Automotive. Formula 1: Red Bull still popular in Miami despite turmoil

Red Bull has continued its overwhelming dominance this year despite a difficult atmosphere at the Austrian team, torn by infighting that came to light in February after allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” against a staff member aimed at director Christian Horner, who have since been cleared. internal investigation.

The departure announced on Wednesday of Newey, the architect of the success of the team he joined in 2006, a year after it was founded and with which he won six manufacturers’ and seven drivers’ world titles, is said to be related to these power struggles. on BBC.

But Max Verstappen, who won the first two editions of the Florida race at the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the US soccer team Miami Dolphins, appeared unfazed by the concussions and will aim for a hat-trick on Sunday. at the end of the weekend, which will be the second of six sprints of the season.

Four wins for Verstappen in first five Grands Prix

“I have good memories of this circuit! With the humidity and heat, it’s always one of the most physical races of the season. In the sprint, it will be important to better understand the data collected on the car in order to fine-tune the settings,” explained the Dutchman.

The three-time world champion, who won four of the first five Grands Prix of the season and leads the championship by 25 points ahead of team-mate Sergio Pérez, has already forgotten his exit to Australia at the end of March after a brake problem. .

The Mexican will be the first of a pack of pursuers to attempt to sway Verstappen. With four podium finishes in five races, Pérez, who is still heavily supported in the United States, is off to a good start to the season.

Ferrari is looking to bounce back from the last Grand Prix without a podium finish

The Italian Ferrari team will display a special livery with blue accents in Miami to mark the 1970sE anniversary of the show jumping brand’s presence in the US market, he will be looking to bounce back two weeks after missing out on the podium for the first time in the season in China.

“During the first sprint weekend in Shanghai, we struggled a bit, but the circuit is very different here, so we hope to go better and I think we have the potential.” Once again, we will have to maximize the one free practice session to prepare for qualifying, where we have struggled more than we should have recently,” stressed French Scuderia boss Frédéric Vasseur, who dreams of recruiting Newey when he is free. beginning of 2025.

Mercedes wants to raise its head in Miami, Alpine gets its first points

McLaren, which won a good second place in China thanks to Briton Lando Norris, should join the fight, Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) will try to repeat his performance last year, when he finished third behind him. two Red Bulls.

Mercedes, which has not fared better than fifth in the Grand Prix this year, was more successful in the sprint in China, second to seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. But the German team will want to raise its head in the race above all to show that it can be competitive… and why not become a credible destination for Verstappen if he were to leave Red Bull due to the current turbulence.

The Alpine team, which announced the appointment of Frenchman David Sanchez as executive technical director on Thursday, is still chasing its first points in 2024, but despite the development of its car, it will be difficult for the French team to open your meter in 2024. Florida.

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