Starting ninth did not stop Max Verstappen from winning the Miami Grand Prix.
Verstappen easily beat Red Bull Racing team-mate Sergio Perez to win the second edition of the race on Sunday. Verstappen was 20th out of 20 drivers after starting the race on the hard compound tyres, but easily passed Pérez on lap 48 of the 57-lap race.
Pérez did his best to stop Verstappen from taking the lead, but Verstappen went deep into Turn 1 with 10 laps to go and Pérez backed away knowing that Verstappen had too much grip and the winning pass. There will be many more opportunities to make.
Verstappen made his pit stop from the lead after starting third in less than 14 laps and later finished second. Pérez started on pole and gave up the lead to Verstappen less than halfway through when he pitted for a fresh set of hard tires after starting on mediums.
At the end of the race with newer and softer tyres, Verstappen overtook Pérez and cruised to victory.
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso finished third with his fourth third-place finish in five races to start 2023 while Mercedes' George Russell held off Ferrari's Carlos Sainz for fourth.
All top seven cars started on the medium compound tires and had to pit in front of drivers such as Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon. They all started running on hard compound tyres. Tire strategy was about the only thing that rattled the field during the race as no drivers spun or crashed and there were no caution flags.
Hamilton gained seven places to finish sixth thanks to his tire strategy. He had a poor second half of qualifying on Saturday and started in 13th position. He failed to make up any positions on the straight in the opening laps of the race, but made several passes on the medium compound tires in the last 20 laps of the race as the drivers ahead of him had the older hard compound tyres.