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Miami GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
09/05/2022

Today's post-race press conference with Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Track Interviews - Conducted by Willy T Ribbs.

Welcome to Welcome to Miami. Thank you. Great job.
Carlos Sainz: Nice and warm.

How was the car? And the tyres? And how are you physically?
CS: I've been better! Obviously after the crash from Friday, I still had a bit of neck pain going into the race, but I had to manage it and I fought through it, especially with Checo at the end on the Medium tyre, he was very difficult to keep him behind. But we managed to get the podium, which is a decent result.

I saw you could race. You could race him right down into the hole down there. And did you get what you wanted out of the tyres here, given the heat?
CS: It wasn't easy at all. It's been a tough race with the tyres, with the heat. The car was moving and sliding a lot. But in the end, we got what we deserved, I think, which is a decent P3. And we can build it up from here.

Hey, this is the biggest event in the world right now. And you're on the podium. Great job, baby.
CS: Thank you. I want more, but it's not bad.

Charles 'Chuck' Leclerc, you and Verstappen have been rumbling with each other since you were kids on go-karts. And you put on another great show here. How are you feeling physically? How's the car, chassis-wise and tyres?
Charles Leclerc: It was a very difficult race, physically. We struggled quite a bit with the Medium tyres, especially in the first stint and got overtaken there. And it made our race a bit more difficult from that moment onwards. On the hard we were very competitive and towards the end, I thought I could get Max at one point. But today they had the advantage in terms of pace. But it was fun. And it's amazing to see so many people again, I kept saying it, but yeah, it's great to have so many Ferrari fans too in the grandstand. So thank you for your support.

Well, you and Max are going to put on a show at every race in this World Championship. I can't wait to see more. Put on a great show.
CL: Yeah, I hope so too. I mean, we need to keep pushing. Upgrades will be very important throughout the year. And I hope now that we can do a step up but from next race onwards. But yeah, it's been tight since the beginning of the season. And that's what we'd like to see.

Awesome job, baby. Awesome job. All right, champ. Hey, Muhammad Ali told me that when you're champ, Christmas Day is every day, so another Christmas. Welcome to Miami.
Max Verstappen: Thank you very much. I mean, it was an incredible Grand Prix. Very physical as well, but I think we kept it exciting until the end.

Well, you're strong. I mean, you went hard on the car. I mean, you kept the tyres underneath you, plus you're in good shape son, you're ready to get into the boxing ring?
MV: I think I'll stick to racing but I appreciate a lot of course boxing. It felt a bit like it out there in terms of how we feel right now. But yeah, incredibly happy the winning here in Miami. It was an incredible Sunday for us.

Press Conference

Welcome to the top three finishers of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix. In third place, Carlos Sainz. In second place Charles Leclerc. And taking the 23rd win of his Formula 1 career and his third win of this 2022 campaign, our race winner, Max Verstappen. Max, very well done. That was a beautifully executed race from third on the grid. Given how the weekend started on Friday. How sweet does this victory feel?
MV: Yeah, I mean, of course, it's a very good comeback. I didn't even do a start. So I didn't know what to expect in the actual start. But we had a good launch. And I saw the opportunity to go around the outside in Turn 1 so I tried. And luckily, it worked, so then, I just tried to see the pace, of course, Charles in front of me, and I think already from the start, it was very close. I just couldn't get into the DRS initially. But then, at one point, I think Charles started to struggle a bit more with the front tyres, and it seemed like our car was very good on the Medium compound. So once I got ahead, I think that basically made my race, because I opened up the gap. And basically, once we did the pit stop and put the hard tyre on we were actually very closely matched in pace. So yeah, that was very crucial, of course, to get that gap. But then, of course, I was not very happy with that Safety Car, but of course, fully understandable with what happened. And of course, I think you cannot be too disappointed about it. Because also in the past, I mean, it has benefited me in some other races. So I knew of course, it's was going to be a tough one to the end already. Because it was quite physical out there. So I knew of course, well now the next 10 laps, I think it was, we have to be flat out, so on a track like this is not easy. I was struggling a bit initially with the tyre temps, like I was sliding around a bit too much for my liking, but then once the tires came back up to temperature, I think I had a little bit more pace and of course, pulled out of the DRS which was very crucial around here.

