Max Verstappen wins inaugural Miami Grand Prix in front of star-studded crowd

Max Verstappen celebrates victory at the opening of the Miami Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen opened the Miami Grand Prix ahead of championship leader Charles Leclerc on Sunday.

While Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz from Monegasque completed the podium.

Verstappen made a quick start at Hard Rock Stadium - which staged the first two races in the United States this season - as he overtook Sainz on a turn.

He then began to close the gap on Leclerc and passed his opponent on lap nine - an advantage he would maintain for the rest of the race.

"It's a very good comeback," Verstappen said.

But we had a good launch and I saw an opportunity to turn [Sainz's] out, so I tried. Luckily, it worked out."

The paddock for Miami's first Formula One race was filled with stars, including Tom Brady,

Serena and Venus Williams were also in attendance, as were musicians Will.Im, Pharrell Williams and DJ Khaled.

The race comes amid F1's continued expansion in the US following the success of the Netflix series "Drive to Survive".

Max Verstappen wins inaugural Miami Grand Prix in front of star-studded crowd