The Formula 1 circus settled in Miami for the first time last week. It is the first American F1 race on the calendar this year, and later Formula 1 will also come to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. America is one of the biggest growth markets for F1 and the Miami GP seems to have fully managed to gain popularity. According to Hakkinen, the large number of celebrities who attended the race is a clear sign of Formula 1’s popularity.
“In the end there were two winners this weekend: Max Verstappen and Formula 1 itself,” Häkkinen suggests in his column Unibet† “It was a really special event to see sports legends like Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Venus Williams and David Beckham as well as former first lady Michelle Obama qualify at Mercedes shows. The fact that so many celebrities from all walks of life attended the event is a testament to the success Formula 1 owners are having with the current approach. With a third American Grand Prix in Las Vegas, interest will only increase.”
On a sporting level, Max Verstappen was the winner. He started the race from third place and quickly chopped up Carlos Sainz allowing him to pursue Charles Leclerc. According to Hakkinen, Verstappen’s victory is a clear statement about the current balance of power. “It was another very important win for Max,” said Häkkinen. “If you know that Max has won every race he has started so far, then we can say that Red Bull has a faster package than Ferrari. Max was so strong in this race, he got a good start and his overtake on lap 9 at Leclerc was superb.”
After the safety car situation in the final stages of the race, it seemed as if Verstappen’s top position was still under pressure, but Häkkinen didn’t see it that way: “Charles pushed, but Max was able to defend himself and build up a lead. He was in complete control.” In doing so, Red Bull made the best use of the updates that had already been introduced. The ball is now back with Ferrari, according to the former Finnish world champion. “They really need these updates to go faster, Red Bull is very strong. The only weak point is Red Bull’s reliability, Max also had a costly problem on Friday. If they are also reliable then it will be very difficult for Ferrari.”