Leclerc’s accident ended qualifying.  Verstappen and Hamilton drama

Press kit / Red Bull / Pictured: Max Verstappen

Lucas Kuchera

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.

Watch the video: F1 car crashes into crowd of journalists! An absurd situation during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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:

POS. driver a team Q3 Q2 Q1
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
3. Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.508 1:27,148 1:27,686
4. Kevin Magnussen Haas +0.926 1:27,673 1:27809
5. Pierre Gasly Alps +0.945 1:27,612 1:28,061
6. George Russell Mercedes +0.963 1:27,743 1:28,086
7. Charles Locklear Ferrari +1,020 1:26,964 1:27,713
8. Esteban Ocon Alps +1,094 1:27,444 1:27,872
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
11. Alexander Albon williams 1:27,795 1:28234
12. Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:27903 1:27945
13. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27975 1:27846
14. Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 1:28,091 1:28,180
15. Nick de Vries alpha tori 1:28395 1:28325
16. Lando Norris McLaren 1:28394
17. Yuki Tsunoda alpha tori 1:28,429
18. Lance Picnic Aston Martin 1:28,476
19. Oscar Biastri McLaren 1:28,484
20. Logan Sargeant williams 1:28,577

Read also:
Kubica and Orlen’s ex-team drama. Nobody expects such a crisis
Red Bull employees leave the team. We don’t take hostages.

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