F1 2023: why Miami was yet another example of a crumbling Formula 1 season as Red Bull continue domination

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Celebrities galore headed down to the Miami International Autodrome as Formula 1 hit up the shores of America for the first of three state-side races.

Will.I.Am, Patrick Mahomes, and Roger Federer were just some of the famous faces enjoying the Florida atmosphere as a week of festivities culminated with Sunday’s race.

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However, once again, did the hype and party-town vibes that Miami offered really live up to the realities of yet another race which saw two Red Bulls win with Fernando Alonso sealing his fourth podium of 2023?

After the lack of excitement that the usually predictably dramatic Baku produced, F1 fans had been hoping a second year around the Miami circuit might prove to be somewhat more enthralling than last year’s race offered.

Yet, 19 drivers were once again faced with a ferocious Max Verstappen who took no prisoners as he jumped from ninth on the starting grid to finishing over five seconds ahead of teammate Sergio Perez as he won his second Miami Grand Prix, and third of the year so far.

Will.I.Am at the Miami Grand Prix 2023Will.I.Am at the Miami Grand Prix 2023
Will.I.Am at the Miami Grand Prix 2023 | Getty Images

Just over a year ago, just before the Mercedes dynasty was due to collapse, Formula 1 fans had been promised an era of more competitive racing, with franchises expected to be closer in speed, agility and ultimately in points.

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However, we have just jumped from one ruling regime to another as Christian Horner’s Red Bull takes each win with several seconds to spare.

What on earth can the other franchises do to get anywhere near this and what sort of season is it set to be for fans, if the two-time World Champion’s only real rival is his own teammate?

Well it appears there’s not a lot to be done. Lewis Hamilton pointed out after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix that the RB19 was the fastest car he had ever seen: “When we [Mercedes] were fast, we were not that fast. It is the fastest car I have seen, especially compared to the rest.

“I don’t know how, but he [Verstappen] came past me with some serious speed and I didn’t even bother to block him because there was a massive speed difference.”

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Max Verstappen celebrates his second win at Miami Max Verstappen celebrates his second win at Miami
Max Verstappen celebrates his second win at Miami | Getty Images

With 18 races still to go, it’s looking like an exceptionally long season for the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes and, well, any other team, as they can only gawk in awe as the bullets produced by Horner and Adrian Newey race by.

Ferrari headed into the Miami weekend full of positivity as they were able to show off the first of what are sure to be many upgrades this year.

Following the relative success of Baku, in which Charles Leclerc secured the Italian Horses’ first podium of the year, hopes were high for the fifth race of the year. But the dreams were soon dashed as Leclerc crashed in qualifying ultimately finishing seventh with teammate Carlos Sainz faring slightly better with a fifth place finish.

Frustrations with a team under a new Team Principal remain prevalent, however, with the Monegasque driver admitting after the race: “I was speaking just now with Carlos and what we are lacking is consistency from the car,

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“Not even from corner to corner, just in the same corner I can have a huge “oversteery” balance and then a huge “understeery” balance, and our car is so wind-effected.“This year we have a car that is much more wind sensitive, and we are struggling much more with that. So there is a lot of work going on.”

McLaren were another team hopeful of a marked improvement following their return to the points in Baku. Yet, with a fully fit Oscar Piastri behind the wheel and the enjoyment of new upgrades from which to benefit, Miami was a disaster.

Lando Norris 17th while the Australian rookie came in just one place behind - some way off the sixth and ninth places they achieved in Azerbaijan just one week ago.

Of course for the many influencers invited to the paddocks, the Miami race will have been a sight to behold as it wasn’t just the Brits who held some form of pomp and pageantry this weekend, but on terms of how much longer Formula 1 fans will be able to put up with a circus of inevitable vexations concluding with the same three results every week, the future may not look quite as glamorous.

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