Verstappen on pole for sprint race

Verstappen on pole for sprint race

Best time in sprint qualifying on Friday in Miami, Max Verstappen, winner of the first sprint race of the season, took pole position for the second, which will take place on Saturday in Florida. His first of the year in the specialty. The three-time world champion will start in front of Charles Leclerc, who spun during free practice. Pierre Gasly (16th) left in SQ1, Esteban Ocon (13th) imitated him during SQ2 at the same time as the two Mercedes.

Max Verstappen won the first sprint race of the season last month in China, setting only the fourth fastest time in qualifying. Friday, in Miami, where the second sprint race on the calendar of the year will take place on Saturday, the three-time world champion took pole, his first in the specialty in 2024.

Before the Dutchman made everyone agree during SQ3 (“It seemed identical to the laps I had done before but this time, it was on the soft tires and that changed the situation “, he later admitted), but it was Lando Norris, at the wheel of this McLaren which had undergone an impressive number of changes during the week, who seemed set to set the best time.

Unfortunately for the young Briton, who was the fastest during a fatal SQ1 to Pierre Gasly (16th time) as well as during SQ2 which this time saw Esteban Ocon (13th time) stay there in the same way as the two Mercedes of George Russell (11th) and Lewis Hamilton (12th), he collapsed in the first sector of SQ3.

Leclerc’s feat

Initially relegated to 6th place after switching to soft tires, Norris finally finished ninth, eight tenths behind. He will therefore start from the fifth row, alongside Nico Hulkenberg (Haas). As for Verstappen, who had to settle for fourth time in both SQ1 and SQ2, he will share the front row with Charles Leclerc.

The Monegasque achieved the feat of setting the second time behind the Shanghai winner without having spun during the only free practice session of the weekend, which took place a little earlier and was marked by the lead tail of the Ferrari driver. Leclerc finishes this SQ3 108 thousandths behind Verstappen (1’27″641). Sergio Perez, the teammate of “Mad Max” at Red Bull, and Daniel Ricciardo (Racing Bulls), author of a very good performance, will make up the second row, ahead of Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Oscar Piastri (McLaren). The fourth row, for its part, will be one hundred percent Aston Martin with Lance Stroll (7th) and Fernando Alonso (8th).

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