Max Verstappen ‘almost knocked out’ before Miami GP win as track criticised

Red Bull ace Max Verstappen secured victory for the second race in a row by triumphing at the Miami Grand Prix but the event could have been vastly different, as one section of the track almost knocked him out.

Starting on pole, Verstappen quickly took second spot at the start with a diving move on Carlos Sainz and then utilised DRS later on in the race to dispatch Charles Leclerc for the lead, then holding off the Ferrari driver at the restart following the safety car.

Remarkably, it means that Verstappen has won every race this season that he has finished, with three victories and two DNF's, and sees the defending champion chip away at Leclerc's lead at the top of the championship heading into a crucial stage of the season.

However, it could have been an entirely different story for the Dutch driver in Miami's maiden Grand Prix as he has stated that the chicane on the circuit almost knocked him out, becoming the latest driver to complain about parts of the circuit.

"If I would have been in a go-kart, it would have been a nice chicane to take but not in an F1 car las we have at the moment. The kerb combination, I remember in the four laps I did on Friday, I almost knocked myself out because I hit the first kerb and your head just bounces from left to right at least five or six times.

"It's really bad if you take just a tiny bit too much because the cars are so wide, so long, so stiff and super-heavy that the little kerb that there is, it's just not made for it, to be honest. Maybe we have to change the kerb layout [to something] that is a bit more of a progressive ramp that looks nicer to go over. Maybe that helps but it is so slow and I think our cars look way better if it is a bit more of a flowing combination."

Prior to the weekend, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton likened the circuit to a 'B&Q car park', while Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez described the track surface as a 'joke' – showing that the newest track on the F1 calendar has some teething problems to resolve.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Was the first Miami Grand Prix a success or are changes needed? Comment below.

Changes are likely to occur, with Miami Grand Prix chief Tom Garfinkel anticipating changes will be made before Formula One returns to South Florida in 2023, though he stated that the highly-criticised chicane was a 'necessary evil'.

“We are evaluating some of the drivers’ comments to make sure we can improve, and we are open to changing whatever we need to do to make the track better. I don’t know if we communicated well enough why the chicane exists. It was a necessary evil to slow the drivers down because we don’t have enough run-off space.

“But from talking to F1 and the FIA, there is an opportunity to change that and make it better. We are also evaluating the surface, and we want to make that right, and make changes if needed. If the drivers cannot go off the racing line, there is not going to be overtaking and that is not good because I want to have as much overtaking as possible.”
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