Max Verstappen expecting ‘pretty crazy’ Miami GP as Charles Leclerc battle continues

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Max Verstappen has discussed his expectations for what promises to be an exciting Miami Grand Prix. The American city is making its debut on the F1 calendar, with the Dutchman and Charles Leclerc expected to play starring roles after their scintillating starts to the 2022 season. 

Verstappen, Leclerc and the rest of the F1 grid have had two weeks to ponder what was a breathless race weekend in Emilia-Romagna. The Red Bull man eventually won the Grand Prix, and Leclerc spun out to come home in P6 which allowed his new rival to make up some ground in the championship. 

The time off has given Leclerc an opportunity to plot revenge, while Verstappen still seems to be riding a positive wave after his second race win of the season. The glitz and glamour of Miami has sparked excitement from all involved, and the Dutchman is no exception. 

“I think this weekend is going to be pretty crazy,” he said. “I’m looking forward to racing in Miami. I’ve driven the track on the simulator and we’ve practiced and prepared as much as we can without visiting the track in real life.

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“I love racing in Austin so it’s fun that we get to go to another state and race this year. It’s exciting to see Formula One getting much bigger in the US, F1 and the teams are working hard to promote the sport in the US and we’re having more and more races here, so step by step we are making it more popular.

“I also think it helps now the cars are finding it easier to follow and overtake each other and more teams are competing for wins, I think that’s the most important thing for the fans. I hope that it’s going to be an exciting weekend, Miami is a really nice city and I think it’s a really interesting location to hold a Grand Prix, I think not only the drivers are excited, but the fans too.”

Leclerc will be eager to fight back at an ‘excited’ Verstappen after pushing too hard and spinning out at Imola, which was one of his first hiccups this season after what had been a near-flawless start to 2022. Ferrari’s performance has been fast and consistent, while the Monegasque has also been able to capitalise on the hard luck of his team-mate, Carlos Sainz, who has not seen the chequered flag in either of his last two Grand Prix. 

With the dust still settling at Imola, Leclerc was regretful for the fact that getting ‘greedy’ caused him to miss out on precious points, which could prove crucial come the end of the year. The Ferrari star still holds a 27-point lead over Verstappen, but the reigning world champion has already shown that he has the pace to mix it with anyone this season. 

“I believe the spin shouldn’t have happened today,” Leclerc told Sky Sports last time out, “P3 was the best I could do… we didn’t have the pace for much more and I was too greedy, and I paid the price for it and lost seven potential points compared to my third place. It is a shame. They are seven points that are valuable at the end of the championship for sure, and this shouldn’t happen again.”

He then added on social media: “I gave it all but went over the limit at the end. Sorry to the team and to all the tifosi that supports us. Instead of a P3, it ended up in a P6. We’ll come back stronger.”

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