Press kit / Red Bull / Pictured: Max Verstappen
Charles Leclerc crashed in Formula 1 qualifying for the Miami GP, bringing an early end to the session. It was bad news for Max Verstappen. Lewis Hamilton also retired prematurely. The pole position was taken by Sergio Pérez.
The Formula 1 practice session before the Miami Grand Prix indicated that qualifying would be a lot of fun. While Red Bull Racing appeared to be one step ahead of its competitors, it was difficult to determine the order of the teams in the middle of the pack. Therefore, already at the Q1 stage, surprises could be expected, and so it was.
The disappointment of the weekend was the cancellation of Lance Stroll. Although Aston Martin has built a very competitive car for the 2023 season, the Canadian stunned in the minus this time and reached only the 18th time. Once again, Lando Norris, who is currently struggling with a very uncompetitive McLaren team, didn’t advance to Q2.
Mercedes had problems from the start of qualifying, which was not surprising given the results of previous training sessions in Miami. Suffice it to say that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell escaped from under the ax only at the end of the first quarter, indicating that the times were up to the second quarter. The Elder of the Britons did not cheat after that by a moment of fate and exited the Time Trial for the thirteenth time. Hamilton later complained: “We were on the track too late” and the race engineer agreed.
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Q3 started with favourites. Max Verstappen gave up a quick lap after a mistake leaving him only one chance in the closing stages of qualifying. Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, locked the wheel, which translated to only the seventh time and more than a second behind. The situation was exploited by Sergio Perez, who was leading the group after the first runs with a score of 1:26.841.
Taking a big risk late in the third quarter, Leclerc went off the track and smashed the car into the wall. This resulted in a red flag, and with less than two minutes remaining in the time trial, the stewards prematurely ended the session. “It just wasn’t meant to be this way,” concluded Verstappen, who turned out to be the biggest loser in the whole situation. The Dutchman will start Sunday’s race from ninth.
Perez reached an unusually polar position in this case.
F1 – GP Miami – Qualifying – Results:
|1.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||1:26,841||1:27,328||1:27,713|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+0.361||1:27,097||1:28,179|
|9.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||no time||1:26,814||1:27,363|
|10.||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||no time||1:27564||1:27864|
|14.||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||1:28,091||1:28,180|
|15.||Nick de Vries||alpha tori||1:28395||1:28325|
|17.||Yuki Tsunoda||alpha tori||1:28,429|
|18.||Lance Picnic||Aston Martin||1:28,476|
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