Verstappen does not let go of pole

Verstappen does not let go of pole

For the sixth time in six Grands Prix this season, Max Verstappen took pole position this Saturday in Miami but the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr failed close to the Dutchman.

This time, it’s the right one for Max Verstappen! After failing to obtain pole position for the Miami Grand Prix during the first two editions of the event, the three-time world champion was able to put everything together to ensure he started in front this Sunday. After setting the best time in Q1, the Dutchman was beaten by Charles Leclerc in Q2 before putting everything back together when pole position was at stake. It was in his first of his two attempts in Q3 that the Red Bull Racing team driver set his best time in 1’27”241. Shod on a second set of new soft tires, Max Verstappen did not find the right sensations to improve despite a new record in the first sector. The Dutchman has six pole positions in six Grands Prix this season, a symbol of the level of performance of the RB20. Charles Leclerc, already second in the sprint earlier this Saturday, gave everything to try to thwart the championship leader’s plans. But after conceding 141 thousandths of a second to the Dutchman during his first flying lap, the Monegasque also lost his footing on the second.

Verstappen surrounded by Ferraris

However, he will be on the first row of the starting grid of a Grand Prix for the third time this season after Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Scuderia Ferrari intends to play laps at Red Bull Racing this Sunday because Carlos Sainz Jr will be just behind his teammate, falling 214 thousandths of a second from pole position. The Spaniard will be accompanied on the second row by Sergio Pérez, who fails by five thousandths of a second against the Ferrari driver. No doubt inspired by the evolution of the times this Friday during qualifying for the sprint, with the times of the SQ2 on medium tires which were better than those of the SQ3 on soft tires, Lando Norris made a first attempt with these less efficient tires, which did not work for the McLaren driver. After not passing the first turn during the sprint, the Briton started in fifth place, failing at 353 thousandths on soft tires. The third row will be 100% McLaren since it was Oscar Piastri who set the sixth time, with less than a tenth between the two teammates. The medium tire move worked for Mercedes.

Alpine not far from Q3

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton posted their best lap with these tires but were unable to do better than seventh and eighth places. ahead of Nico Hülkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda. After a reassuring sprint, notably for Pierre Gasly, the Alpine drivers were able to believe for a time in a place in Q3 but the Rouennais missed out by a little more than a tenth, who will start 12th this Sunday. His teammate Esteban Ocon fails 47 thousandths behind for 13th position. Hero of the sprint with his fourth place, Daniel Ricciardo was disillusioned during these qualifications. The Racing Bulls driver failed in Q1 with 18th place and will start from the last position on the starting grid, the fault of the penalty received during the Chinese Grand Prix after overtaking under yellow flag following his collision with Lance Stroll. As Charles Leclerc confirmed after the session, the key to this Miami Grand Prix will be the Ferrari’s ability to stay in touch with Red Bull Racing to benefit from DRS while there remains an unknown in terms of tire degradation.

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