Formula 1: Verstappen pimps because of Red Bull problems

After his faux pas at Ferrari’s home race in Imola two weeks ago, Charles Leclerc hit back in qualifying in Miami. From pole position, the Ferrari star wants to get his third win of the season today and thus extend the lead over Max Verstappen in the World Championship (currently 27 points).

Of course, the world champion from Holland has something against it. But before chasing Leclerc from 9:30 p.m. today, he’ll first play against his own team. Background: his only 15 practice laps on Friday for technical reasons. “A maximum of four or five of them could be used,” Verstappen grumbled in the press conference after qualifying. “I’m still learning the track. We’re making life difficult for ourselves with our problems. I’m surprised I was able to fight for pole at all. We can be so much better if we have a clean weekend.”

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In Imola that was still possible, but not in Miami. In the first free practice session on Friday, the gearbox overheated in temperatures of more than 30 degrees. The mechanics made a mistake when changing the switch box. Result: The hydraulics went on strike, the power steering jammed and the rear brakes overheated. The Dutchman was already “on fire” on Friday, which continued in the press conference after qualifying.
After all: “Magic Max” also takes responsibility for himself, because he made a mistake in the decisive lap. Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko defends his number 1 at Newsabc: “He had to take the risk because Ferrari has an advantage in the corners.” Verstappen explains slightly frustrated: “The rear broke out in turn five, actually strange, but that that’s what happens when you don’t know the limit.”
Alone: ​​Team boss Christian Horner puts his jewel in a mild mood and gives him hope for the race: “It’s still a good comeback from Max after the few laps yesterday. We have a lot of top speed and a good race car and you can overtake here.”

Sainz and Leclerc want to keep Verstappen behind at the Miami GP.

Because the fight between Verstappen and Leclerc, between Red Bull and Ferrari, is also a fight between the different technical systems. Ferrari’s strength is the corners, Red Bull’s advantage is the higher speed on the straights.
Ferrari races faster through the corners with a lot of downforce and can also accelerate optimally thanks to perfect traction and a powerful engine. Red Bull gets its downforce through the underbody, saving itself air resistance and is hard to beat on the straights. Verstappen and Sergio Perez were almost ten km/h faster than Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

“We have quite a different car than Ferrari,” explains Horner. “They have more downforce, so they are better in the corners. But we’re much faster on the straights and the DRS is pretty powerful here too. So there are a few opportunities to overtake.”

Experts like Sky star Ralf Schumacher expect a race similar to that in Saudi Arabia, when Verstappen and Leclerc – including attempts to stand in front of the DRS line – rushed each other around the course. In the end with the better end for the Red Bull star, who could rely on three DRS zones. Just as often he is allowed to flatten his rear wing in Miami. Schumacher adds at Newsabc: “I think that Red Bull’s tires will last longer.”

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Leclerc’s only option is to flee forward: “We have to drive out so much distance in the curves,” he forges his battle plan, “that they can’t even attack us on the straights.”

The start could play an important role. If Sainz can remain as a buffer between the World Cup rivals, the Monegasque could work out.

But that will be difficult. The Spaniard starts from the dirty side. Verstappen doesn’t care. He puts his finger in Red Bull’s own wound again: “I have no idea how the grip is on the right or left of the grid. I could never practice a start. That pretty much sums up my weekend so far.”

One thing is certain: no matter how the race in Miami ends – the battle between the different systems will continue in the next races. Because even competitors like McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl have to admit: “Red Bull and Ferrari are in a league of their own at the moment.”

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