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.
2022 F1 MIAMI GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING RESULTS
|1||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1m29.474s||1m29.130s||1m28.796s|
|2||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1m30.079s||1m29.729s||1m28.986s|
|3||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||1m29.836s||1m29.202s||1m28.991s|
|4||Sergio Perez||MEX||Oracle Bull Racing||1m30.055s||1m29.673s||1m29.036s|
|5||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m30.845s||1m29.751s||1m29.475s|
|6||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m30.388s||1m29.797s||1m29.625s|
|7||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m30.799s||1m30.128s||1m29.690s|
|8||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1m30.677s||1m29.634s||1m29.750s|
|9||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m30.485s||1m30.031s||1m29.932s|
|10||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team||1m30.441s||1m29.996s||1m30.676s|
|11||Fernando Alonso||ESP||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m30.407s||1m30.160s|
|12||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1m30.490s||1m30.173s|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team||1m30.761s||1m30.214s|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1m30.583s||1m30.310s|
|15||Mick Schumacher||GER||Haas F1 Team||1m30.645s||1m30.423s|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||1m30.975s|
|17||Guanyu Zhou||CHN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen||1m31.020s|
|18||Alexander Albon||THA||Williams Racing||1m31.266s|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1m31.325s|
|20||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||No Time Set|