Red Bull’s Sergio Perez steals pole position from Max Verstappen in dramatic F1 Miami Grand Prix qualifying

Sergio Perez claimed pole position for the Miami Grand Prix in Formula 1, while his teammate and reigning World Champion, Max Verstappen, struggled and ended up in ninth place on the starting grid.

Max Verstappen

The qualifying session came to an early end during the Q3 shootout when Charles Leclerc of Ferrari crashed at Turn 8 in the Miami International Autodrome. Thankfully, Leclerc escaped unhurt, but the location of the accident led to the red flags being raised, preventing any further running and leaving insufficient time for a restart.

Since Perez had set the fastest time earlier in Q3, he was guaranteed the pole position, while Verstappen found himself stranded in ninth. Verstappen had made a mistake in Turn 8 on his initial flying lap, prompting him to abandon it and rely solely on his final attempt to secure pole.

f1 grand prix of miami qualifying

Unfortunately for Verstappen, Leclerc’s crash disrupted his final effort, and he was unable to set a time.

Max Verstappen acknowledged the unfortunate timing of the red flag, attributing it to his own mistake. He described the challenging conditions and his struggle to regain control, leading him to abort his lap. Despite their overall speed throughout the weekend, Verstappen expressed frustration at not delivering when it mattered most in qualifying.

practice session ahead of formula 1 grand prix of miami

With Perez starting from pole position, he now has a great opportunity to build on his recent victory in Azerbaijan and narrow Verstappen’s six-point lead in the championship standings.

Perez Claims Pole Position, Max Verstappen Falters in Miami Grand Prix Qualifying

This is only Perez’s third career pole position and his first at a circuit other than Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

“I’m very pleased,” said Perez. “It’s been a very difficult weekend for me until qualifying. This tarmac is very different from anything, and I was trying to figure out how to get the maximum out of the car. Even in that lap, I was still finding things out that were working better. I haven’t had a straightforward weekend, so it tastes a lot better when you deliver on such a bad weekend.”

auto may 06 f1 cryptocom miami grand prix

Although Perez is in an advantageous position, Verstappen has shown his ability to mount impressive comebacks in the past. In Jeddah, he climbed from 15th on the grid to finish second, and last season he won races after starting in seventh, tenth, and fourteenth positions.

Verstappen stated that his minimum target for Sunday’s race is second place.

Joining Perez on the front row of the grid is Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, while Carlos Sainz of Ferrari qualified in third place.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen secured a remarkable fourth position on the grid, providing a boost for the team competing on their home turf.

“It feels good,” said Magnussen. “It’s an important race for us. A home race for the team and all our major sponsors are here this weekend. I think we’ve been consistently strong throughout this weekend. It’s not just about lap times; if you look at the results from each session, they’re good. But the feeling was there from the very beginning. We put the car on track, and it worked.”

Mercedes faced a challenging session with George Russell securing the sixth place, while Lewis Hamilton found himself stuck in 13th position on the grid.

“It was a tough session,” expressed Hamilton. “We lacked pace, so we had to deliver flawless laps. It was a struggle for us to find our rhythm.” Representing the home crowd, Logan Sargeant will start from the back of the 20-car grid.

The Grand Prix on Sunday will span 57 laps at the Miami International Autodrome, and weather forecasts suggest the possibility of showers throughout the day.

What do you think about the recent developments? Let us know your thoughts about the intense competition between the teammates in the comment section below.


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