Max Verstappen won the inaugural Miami GP overcoming the front row of Ferrari’s before holding off Charles Leclerc in the later stages.

The defending Formula One world champion also slashed Leclerc’s overall lead from 27 to 19 points after five races as a result.

Interestingly, the Dutchman has won every race he has finished this season.

Leclerc fought to the end and finished second, 3.786 seconds behind after starting in pole position, with Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz completing the podium at Hard Rock Stadium.

Verstappen, starting third, overtook Sainz around the outside on the very first corner to clear the first hurdle before setting his sights on the championship leader.

He managed to finally pass Leclerc on the 9th lap.

Verstappen, who also secured the bonus point for fastest lap, looked to be cruising to victory until Lando Norris’ McLaren collided with Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri on lap 41, triggering the safety car.

That brought Leclerc right back onto his tail and back into contention over the final 10 laps.

With the safety car bunching up the field the Miami GP was in for a stellar conclusion as Verstappen held up a valiant Leclerc for his second win in a row.

Verstappen’s Mexican teammate, Sergio Perez, finished fourth after battling Sainz for the final podium spot throughout the race.

Perez, who lost speed with a sensor issue that the team fixed, tried to pass Sainz on lap 52 but overcooked his move, with the Spaniard forcing his way back in front and staying there despite the Mexican’s fresher tires.

Ferrari maintains the lead in the constructors’ standings with 157 points to Red Bull’s 151.

George Russell continued his record of finishing every race so far in the top five, with Mercedes teammate and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton sixth after a brief battle between the two.

Russell, starting 12th but helped by pitting during the virtual safety car phase and having the advantage of fresher tires, passed Hamilton twice on track.

He handed back position after the first overtake because he had benefited from going wide but re-passed him immediately afterward.

Valtteri Bottas was seventh for Alfa Romeo with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon eighth in a stirring fightback after being unable to take part in Saturday’s qualifying due to a practice crash.

Double world champion teammate Fernando Alonso ended up ninth and Alex Albon scored the final point in 10th for Williams.

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