Miami GP: Verstappen takes Sprint pole on dismal day for Mercedes

Mercedes had a terrible start to the weekend with two early exits, and Max Verstappen defeated Charles Leclerc to win the sprint pole for the Miami Grand Prix.

Even on the lap when he took pole position, Verstappen fought with his Red Bull throughout the session, but the other competitors dropped out, leaving the world championship leader at the top of the leaderboard.

After missing the whole of Friday’s one practice session, Ferrari’s Leclerc bounced back to finish a tenth behind the Dutchman and take second place.

After leading both SQ1 and SQ2 in his greatly improved McLaren, Lando Norris looked the most likely to deny Verstappen the pole, but the British driver will only start ninth after suffering in SQ3.

As Daniel Ricciardo battles for his career in racing, he secured an extremely amazing fourth place for Red Bull’s junior team RB, while Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez finished third.

Lance Stroll won an unusual qualifying match over Fernando Alonso, his teammate from Aston Martin, and Carlos Sainz of Ferrari finished fifth ahead of Piastri of McLaren. They finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were eliminated in the second qualifying round by Mercedes, who also improved the Miami International Autodrome. This maintained Mercedes’ miserable start to the season.

Miami GP Sprint Qualifying Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:27.641
2) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.108
3) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.235
4) Daniel Ricciardo RB +0.403
5) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.462
6) Oscar Piasti McLaren +0.520
7) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +0.734
8) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.778
9) Lando Norris McLaren +0.831
10) Nico Hulkenberg Haas +0.835
Knocked out in SQ2
11) George Russell Mercedes 1:28.343
12) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.371
13) Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:28.379
14) Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:28.614
15) Yuki Tsunoda RB No time set
Knocked out in SQ1
16) Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:29.185
17) Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:29.267
18) Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:29.360
19) Logan Sargeant Williams 1:29.551
20) Alex Albon Williams 1:29.858

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