Max Verstappen calls for better reliability from Red Bull after Miami win

Max Verstappen beat Charles Leclerc to claim the 23rd victory of his Formula 1 career at the 2022 Miami Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen is adamant that his Red Bull team need to get to the bottom of their reliability issues after the Dutchman claimed his second win of the season at the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s running was limited on Friday as he made slight contact with the wall in FP1 before suffering a hydraulic failure in FP2.

Consequently, he was unable to trial the car’s long run pace, and he was also denied the opportunity to do any meaningful practice starts.

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You would not have known that at the start of the race in Florida though as he got ahead of Carlos Sainz straight away having qualified behind the two Ferraris on Saturday.

The reigning world champion would then catch Charles Leclerc a few laps later to take the lead of the race, and he capitalised on an error by the championship leader to extend his advantage over a Ferrari car that was already struggling with graining.

The 24-year-old had work to do at the end when a Safety Car brought Leclerc back into play, but he managed to get his tyres back up into an ideal operating window, and he held on to claim the 23rd win of his career.

Having been deprived of some crucial running earlier in the weekend, Verstappen was pleased with his getaway and his race pace afterwards.

“It was very good,” he told Sky Sports.

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“I think especially in the start, I mean I hadn’t done a start this whole weekend because of all the troubles so I didn’t know what to expect.

“We had I think a decent launch and I saw the opportunity to go around the outside and it worked really well.

“I mean also we gave each other space luckily and then yeah I was trying to hunt down Charles.

“I saw he was struggling a bit with his right front tyre and I went for it so I could pass him and actually that really made the race because I could open up my gap which on the Hards stayed very similar.”

Verstappen admits he could have done with the late complexities caused by the Safety Car when Pierre Gasly collided with Lando Norris, but he acknowledges that it is a part of racing that all the drivers have to deal with.

“One lap he was a bit faster, then I was faster again. That’s why I was not very happy when the Safety Car came out,” he explained.

“These things happen and it also has helped me in the past in some races so you cannot complain.

“In the restart we went for it again. Initially, I was running a bit with cold tyres; they just didn’t have the grip.

READ: Charles Leclerc wary of Max Verstappen’s advantage over Ferrari in Miami

“But as soon as they came up to temperature, then I think I could pull away a little bit.”

Verstappen has won all three of the races he has finished this season, and the last two races have constituted the first time in 2022 that he has put two consecutive finishes together.

This is because of Red Bull’s woeful reliability in the early part of the season, and it hit them again on Friday, so the Dutchman knows it is an area Red Bull must improve on.

“We have to be on top of that and try to have a clean weekend because then it would be even better,” he affirmed.

“We have to of course try and make sure these things do not happen but we are of course working on it flat-out.”

Verstappen has cut Charles Leclerc’s lead to 19 points with his victory in Florida, while Red Bull now trail Ferrari by six points in the constructors’ fight.