The Miami Grand Prix is certainly starting off with a very big bang with lots of media attention, promotion and sell-out crowd. Formula 1 and the race promoters have done a great job of building a spectacle event.
The key question was the track. When they mentioned running through the parking lot of the Hard Rock Stadium, it brought back some negative memories of years gone past but the Miami GP team have done a great job of creating a very difficult track that appears to be a real challenge for the drivers.
At first blush, I felt that the Free Practice 1 and 2 session suggested that the Red Bull toppling speed would be a slight edge over Ferrari and so my Fantasy GP picks tried to factor that in the equation but on Saturday, it was the Ferrari’s of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz who will start from the front row while Max Verstappen cooked a corner on his last attempt in Q3 and will start third.
What I didn’t factor is the loss of track time that Max had during practice due to a gearbox change but in the end, I’m not convinced that was the sole reason for coming in third as the setup of the cars were certainly different than Ferrari’s low-downforce config.
As we head into the race on Sunday and if the weather is sunny and hot, the biggest question will be around tire degradation and wear and we’ve seen Ferrari struggle with that in early 2022. Could that be the factor that Red Bull are banking on or will they suffer the same or worse than Ferrari? Time will tell.
Miami GP Qualifying:
|2||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1m30.079s||1m29.729s||1m28.986s|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m29.836s||1m29.202s||1m28.991s|
|4||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1m30.055s||1m29.673s||1m29.036s|
|5||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m30.845s||1m29.751s||1m29.475s|
|7||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||1m30.779s||1m30.128s||1m29.69s|
|9||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||1m30.485s||1m30.031s||1m29.932s|
|10||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m30.441s||1m29.996s||1m30.676s|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m30.677s||1m30.214s|
|17||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m31.02s|