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Formula 1

Leclerc on Miami GP pole, Verstappen error leaves him third

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Championship leader Charles Leclerc claimed his third pole in the first five races of the 2022 Formula 1 season as he headed team-mate Carlos Sainz in an all-Ferrari front row at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen starts third for Red Bull behind the Ferraris.

After Mercedes’ apparent resurgence on Friday, normal 2022 Red Bull vs Ferrari service was resumed on Saturday as Lewis Hamilton could only manage sixth and day one pacesetter George Russell was eliminated in Q2.

Verstappen had headed an ultra-close top three following the first Q3 runs, with the Red Bull and the two Ferraris covered by just 0.080s.

But a big twitch early in Verstappen’s final lap left him declaring “I’ve f***ed it” over team radio.

As he backed off, both Ferraris improved – Leclerc taking pole by 0.190s over Sainz with Verstappen a further 0.005s back alongside Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Valtteri Bottas bounced back from his Friday crash with a brilliant fifth on the grid for Alfa Romeo, just ahead of erstwhile Mercedes team-mate Hamilton.

Both Mercedes appeared to be a huge handful to drive in qualifying. Hamilton had to make an additional run to get out of Q1, having been as low as 18th, but did at least reach Q3 in the end whereas team-mate Russell could only achieve 12th on the grid as he exited in Q2 for a second straight race.

AlphaTauri got both cars into Q3 – Pierre Gasly qualifying seventh and Yuki Tsunoda ninth.

They’re split by the McLaren of Lando Norris, who again had a big margin over team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian is down in 14th, having been 0.6s and 11 places behind Norris in Q2.

Aston Martin had one of its strongest days of the season: Lance Stroll reached Q3, taking 10th, and Sebastian Vettel might have joined him but for a chicane error in Q2 that left him 13th.

Alpine only had one car in qualifying because Esteban Ocon sustained a cracked chassis in his final practice crash, and its qualifying session brought more disappointment as Fernando Alonso missed out on Q3 by 0.032s in 11th place. He strongly argued that Sainz had blocked him, but the stewards quickly ruled there was nothing to investigate.

Though Mick Schumacher made Q2 for Haas on a day when team-mate Kevin Magnussen didn’t, it made little difference as they’ll still share row eight.

Zhou Guanyu’s 17th place was due in part to coming upon a huge traffic jam on his final Q1 lap. He starts ahead of the two Williams and Ocon.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m29.474s 1m29.13s 1m28.796s
2 Carlos Sainz 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
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m30.388s 1m29.797s 1m29.625s
7 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m30.779s 1m30.128s 1m29.69s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.761s 1m29.634s 1m29.75s
9 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m30.485s 1m30.031s 1m29.932s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m30.441s 1m29.996s 1m30.676s
11 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m30.407s 1m30.16s
12 George Russell Mercedes 1m30.49s 1m30.173s
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m30.677s 1m30.214s
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.583s 1m30.31s
15 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m30.645s 1m30.423s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m30.975s
17 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m31.02s
18 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m31.266s
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m31.325s
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