Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the inaugural Formula One Miami Grand Prix on Sunday.
Verstappen held off a late challenge from Charles Leclerc to close in on the Ferrari driver atop the world championship standings.
After starting third, he jumped the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz at the start and looked set for an easy victory.
This was when he passed pole sitter Leclerc on lap nine of 57 around the 5.412-kilometre Miami International Autodrome.
But a late safety car gave Leclerc hope and he attacked over four laps only to come undone by the unmatched straight line speed of the Red Bull.
Verstappen has now won three seasons’ races to Leclerc’s two and with the fastest lap bonus point now trails his rival 104-85 in the standings.
Sainz held on for third in front of Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull while Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton completed the top six.
The next race is the May 22 Spanish Grand Prix.(dpa/NAN)