Perez snatches pole position in Miami as Leclerc crashes
Red Bull's Sergio Perez claimed pole position for the F1 Miami Grand Prix after Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc crashed in the dying minutes of the qualifying session with the incident bringing the session to an early end.
After displaying great speed across the entire weekend, Verstappen posted a lap of 1m 27.363s to top Q1, with team mate Sergio Perez 0.350s off in P2 and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc third with the same time.
Mercedes had a complicated opening segment in qualifying. Although the Anglo-German squad made it through, but at the expense of two sets of soft tyres apiece, which would put Hamilton and Russell at a disadvantage later on.
Aston Martin did not appear in great form with Lance Stroll failing to qualifying himself for Q2. His teammate Fernando Alonso managed to progress into the second qualfying segment, but he ended the session down in P12.
Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, Lance Stroll, Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant were eliminated in Q1.
Interestingly, there was a big rush at the start of the second qualifying segment with several drivers eager to hit the track as early as possible to set a lap time on the board.
Verstappen set an unofficial lap record with a time of 1m26.814s to go just a tenth of a second quicker than Leclerc.
Mercedes had a very difficult second session, starting it on a set of used soft Pirelli tyres. Following the first run, both drivers were out of Q3, but Russell managed to improve to P10 to get himself through into the last qualifying segment. However, his teammate Hamilton was not able to improve, ending his qualifying prematurely.
Alexander Albon, Nico Hulkenberg, Lewis Hamilton, Zhou Guanyu and Nyck de Vries were eliminated in Q2.
A head-spinning twist at the climax of qualifying 🤯#MiamiGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/bC4jZy1qOe— Formula 1 (@F1) May 6, 2023
In the last qualifying segment, Perez set a 1m 26.841s which was two seconds quicker than last year's pole. His teammate Verstappen abandoned his lap after a couple of moments in the first sector.
Leclerc also made a mistake on his first hot lap as he locked up into Turn 17 with the incident costing him almost a full second.
On his second flying lap, the Monegasque was pushing just too hard and spun off at Turn 6, the same place as yesterday. With Leclerc unable to get going, the session was red-flagged and it was not restarted with only 1m36s left on the clock.
The incident meant that Perez grabbed pole position for tomorrow's Miami Grand Prix from Alonso with Sainz and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen forming the second row on the grid.
Reigning world champion Verstappen was left without a lap time due to his own and Leclerc's mistake, meaning that he will start ninth tomorrow.
|1||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||1:27.713||1:27.328||1:26.841||20|
|2||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:28.179||1:27.097||1:27.202||19|
|4||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:27.809||1:27.673||1:27.767||19|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault||1:28.061||1:27.612||1:27.786||20|
|8||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:27.872||1:27.444||1:27.935||20|
|9||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||1:27.363||1:26.814||DNF||15|
|10||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:27.864||1:27.564||DNS||15|
|11||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:28.234||1:27.795||15|
|12||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas Ferrari||1:27.945||1:27.903||15|
|14||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:28.180||1:28.091||17|
|15||21||Nyck De Vries||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||1:28.325||1:28.395||16|
|16||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:28.394||8|
|17||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||1:28.429||10|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:28.476||8|
|19||81||Oscar Piastri||Mclaren Mercedes||1:28.484||9|
|20||2||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||1:28.577||10|