Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2 claiming the first Miami GP pole

Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2 claiming the first Miami GP pole

Charles Leclerc won his third pole position of the season as his teammate Carlos Sainz recovered from his Friday collision to help seal a Ferrari first row lockout for Sunday’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

Despite starting the last run on provisional pole, Max Verstappen made an error and had to settle for third place on the grid alongside his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

Valtteri Bottas put a superb final lap putting the Alfa Romeo on fifth position just a position ahead of his former Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who will start tomorrow’s race from sixth.

The qualifying session began in scorching conditions at the Miami International Autodromo circuit, with air temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius and track temperatures of 53 degrees Celsius. Esteban Ocon was involved in a serious crash in final practise, and his car was not fixed in time for qualifying.

Following his absence, the first of the five drivers who would not go past Q1 was already known. With the huge swings in the timesheets on exhibit at the end of Saturday afternoon’s session suggesting no one could count themselves safe and a few surprises were sure to be in store, it was very difficult to anticipate what would happen to the others.

The tyre choices for qualifying were: white-striped hard compound tyres (C2), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C3), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C4), which are the middle range of compounds in the Pirelli tyre series.


Carlos Sainz set the quickest time of 1m30.858s to seize the lead in the early stages. Verstappen quickly challenged the Ferrari and topped the time charts with a blistering lap of 1m30.235s. Leclerc passed Verstappen at the top of the time sheets with a lap time of 1m29.474s.

In the waning minutes of the session, Lewis Hamilton was in the pits and switched to a new pair of soft compound tyres. With a do or death lap, the Briton manoeuvred his way through the traffic and ranked fifth.

Fernando Alonso also escaped elimination with a last-gasp attempt, pushing Kevin Magnussen into it. Leclerc finished the session on top of the time sheets, ahead of Verstappen and Pérez.

Kevin Magnussen, Zhou Guanyo, Alexander Albon, Nicholas Latifi, Esteban Ocon were eliminated in the session.


Verstappen took the lead with a 1m:29.202s lap time over Pérez. Hamilton finished sixth on his first flying lap, behind the two Red Bull Racing and Ferrari drivers.

Russell had to abandon his first two flying laps because his W13 lacked grip and was sliding around the early bends due to oversteer. With his final lap, the young Briton pushed himself into the top ten.

Daniel Ricciardo had a terrible lap and finished fourteenth, but teammate Lando Norris finished third. Leclerc finished ahead of Verstappen in the session.

Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas, and Yuki Tsunoda’s last-ditch efforts, though, forced Russell back into the dropzone. Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher were eliminated.


1Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m29.474s1m29.130s1m28.796s
2Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m30.079s1m29.729s1m28.986s
3Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m29.836s1m29.202s1m28.991s
4Sergio PerezMEXOracle Bull Racing1m30.055s1m29.673s1m29.036s
5Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen1m30.845s1m29.751s1m29.475s
6Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m30.388s1m29.797s1m29.625s
7Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri1m30.799s1m30.128s1m29.690s
8Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m30.677s1m29.634s1m29.750s
9Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri1m30.485s1m30.031s1m29.932s
10Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m30.441s1m29.996s1m30.676s
11Fernando AlonsoESPBWT Alpine F1 Team1m30.407s1m30.160s 
12George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m30.490s1m30.173s 
13Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m30.761s1m30.214s 
14Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m30.583s1m30.310s 
15Mick SchumacherGERHaas F1 Team1m30.645s1m30.423s 
16Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1m30.975s  
17Guanyu ZhouCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen1m31.020s  
18Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m31.266s  
19Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1m31.325s  
20Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 TeamNo Time Set  

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