Max Verstappen Wins First-Ever Formula One Miami Grand Prix: 'Incredibly Happy'

Max Verstappen was victorious at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on Sunday, which came less than five months after his first-ever Formula One win

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty

Max Verstappen has made history.

The 24-year-old Dutch-Belgian driver came out on top Sunday at the first-ever Miami Grand Prix, which took place at the Miami International Autodrome in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Verstappen beat out Charles Leclerc from Monaco after a gripping back-and-forth between the two men, after Verstappen initially overtook Leclerc, 24, earlier in the race. But a safety car late in the competition prompted a restart and, as a result, a closer race than expected in the last 10 laps.

"Yes boys!!! πŸ† Incredibly happy to win here in Miami πŸ’ͺ," Verstappen wrote in a celebratory Instagram post following his victory. "No weekend is ever easy in F1, especially on a new demanding track like this one πŸ₯΅."

"That's why I am all the more proud we were able to put it all together in the end, great work team @redbullracing πŸ‘," he concluded.

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Verstappen's team, Oracle Red Bull Racing, marked his victory on social media as well, sharing a video of the team celebrating and Verstappen being presented with his trophy.

Leclerc finished second behind Verstappen, while Leclerc's Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. of Spain finished third.

"Disappointed that we didn't have enough pace to win the race today but we'll work harder than ever to get back on top in race pace," Leclerc wrote on Instagram following the race. "Miami, you were incredible though, loved every seconds of this week πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ€οΈ."

Said Sainz, 27, in his own post, "πŸ† P3! Great to be back on the podium after some eventful races. Tough race though. My neck was still not 100% and became a bit of a limitation whilst defending from Checo on new Mediums was super tricky. Now on to my home GP!"

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 08: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 08, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen. Mark Thompson/Getty

Verstappen, who is the current 2021 Formula One World Champion, previously won both the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in April, during the ongoing 2022 championship.

He won his first-ever F1 title back in December 2021, beating rival Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and putting a stop to Hamilton's title streak at four during the final race of the season.

It was only the second time in F1 history that two drivers entered the final Grand Prix tied for the championship, which meant that whichever driver could finish ahead of the other would earn the coveted Driver's Championship, making the race the equivalent of an F1 Super Bowl β€” one event to decide it all.

Verstappen had looked to be the favorite most of the season, and clinched the win in the final lap of the race in Abu Dhabi.

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