F1 Miami Qualifying

After guiding a Ferrari one-two in a tightly contested F1 Miami Qualifying, championship leader Charles Leclerc should start on pole for the first Miami Grand Prix, after the top slot slipped through Max Verstappen’s grasp. Verstappen led heading into the frantic final circuits before being passed by Leclerc and Carlos Sainz on the fast brand new course that circles Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. Verstappen, Leclerc’s closest championship contender, attempted retaliation by making a costly error through the first quarter on his penultimate lap of Q3. 

F1 Miami Qualifying Saw Verstappen Struggling

Leclerc finally won the F1 Miami Qualifying by 0.2 seconds over Sainz and Verstappen, gaining his third pole in the first five races of the season, while Ferrari earned their first front-row monopoly since Mexico 2019.

“We’re starting from pole and need to complete the job,” Leclerc remarked after a costly mistake in the last event in Imola. Despite his error, Verstappen emphasized the positives, saying he was “surprised” to be in contention for pole after skipping much of Friday’s training.

Mercedes, who had won Friday’s F1 Miami Qualifying to raise expectations of a three-team battle, were never in competition in Saturday’s qualifying, with Lewis Hamilton qualifying sixth and 0.8s off the pace.

George Russell, who was quickest in Practice Two, did not make it to Q3, finishing 12th after complaining of “bouncing” and “lack of confidence” in a W13 vehicle that couldn’t compete with the Ferrari and Red Bulls.

Other unexpected Q2 casualties were Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton will start behind former teammate Valtteri Bottas just on the third line of the track, with Lando Norris in the eighth.