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Max Verstappen finished a tricky race at Imola to win his second race of the season, while Charles Leclerc and Ferrari stumbled and missed finishing on the podium. The weather and a drying track put pressure on drivers to race mistake-free and pressure on teams to correctly time their switch to dry tires. It was a disaster for Ferrari, who always wants to succeed in Italy, as Carlos Sainz Jr. crashed on the first lap and Leclerc made a mistake and dropped from third to sixth in the final laps.
Those mistakes opened the door for Red Bull Racing to take the top two podium spots, with Lando Norris claiming third at the end of the day. Leclerc still holds a significant lead in the standings over Verstappen with Sergio Perez close behind, as the series heads to a new venue this week in Miami.
Sunday’s highly anticipated event will be the first race on a temporary course situated around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. This will be the first of two races in the United States this season for the first time since 1984, while a third race in the country at Las Vegas has also been announced for 2023 as Formula 1 continues to grow its American presence.
Miami Grand Prix Odds & Picks To Back
Race Winner – Charles Leclerc +120, Sergio Perez +1200
Winning Constructor – Red Bull -120, Ferrari +105
Winning Margin – Between 5 & 10 seconds +255
Fastest Lap – Max Verstappen +135, Charles Leclerc +135
Safety Car – No +300
Leclerc and Verstappen have been trading victories this season and are therefore the two favorites to win this week in Miami. Sainz, who finished second at Imola and is third in the championship standings, presents a great value compared to the two favorites this week, though.
The new course could jumble up the running order, which could open the door for him to walk through. Despite the unknowns this week, it remains likely that a Red Bull or Ferrari driver will be fighting for the victory. Ferrari is being offered as the better value before cars hit the track, though.
A new track is likely to stratify the competition, which makes a larger margin of victory more likely than at tracks all the teams know well and margins between cars reduce. Along with wins, Leclerc and Verstappen have also traded fastest laps.
Both offer equal odds, but we would lean toward Leclerc again with the abrasive circuit and fastest laps tending to come at the end of a tire run. The 2022 season has seen a plethora of safety cars so far. For this reason, along with the anticipated surface grip of this track, we’ll take the contrarian route and get better odds by choosing the no safety car option.
Key Stats at Miami International Autodrome
- Location: Miami, Florida
- Course: Miami International Autodrome
- Course Length: 5.41 km
- Laps: 57
- Races: 0
This weekend’s stop at Miami will be the first time Formula 1 has tackled the newly designed street circuit right in Miami’s metropolitan community. Early looks at the layout suggest a track similar in nature to Australia’s Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, where Leclerc won last month.
A total of 36 different layouts were tested before the final 19-turn configuration was decided, and it is expected to feature three DRS zones with lap times somewhere in the one minute 28 seconds range. Overtaking is expected to be most tempting to drivers heading into turns 11 and 17 at the end of the DRS zones, with turn 4 being a highlight on the start and any potential restarts.
The track surface is also flush with Florida’s abrasive limestone, which is expected to give the cars plenty of grip from the outset. The surface will also be artificially aged prior to cars hitting the track, which means tire wear is expected to be a consideration despite the new racing surface.
Miami Grand Prix DraftKings Fantasy Value Picks
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
Lando Norris – $8,600
George Russell – $7,800
Valtteri Bottas – $7,400
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
Kevin Magnussen – $6,400
Fernando Alonso – $5,800
Pierre Gasly – $5,400
Our Miami Grand Prix Fantasy Picks
Team Captain – Charles Leclerc – $11,400
Lando Norris -$8,600
George Russell – $7,800
Kevin Magnussen – $6,400
Alex Albon – $3,400
Constructor – Red Bull – $12,000
The new Miami venue lends some unpredictability to this week’s contest, but fantasy players should expect Verstappen and Leclerc to battle for victory. The abrasive surface and Red Bull’s continued search to get a better handle on tire wear lead me to opt for Leclerc this week.
McLaren’s step forward at Imola continued to demonstrate the team’s rise from mid-pack to contenders for podium spots, and Lando Norris is right at the head of that charge. George Russell appears to be a bit more comfortable with his Mercedes car as opposed to teammate Lewis Hamilton. The team is expected to bring updates to their car this week that may make both drivers even faster as they work to overcome ride height challenges.
Haas F1 Team, based in North Carolina, can call Miami a home race. In fact, Kevin Magnussen was in Miami when he got the call to get behind the wheel for the team this season. We’re going with the home team in this spot. Wrapping up the driver selections is Alex Albon. Williams has work to do to find speed this season, but Albon is making the most of the hand he has been dealt.
Finally, with our choice of Leclerc for the win, we’ll opt for Red Bull Racing as my constructor selection as we expect them to grab two podium positions Sunday.
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