You got out of that DRS. But how much pressure was Charles putting you under in those closing laps?
MV: He was trying everything to try and have a go. And it was not easy, of course, to stay ahead because it's easy to make a mistake around here in certain places.

And can you just elaborate on the physical nature of this race? Is it comparable to let's say the Singapore Grand Prix?
MV: Yeah, pretty similar. It's very hot in Sector 2 as well. And of course because this is a day race, with the sun out there, it makes it really hot. So I was very happy once we always got to the straight because that gave you a bit of air. Also in the Safety Car just clicking your visor one step up, you know to have a bit more air coming it was pretty nice.

It's been a good race for you and your team in the Championship. Do you feel you're on a bit of a roll now?
MV: We're still having a few issues we have to solve. I mean we are quick, but as you can see, my Friday was terrible, you know, which is not great if you want to have a good weekend. And also Checo had a few issues in the race, so we have to be on top of that, but clearly there is a lot of potential, we just need to make sure it's reliable.

Charles, coming to you, a great race by you as well, you look very racy in those closing laps just how good was your car today?
CL: It was good, especially on the Hard, I think we were we were strong. On the Medium, as Max said, we struggled a little bit after five, six laps with the front tyres and then... yeah, we struggled and basically lost the race on that stint, losing the lead and then losing quite a bit of race time there, because of the front degradation. We need to look at that and be on top of it for the next race. Apart from that, I think on the Hard, we were we were very competitive or at least as competitive as Max, and after the Safety Car I really thought that we will have a shot to actually take back the lead - but it wasn't enough. But yeah, it's like this again, I think we'll have to analyse the end of the run on the Medium, which is the weak point of this race.

Aside from tyre degradation, what were the biggest differences between your cars today?
MV: The colour!

CL: Yeah, the colour. The straight-line speed also a little bit. But again, I think it's just the characteristics of both cars. Red Bull are quite quick in a straight; we are quite quick in the medium and high speed - but today I have to say that I was quite surprised that we were struggling quite a bit more than them in the slow speed corners. So, that was also a weakness on the Medium tyres, and we need to look at that.

Charles, you're still 19 points ahead of Max. But do you need to see a reaction from Ferrari now?
CL: In a race we need to, especially on the softer compounds, on the Medium, Soft, it seems that it's been already two races that in terms of race pace, they seem to be a bit stronger and managing those tyres better. Then, in qualifying, we always managed to put those tyres in the right window, which helps us but on the on the long runs, we struggle a bit more compared to them.

Carlos. You mentioned something about your neck to Willy T Ribbs a little bit earlier. Are you okay?
CS: Well, yeah. Obviously, I'm coming back from a pretty heavy crash on Friday. So, I wasn't feeling 100 per cent today, but maybe also the fact that I haven't done the last two races. So also, the neck feels that. And it's a combination of those two things that maybe I was paying a bit the price and at some stages of the race I couldn't push 100 per cent.

After these last couple of races, when you didn't go racing lap, how much of a relief is this podium for you?
CS: It's not so much a relief - but it's needed. I think I needed to complete a race distance, to get the body back to shape, and also get the feel for the car on used tyres, high fuel. I was still doing a couple of mistakes out there during the race, just because I was trying the car and trying myself out there. The important thing is that we got a full race in, but at some stages of the race I was pretty quick and also the battles and the feeling with the car in battle with Checo, you know what to do with the battery, with the tyres, I think it gave me a good understanding of what to do in the future.

Just tell us a little bit more about that battle with Checo? It looked pretty tight.
CS: Yeah, I mean, on a new Medium, against me on a on a very used Hard, he had everything on the cards, you know, to pass me on, on the first two, three laps, in the warm-up phase of the tyre. And I was pretty sure that, once I got the tyres up to temperature, I could maybe stay, more or less, ahead. But yeah, I think we did a good job on defending, manage all the battery. They're also pretty quick on the straight, which doesn't help. I think it was a tough, tough defence, but it was good.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Miami, here.

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