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Verstappen and engineer took Miami F1 hard tyre plan to strategists

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The world champion won the Miami Grand Prix with stunning momentum from ninth on the grid after opting for an alternate tire strategy for the leader.

Verstappen was able to manage the hard tires brilliantly through the long first stint, while those in the lead struggled on the medium compound.

Plus: How Verstappen deployed an underrated powerhouse to beat Perez in Miami

Reflecting on the inspired choice, Verstappen says the idea came about after discussions with his engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase.

“That’s something my engineers and I already wanted to know (on Saturday),” he explained. “We already have a strong opinion on this.

“Then, of course, you have to discuss it with the team, the strategists, and they’re like: ‘Okay. In terms of game times, it’s pretty close between medium/hard or hard/medium, so it doesn’t really matter.

“But, of course, when you start from a tough place, the stakes are a little bit higher because we only have one, so if you get a puncture on the first lap or something, then of course you have a tougher race.

“But I’m happy to take that gamble and do it the other way around. I think even if it’s the other way around, of course you have to always take care of your tires, even at medium speeds – but I just think it’s possible Gave me a better chance to get through the field in the first place.

“I think, by lap 14, I was on the podium, so from there it was mostly driving in clean air and you had to take care of your tires anyway.”

Race winner Max Verstappen and the Red Bull team celebrate on the podium

Race winner Max Verstappen and the Red Bull team celebrate on the podium

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool

While Verstappen committed early on to starting on hard courts, teammate Sergio Perez said he never considered it because starting from the frontcourt was too risky.

“When you start from pole it’s more of a gamble, the safety car could be right or it could be wrong,” he said.

“I think at the time, none of us anticipated that the medium would (underperform) … because almost the entire grid started with the medium. I don’t think we all realized how fragile its tires were. I think once we ran with it After a few laps we realized it was a bad tyre.”

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Asked if he thought he could win if he started on hard courts, Perez said: “I think it’s hard to answer that because you don’t know what the tires are going to do.

“Of course, just spending less time on very weak mid-weight compounds would make my mileage look a little better.”

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Sainz understands Ferrari’s limits: 'Not very competitive around here'

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Despite Carlos Sainz’s solid qualifying performance at his home Grand Prix, starting from second, the Ferrari driver lacked the necessary race pace compared to Red Bull and Mercedes, resulting in him finishing second. Five finishers.

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Tsunoda slams “ridiculous” F1 Spanish GP penalty for Zhou defence

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On lap 56 of 66 in a round dominated by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, Alfa Romeo driver Zhou used DRS to challenge Tsunoda for 9th on the outside entering Turn 1 right hand.

But as the corner transitioned into Turn 2, Chow appeared to shake his machine to the left, before rejoining the track several car lengths behind Kakuda into the escape lane.

The FIA ​​stewards reviewed the incident and ruled that Zhou was ahead at the apex of Turn 1 and therefore had the right to enter the race room.

As Tsunoda was found violating the International Sports Code, he received a 5-second penalty and dropped to 12th without points. Zhou, meanwhile, scored two points for ninth.

Asked by Autosport about his reaction, Tsunoda said: “It’s a ridiculous penalty and it feels really unfair.”

Recalling his take on events, Tsunoda thought Zhou had “pretended” to run out of space and that there was “definitely” room to keep the Alfa Romeo on track.

He said: “I left the room when I saw (Zhou Lai), I think he gave up early on.

“He went outside and pretended he was being forced out, but he didn’t. Sure enough, there was room outside.

“Obviously I put pressure on him, but there was still space, so I don’t understand why it was a penalty. It felt really unfair, really harsh.”

Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri in the paddock

Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri in the paddock

Photography: Jack Grant / motorsport pictures

Tsunoda said he was not aware of the penalty until it reached the finish line, and believes drivers and teams should be able to present their defense to the FIA ​​before the final ruling is given.

He said: “After I just heard the checkered flag, I was really happy. But after listening to that radio, I was really disappointed.

“At the same time, (I think) it’s a bit of a curiosity … it’s good to have some discussion with the FIA ​​because they gave five seconds without any discussion and the race was over.

“So, it didn’t feel fair … (I felt) exhausted and flat.”

In contrast, Zhou believes that this is a dunk penalty for Kakuda. He said: “It’s very simple.

“Going into Turn 1 and into the middle, I was in the lead and I actually gave a lot of space. Then I saw that he (and him) didn’t stop.

“(He tried to) release the brakes (but he) drove me away and I had to take avoidance action and (use) the escape route or we would collide.

“So, it was tricky after that because I had a lot of rubbish on my tyres. But in the end, I was able to stay in the right position behind him and regain the position.”

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Hamilton on new contract and chasing Red Bull: ‘Meeting with Toto tomorrow’

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Lewis Hamilton is satisfied after finishing runner-up at the Spanish Grand Prix as the best driver behind Max Verstappen. The British driver was also happy to answer questions about his contract and how he might challenge Verstappen in the future.

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