around the outside of Carlos Sainz and set off in pursuit of his primary championship rival.

Verstappen's win puts him just 19 points behind Leclerc after five races.

"It was an incredible race from Max again and the start was crucial," added Horner.

"The pass, the tyre management and the deg was vital and he made it work.

"Then, the pressure he was under after that last safety car, he just couldn't break the tow or the DRS and it was just vital not to make a mistake and he just kept it very clean.

"It was a great race, a great victory."

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