The very first qualifying session for the Miami Grand Prix will make it possible to know the start schedule. A session that will separate Red Bull from Mercedes, which will be invited as a luxury judge?
A Ferrari, then a Mercedes and finally a Red Bull set the best times in free practice! Who will be the favorite for pole position? At the time of taking the track, the air is at 33 ° C, the track is still an oven at 53 ° C.
Session Q1 – 18 minutes
We learned it before qualifying, Alpine could not repair Ocon’s car because the chassis is cracked, the Frenchman will be sentenced to start dead last. After the lap times of Aston Martin, Williams and Haas, Sainz set a first real lap time of 1’30 “858, of course on soft tires! Verstappen quickly appeared in front and lowered the benchmark in 1’30” 235.0 “5 better than Pérez, who followed his teammate on the field.
Russell is in the rhythm of the other Red Bull, while Lewis Hamilton struggles with his rear axle, the Briton escapes the rear axle. Zhou raised his Alfa Romeo to 5th place ahead of Ricciardo and Leclerc. Leclerc, raising his playing level, Monegas’ best time in 1’29 “474, Stroll manages to make Aston Martin work in 6th place. Hamilton is forced to cut the harassment at turn 15, the Englishman is not sure of his Mercedes .
With less than 5 minutes, Hamilton is in the elimination zone, the Briton returns to the pits and puts on a new set of tires, he should not encounter traffic or a yellow flag. Tsunoda has climbed to 5th place, Russell is 6th with his Mercedes, Gasly is in the Top 10, Alonso is close to the risk zone! Mick Schumacher recorded an 8th fastest time, Hamilton was barely 0 “1 faster than the last qualification, the Mercedes driver had to cross the line in 5th place, 0” 9 after Leclerc’s best reference!
In the dying seconds there was heavy traffic in the last sector, the last drivers finished their lap, Alonso had to improve his position because he was in the risk zone, the Spaniard moved up to 6th place.
The eliminated are: Magnussen, Zhou, Albon, Latifi and Ocon.
Session Q2 – 15 minutes
The Ferraris set the first benchmarks below 1’30 per. round, but the Red Bulls did better, Verstappen in 1’29 “202 with 0” 471 ahead of Pérez anyway! Hamilton is in 5th place at 0 “595 from the best time, while Mercedes called Russell back to his box, a problem discovered at W13? Gasly is 6th almost a second behind Red Bull, the Frenchman ahead of Bottas and Alonso.
Russell’s Mercedes is on the track, everything seems to be normal again, but the Briton is struggling with the car on the track! Leclerc takes the best grade in 1’29 “130, 0” 072 in front of Verstappen, which revives our interest in the hunt for pole position. Russell can only set the 7th fastest time, a full second behind the leading Ferrari.
McLarens is out of the Top 10, Vettel climbs to 10th place, Stroll is 7th, Bottas returns to 6th place. Norris finally manages to place his McLaren in 3rd place, 0.5 behind Ferrari, Alonso fails to integrate Q3, Russell also failed to qualify for the rest. Ricciardo remains stuck in 14th place, Gasly saved his place.
The eliminated are: Alonso, Russell, Vettel, Ricciardo and Schumacher.
Session Q3 – 12 minutes
Leclerc will record the first reference he is followed by his teammate who beat him in the first sector. The trend is reversed in sector 2, Leclerc will cut the line in 1’29 “055, a breath ahead of the Spaniard in 0” 016!
But Verstappen will bring the Ferrari drivers into agreement, with a lap in 1’28 “991, his teammate Pérez is 0” 5, Bottas is 5. with almost a second behind, Hamilton is sent back to 1 “168 from the preliminary pole. Norris is ahead of Tsunoda, Stroll and Gasly, who missed his quick lap.
The drivers will have another try, only one lap left, will the hierarchy be reversed? In the preparation round, Pérez has already placed himself in front of Verstappen to give him hope, this is not the case at Ferrari, Sainz is behind Leclerc. It was the monegasque who started first, he was fast but beaten by Sainz in the first sector with almost 0.2, a big lead. Leclerc continued his efforts in sector 2 and regained the same lead from Sainz, the monegasker cuts the line in 1. ’28 “796 and Sainz fails in 1’28” 986.
At Red Bull, the strategy was completely messy, Verstappen did not improve because he missed a bend, Pérez returned to 4th place 0’240 from pole, Bottas climbed to 5th just ahead of Mercedes to his former teammate, Hamilton. Gasly is 7th ahead of Norris, Tsunoda and Stroll completes the Top 10.