Verstappen explains key tyre management skill to Miami GP success

Max Verstappen performed brilliantly to win the 2023 Miami GP

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Max Verstappen revealed he had to go easy on his hard tyres during the first stint of Sunday’s 2023 Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who had work to do from ninth, started the race on hards and took the lead following Sergio Perez’s pitstop before re-passing him two laps after his stop to take a superb win.

“It was always difficult to tell how good It would be,” said Verstappen to the media. “But I knew the car was going to be very quick it was just about how quickly I could clear all the cars ahead of me.

“Of course, I was on a different strategy, the pace was very good it was very important to go really long in the first stint, but it was a bit difficult to tell how the tyres would last.

“So that’s why in the middle of the stint I had to back out, and at the end of that stint, I could push again because I could feel like I would hit that [laptime] target, and yeah, made my race.”

Relieved to get title tilt back on track

Max Verstappen in action at the Miami GP | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Following his victory in at the 2023 Australian GP, Verstappen’s lead in the championship was cut to six points after Perez took a double – sprint and race – win in Baku before following it up with pole in Miami.

But with a long stint on hards paying dividends, Verstappen was able to leapfrog Perez after his stop managing a gap on the less fancied mediums.

“To come out so close after the pitstop and I had fresher tyres,” said Verstappen. “[The mediums] are a little bit more fragile today, but it was good enough to pull out a gap.

“Yesterday [qualifying] was a bit disappointing. I was a bit upset with myself, but these things can happen in racing.

“It’s important to learn from them and reset for today, knowing you had a quick car, but you still have to put it together in the race.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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