Max Verstappen wins 2024 Miami GP Sprint Race as Hamilton hit with penalty

The Red Bull star qualified on pole for the F1 Sprint and beat Leclerc to take maximum points from the race

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen clinched his first F1 Sprint victory of the season at the Formula 1 2024 Miami Grand Prix on Saturday.

The championship leader fought off Charles Leclerc off the line after qualifying on pole and nearly forced the Ferrari man into the wall as he held onto first position. From there, he never looked like relinquishing the lead in the Florida sunshine.

Daniel Ricciardo, who pulled off a surprise in qualifying fourth, got past Sergio Perez on the first turn but was later passed by the Mexican, who finished third.

On Lap 1, most of the drama occurred in the midfield, with Lando Norris forced to retire after being clipped by Fernando Alonso, who was sandwiched by Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll in a classic first-lap situation.

Max Verstappen on the formation lap during the Sprint ahead of 2024 Miami Grand Prix of Miami | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen on the formation lap during the Sprint ahead of 2024 Miami Grand Prix of Miami | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The safety car was brought out for three laps while Norris‘ car was cleared, with Verstappen leading the pack and Leclerc in close pursuit. But the Dutchman managed to get himself out of DRS range when it was reactivated by the stewards without shooting off into the distance.

Ricciardo was eventually swallowed up by the much faster Red Bull of Perez as he lost his grip on P3, and after losing the DRS advantage sitting behind the RB20, he came under huge pressure from Carlos Sainz.

Hamilton and Magnussen in tense battle

One of the best battles on the track saw Kevin Magnussen and Hamilton scrap for eighth position, with the two cars coming into contact shortly after the Dane skipped the chicane.

He paid the price for that manoeuvre with a 10-second penalty from the stewards, but the Mercedes star still found himself stuck behind.

Magnussen then appeared to force Hamilton off the track and Yuki Tsunoda got himself past the frustrated 39-year-old, who did eventually get past the Haas driver after spending several laps behind.

He received another 10-second penalty to add to his woes, but the damage had been done for Hamilton as Nico Hulkenberg disappeared ahead of them.

Despite finding himself under intense pressure, Ricciardo managed to hold onto the P4 after some expert defending to deny Sainz, who was just ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

Hulkenberg continued his fine form to take P7 and add another two points for Haas, and Hamilton’s efforts were not in vain as he found a way past Tsunoda on the final lap. However, he received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane – and that took away his one championship point.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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