Miami Grand Prix – Max Verstappen (Red Bull) counts on the straights to trap the Ferraris

The 15 small laps completed on Friday, including only one in the afternoon, by Verstappen weighed on Saturday, as he feared. During qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix, the reigning world champion was not comfortable enough driving his RB18 to get the most out of it, due to a lack of track time to adjust it. for the chrono lap; not to mention testing it in relay simulation. Beaten by the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc, in pole position, and Carlos Sainz, the Dutchman settled for third time, 0″195 behind the Monegasque’s F1 75.

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“Overall, I was happy with my qualificationput the reigning world champion into perspective. We are still trying to learn the track and find the right balance for the car. Being so competitive in qualifying was a big surprise, it’s not an easy track to learn. Of course we want to be on pole, but I think we did a very good job considering our position on Friday. It’s always going to be tricky and it’s hard to push the limits when you don’t know the track too well.”

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“I think we have a good chance on Sunday because we have a good top speed and the car is handling pretty well so I’m looking forward to it. It’s quite slippery outside the racing line, it almost feels like gravel, maybe I need to call my dad and ask for some rally advice…” he added.

Pérez in ambush

Moved up to second in the world championship 27 points behind leader Charles Leclerc, following his full card at Imola (the 34 points from his victories in the “sprint race” and in the Grand Prix plus the bonus for the best lap), the Dutchman will start for the first time behind the Ferraris, which he does not particularly fear. In Jeddah, he started from fourth place and triumphed.

On Sunday, Max Verstappen hopes that Sergio Pérez can play a disruptive role as he did at Imola, pushing Charles Leclerc to take risks to steal third place on the podium, until committing a spin . But like Friday, “Checo” did not seem thrilled by his day on Saturday, which did not allow him to develop his RB18. Even though he failed to finish fourth, just 0.145 behind his leader.

8 km/h more than the Ferrari

“We didn’t have a very easy qualifying session, we had a bad Q3, which set us back a bit.noted “Checo”, in the process of being extended within the Milton Keynes team. My second lap was much better, but I just didn’t get the perfect sector 2 and that was the main problem for me. Only a few hundredths would have placed me second. We are therefore always disappointed with such a gap because with a small improvement we are P2 rather than P4. There is a long race ahead of us tomorrow and anything can happen, my race pace looks good so beating the Ferraris is possible if we have a better strategy than them.
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“It was tight and the small margins made the difference today, noted Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull Racing. It looked positive for us after the first run, but a small error from Max at the turn #4 then compromised everything for him, he was on the defensive today, he was lapping behind the others and he’s still learning the track, so it’s a good recovery from him. his side, Checo didn’t have a good first sector, so we’ll start from the second row.”

For Helmut Marko, it’s seen it all. The superiority of the Red Bull over the Ferrari in the straight line could make the difference. Especially with two long portions where the DRS will be valid. “We are eight kilometers per hour faster, that should give us a chance at the DRS detection point”estimated the Austrian adviser to the team.

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