This weekend, Formula 1 goes from one of the classic circuits in Imola to its newest circuit: Miami Autodrome. Laid out around Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Autodrome is in the Miami suburb of Miami Gardens, Florida.
According to the F1 odds at BetOnline Sportsbook, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is a narrow favorite to win the race after his dominant performance at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
Miami Grand Prix Odds
Odds as of May 4 at BetOnline Sportsbook
Formula 1 Previous Race
The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix saw the return of the sprint race, which gave drivers the opportunity to score up to eight additional points. To accommodate the sprint race into the weekend’s schedule, qualifying was moved to Friday, and the winner of Friday’s qualifying session would start from the front at the sprint race.
Red Bull took full advantage of the extra points that were up for grabs and had an utterly dominant weekend, where Max Verstappen took pole position on Friday and won the sprint race on Saturday and the race on Sunday. He even secured an additional point by securing the fastest lap during the race.
Ferrari Looking To Bounce Back
Ferrari endured a forgettable weekend in their home race at Imola. Carlos Sainz was forced to retire from the race following a first-lap incident with Daniel Ricciardo. Charles Leclerc spun his Ferrari toward the end of the race, finishing in P6 and gifting Red Bull their first 1-2 finish in over six years.
This, to us, suggests that the struggles aren’t going to disappear for Carlos Sainz, so Leclerc could be expected to fight for position by himself. On the flip side, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen have arguably been the best driver pairing on the grid, being separated by just five points on the championship table.
Needless to say, Ferrari’s advantage over Red Bull will only remain safe as long as both drivers maximize their points haul every weekend. So, the Scuderia will be looking to bounce back in Miami.
Miami Grand Prix Sleeper Pick: Perez
Sergio Perez, in P3, is just five points behind Max Verstappen on the championship standings. In his second year with Red Bull, Perez is seemingly much more familiar with the Red Bull as compared to last year, and has been delivering extremely consistent performances for the team.
Although on raw talent and pace, he is not at Max Verstappen’s level, given that his driving style is relatively low-risk and that he often lurks in the wings as Max and Leclerc battle on the circuit, Perez is perhaps in the best position to make the most of any mistakes by Leclerc or Max.
Miami Grand Prix Race Technicals
This is the very first Miami Grand Prix, and the race is slated to take place on a temporary, purpose-built circuit around the Hard Rock Cafe in Miami. Miami, the 11th venue in the United States to host a world championship F1 race, will certainly present a spectacle, but the track itself is poised to be one of the most entertaining on the calendar.
The track looks quite speedy. Following Turn 1, there are a number of high-speed corners that eventually lead to what is in essence a long straight until Turn 11 where one can expect plenty of overtaking.
This high-speed section is followed by a more technical, tighter section before another long straight that leads to the hairpin (Turn 17), another spot on the track that will present overtaking opportunities.
Given the duality of the track – going from a high-speed, flowing section to a technical, twisty section – it will be a bit of a challenge for teams to get their setup absolutely right. Moreover, teams will have had limited preparation given that the Miami Autodrome is a brand new venue, offering limited data to feed into their simulators.
Essentially, drivers and engineers will have to learn whatever they can prior to the race in the three free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, presenting teams with a real challenge.
Miami Grand Prix Betting Strategy
Both the Red Bull and Ferrari have shown real poise in circuits that present both high-speed and technical sections. Unlike many other teams on the grid, Red Bull and Ferrari have tamed the porpoising that long straights will bring.
For these reasons, we believe that the race will come down to a wheel-to-wheel battle between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.
It’s a simple fact that when it comes to wheel-to-wheel racing, there’s more evidence suggesting that Max Verstappen will come out ahead in on-track battles, which is why our pick to win the first-ever Miami Grand Prix is Max Verstappen.
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