Perez in pole position for the Miami Grand Prix ahead of Alonso and Sainz, Verstappen 9th and Leclerc in the wall

His joy in the pits was commensurate with the surprise that this qualifying session provided. Sergio Perez will start at the top of the Miami Grand Prix after signing his third career pole position, when it seemed to have fallen to Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver set the fastest time on the Florida circuit during his first attempt in Q3, in 1’26″841. A time set at the most opportune moment in this last part of the qualifying session which did not go to its term due to the red flag displayed after the accident of Charles Leclerc.An almost unexpected gift for the Mexican, who can do a good job in the perspective of challenging his teammate a little more in the drivers’ classification.

Max Verstappen missed at the worst time

The qualifying session inevitably has a bitter taste for Max Verstappen. While he had flown over the last two free practice sessions, Q1 and Q2, the double world champion missed between turns 7 and 8, during his first attempt in Q3, catching up with his accuracy, and preferred to cut short his effort. A lack of mark on the time table is detrimental, since the red flag caused by Leclerc at the end of the session will annihilate his second attempt. The Red Bull driver will start from 9th place on Sunday in the race.

The Dutch driver confided his disappointment following this eventful end to the session, but he wanted to be philosophical before the race, when he will benefit from a very fast car on this Miami track to make a rise in the classification. . “ There is an error on my part, which is a little annoyingadmitted Verstappen. We also had bad luck with the red flag and it’s very frustrating at the moment, but we have to move on and try to get back in the race on Sunday. »

Leclerc still at fault

At Ferrari, there can be regrets. Charles Leclerc’s accident comes on top of a gloomy start to the season, where only the interlude in Baku was able to provide a bright spot. The Ferrari driver made a mistake for the second time this weekend between turns 6 and 7, with notable damage to his car. This time, Leclerc bit the curb a little too much inside turn 6 and his Ferrari ended its race in the wall, like the day before, during the second free practice session. The Monegasque can bite his fingers, when he had the rhythm and he had failed only 150 thousandths of Verstappen in Q2. But his crash forced him to start from 7th position.

The disappointments that affected Verstappen and Leclerc made Carlos Sainz’s business. The Spanish driver has hoisted his Ferrari to third place and will be on the lookout to take advantage of a battle that promises to be tough on the front line, between Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin, 2nd). But in line with the previous weekend, the Italian single-seater has found some rhythm and the improvements made seem to be moving the red car in the right direction.

Hamilton struggling, Alpine finds colors

For Lewis Hamilton, it’s a qualifying session to forget. He and his teammate from Mercedes often flirted with the limit but George Russell (10th) did a little better, passing in Q3, which was not the case for Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion had to stop in Q2, unable to do better than 13th time, stuck between the Haas of Nico Hülkenberg and the Alfa Romeo of Guanyu Zhou.

Alpine has raised the bar well after the dark weekend in Baku, during the GP of Azerbaijan, rid for the moment of the mechanical problems which made life difficult for it last week. The two French drivers managed to join the last session of the qualifying session and Pierre Gasly will start from 5th place while his teammate Esteban Ocon set the 8th time in Q3.

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