MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 05: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 05, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202305060027 // Usage for editorial use only //

F1 Miami GP Qualifying: Perez takes Pole as Leclerc brings out the Red Flags.

Sergio Perez took pole position after Charles Leclerc went off again in turn 7, as tailwinds really shook up the order for Sunday’s race.

The first driver on track was Alex Albon on soft tyres to get the first Qualifying session of the weekend underway.

With ten minutes to go in the session, Lewis Hamilton hit the outside wall on the entry to turn 17 on a cool-down lap, as he tried to avoid running in the back of Kevin Magnussen.

Another driver that nearly tapped the wall was Zhou Guanyu who was nearly squeezed into the outside tyre wall on the entry to turn eight by Carlos Sainz.

With three minutes to go in the session the drivers in danger were Hamilton, Russell, Sargent, Piastri, and Norris, which didn’t reflect well on the Mercedes engine.

An Alpha Tauri nearly gave Nico Hulkenberg his second DNF of the weekend, as the Alpha Tauri team unsafely released the car.

At the end of Q1, the cars that did not progress were Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunado, Lance Stroll, Oscar Piastri, and finally Logan Sargent.

It was extremely close though with Logan Sargent in the 20th position being only two-tenths off making it to Q2.

The biggest shock was Lance Stroll not making it out of Q1 at a circuit he hasn’t had much luck at as he started from the pitlane in Miami last year.

The fastest three from this session were Max Verstappen in the P1 slot, Charles Leclerc in P2, and Fernando Alonso in P3.

Then there were 15 as we got underway in Q2 in  Miami.

The two Mercedes seemed to be really struggling in qualifying at Miami as with just over six minutes to go in the session, both Mercs found themselves in the drops zone being over a second off of the top time.

Sergio Perez with five minutes to go in the session clipped the outside wall on the entry to turn 4 costing him a flying lap, as he returned to the pits after this and lost even more time being stopped for the weight bridge.

Then with just over two and a half minutes to go in the session the bottom five were De Vries, Hamilton, Russell, Magnussen, and Zhou, as the drivers went onto their final flying lap.

Absolute shock though as Lewis Hamilton was eliminated with a time only good enough for P13, his worst Qualifying result in the United States.

The drivers that followed him out in Q2 were Albon, Hulkenberg, Zhou, and De Vries.

The fastest driver in this session was yet again Max Verstappen, with Charles Leclerc just behind, as Fernando Alonso made up the top three.

It was then time for the main event as Q3 got underway in Miami.

The tailwinds heading into turns 4,5,6 area of the track caught Max Verstappen out with a couple of twitches resulting in him aborting his first flying lap.

Leclerc was looking to put the Ferrari on the front row but threw it all away as he locked up massively into turn 17, resulting in him only setting a time good enough for sixth.

On the first flying laps, Perez found himself topping the times with a 1m:26.841s, with Alonso +0.361s of the pace on the second row, and Sainz in P3 and +0.508s off of the top time as they were the only key drivers to get a clean lap.

Leclerc threw the car off the road again at turn seven and into the outside wall in Deja Vu from yesterday as the tailwinds punished him for pushing too hard.

This brought out the Red Flags, and the end of the session, which threw the grid order into disarray, with Max Verstappen in ninth after dominating the early part weekend, and Leclerc in seventh after his Pole in Baku.

Therefore, this resulted in the order of the times not changing, therefore Perez took pole position, with Alonso alongside him, and Carlos Sainz just behind in the Third position.









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