Takeaways from Miami Grand Prix

(Photo Credit: F1/McLaren Racing F1)

The 2024 Miami Grand Prix was the best race the track has delivered since f1 started going there in 2022, with excellent on-track racing and exciting strategic battles, with there also being a first-time winner. 

Mclaren Fastest all weekend

(Photo Credit: Steven tee/ Motorsport Images)

Mclaren brought their first upgrade of the season to Miami at the Miami Grand Prix, and they were the most comfortable car on track throughout the weekend. 

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were the second quickest, but what was noticeable throughout the weekend was that Verstappen did not clear away from the rest of the field in a fashion that he usually does. It was relatively close. 

Lando Norris and Oscar Pisatri set the quickest lap times in sprint qualifying and regular qualifying for the Grand Prix. The sprint was disappointing for the team.

But the race showed the real power upgrades, with Piastri keeping Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari behind him until the first set of pit stops. 

Norris had a slightly slow start but made his way up the field without much issue, eventually getting into the race’s lead due to a Verstappen pit.

Norris then cleared away by at least eight seconds, ultimately doing to Verstappen what the 3x World Champion has been doing for the better half of a year. 

It was an excellent weekend for Mclaren, claiming their first victory since Monza 2021, and a deserving one for Norris, who has been patient for many years. Their victory was a reflection of the team’s work to get Mclaren back towards the upper end of the grid. 

Max goes from P1 to P2.

(Photo Credit: F1)

There was an expectation that Verstappen would dominate the weekend and clear away, as he has done for the better part of 2023 and early this season. 

However, even Verstappen showed a pace that only partially separated him from the Ferrari and the McLaren. Verstappen was even surprised with his pole position on Saturday, qualifying for the Grand Prix.

It was the first race weekend when Verstappen was still running, and it was only the second time since September that his Red Bull had been beaten on pure pace.

Verstappen did get an opportunity to overtake the McLaren Norris in the race following the safety car period, but he couldn’t get past him. With the Brit cruising to an eight-second gap and claiming his first victory, it was a rare occasion that Verstappen was just outmatched on pace, taking the second step on the podium. 

Oscar Piastri hard done by

(Photo Credit: F1 TV)

At one point in the race, Piastri was having a solid stint. Okay, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari undercut him, but he was still in the running for P4 with him and Carlos Sainz battling on track.

But that sharp turn after the big, long straight was where Piastri made contact with Sainz, and it came at the wrong time due to the Saftey Car and the need for a front wing change.

It dropped the Australian near the bottom half of the grid, but he managed to salvage P13 in the end and get the fastest lap of the race, so it wasn’t all that bad for him. It’s a matter of what could have been that weekend.

But until that race, Piastri has scored in the points for most of the season. Again, it’s just a matter of bad luck in Miami. 

Williams has gone backwards 

(Photo Credit: F1)

Last season, Williams managed to sneak in the points a few times, with Alex Albon finishing P7 at best. 

But this season, Williams is back at the bottom of the grid and one of the slowest cars on the grid again, which is a major setback compared to where they were last year. 

It’s a long shot that Williams will compete at the top of F1 again. Still, one can’t help but feel that as of six races in that, the direction Williams is headed in would be them struggling to get back into the position that they were at last season, which again was sneaking into the 10th – to 7th range. 

It is too early to predict where they will finish at the end of the season, but one can’t help but feel that compared to teams such as Haas and Alphatauri Will,iams has made a considerable misstep in the development of their car so far this season.