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Right under our noses, a huge duel is brewing

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Miami was a race within the race… within the race. The two-way 2022 battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc has arrived and let’s saviour every moment.

If it wasn’t already, it’s time to strap in.

Following Max Verstappen’s victory at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Dutchman now finds himself only 19 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the driver standings.

Less than a month ago, Leclerc had a dominant lead over Verstappen. However ‘Mad Max’ has roared back with victories in Saudi Arabia, Italy and now Miami.

Out of the five races this season, Verstappen has won three, while Leclerc has claimed victory twice.

The action between Verstappen and Leclerc heated up late in Miami after Lando Norris crashed on lap 41, forcing a safety car period for five laps.

An 11-lap shootout followed between the two rivals, with Leclerc managing to get within one second of Verstappen’s Red Bull.

The flying Dutchman held onto the lead with Leclerc finishing second and Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz rounding out the podium.

Verstappen said the duel with Leclerc made the race entertaining.

“It was an incredible Grand Prix, very physical, I think we kept it exciting,” Verstappen told the media post-race.

Embed from Getty Images

Leclerc said his Ferrari needs to keep making progress if he has any chance of winning the title fight with Verstappen.

“We need to keep pushing, upgrades will be very important all year,” Leclerc said after the race.

Motorsport great Lewis Hamilton had another weekend to forget in Miami as his difficult season continued.

Hamilton finished a disappointing sixth and is now 68 points behind Verstappen and well out of title contention.

Aussie Daniel Ricciardo endured another difficult race in his McLaren as rumours circulate about what the future holds for the 32-year-old.

Ricciardo finished 11th, however he was forced to suffer more heartache after a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage pushed him down to 13th place.

The next round of the F1 season takes place in Spain on May 22 where the exciting battle between Verstappen and Leclerc will no doubt continue. 

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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