Leclerc takes pole for Miami GP

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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:

PosNameCarQ1Q2Q3
1Charles LeclercFerrari1m29.474s1m29.13s1m28.796s
2Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari1m30.079s1m29.729s1m28.986s
3Max VerstappenRed Bull1m29.836s1m29.202s1m28.991s
4Sergio PérezRed Bull1m30.055s1m29.673s1m29.036s
5Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m30.845s1m29.751s1m29.475s
6Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m30.388s1m29.797s1m29.625s
7Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red Bull1m30.779s1m30.128s1m29.69s
8Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m30.761s1m29.634s1m29.75s
9Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red Bull1m30.485s1m30.031s1m29.932s
10Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m30.441s1m29.996s1m30.676s
11Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1m30.407s1m30.16s
12George RussellMercedes1m30.49s1m30.173s
13Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1m30.677s1m30.214s
14Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1m30.583s1m30.31s
15Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1m30.645s1m30.423s
16Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1m30.975s
17Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m31.02s
18Alex AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1m31.266s
19Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1m31.325s
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