Verstappen takes his sixth pole

Max Verstappen achieved his sixth pole position of the season by taking his usual spot in qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix, beating both Ferraris.

Verstappen posted a time of one minute, 27.241 seconds to lead Charles Leclerc by 0.141 seconds on the first runs in Q3, where they were trailed by Carlos Sainz.

On the final runs, although Verstappen set the session’s fastest time in the first sector, the leading trio could not better their previous best times – Leclerc in particular having a wild time on this final lap.

Sergio Perez did find time on his final Q3 go to jump to fourth position, while Lando Norris took fifth having run mediums on his first Q3 effort.

This pair improving shuffled Oscar Piastri down to sixth on the second Q3 runs, while the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took seventh and eighth.

Both Mercedes drivers had to run mediums for the last Q3 laps after running out of new soft compound, but only Hamilton went quicker with the yellow-walled tyres.

Behind, Nico Hulkenberg was ninth and Yuki Tsunoda took tenth, with the only significant incident in Q3 being Sainz getting cleared of impeding Hulkenberg at Turn 17 late on.

In Q2, Russell’s last-gasp effort knocked out Lance Stroll, who was joined by Alpine pair Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon – both drivers failing to set personal best times on their final runs in the middle segment.

Behind, Alex Albon’s late personal best pushed Fernando Alonso down to P15.

In Q1, Alonso just managed to get through with an 0.01 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in P15 and P16, with home hero Logan Sargeant eliminated in P17 behind Bottas.

Sprint qualifying and race hero Daniel Ricciardo was also knocked out in P18, complaining of lacking rear grip. The RB driver will drop down to last on the grid following a three-place grid penalty for overtaking under safety car conditions in the previous race at China.

Kevin Magnussen lost time with traffic at the final corner on his last Q1 lap, while Zhou Guanyu faces a post-session stewards investigation for pushing in front of Ricciardo when before the pitlane opened for the first segment and for crossing the pit exit line late in Q1.

So a simply lovely Saturday for Max Verstappen. Winner in the sprint race and now pole position for the Miami Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver is looking strong for the race but can the Ferraris be able to challenge? We shall find out on race day.

Miami Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:27.241
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27.382
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:27.455
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:27.460
5 Lando Norris McLaren 1:27.594
6 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:27.675
7 George Russell Mercedes 1:28.067
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.107
9 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:28.146
10 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:28.192
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:28.222
12 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:28.324
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:28.371
14 Alex Albon Williams 1:28.413
15 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:28.427
16 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:28.463
17 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:28.487
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:28.619
19 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:28.824
20 Daniel Ricciardo RB 1:28.617*
*Three-place grid penalty for overtaking under the safety car in the Chinese Grand Prix

3 thoughts to “Verstappen takes his sixth pole”

  1. Max Verstappen has claimed his seventh consecutive pole position by taking P1 on the grid for the Miami Grand Prix, despite failing to improve during his final flying lap.

    The Dutchman had provisionally put himself into pole in the first runs of Q3, having set a time of 1m 27.241s, and this proved to be enough to maintain the position. Charles Leclerc will join the Red Bull driver on the front row, while his Ferrari team mate Carlos Sainz was not far behind in third.

    Sergio Perez sealed P4 in the other Red Bull, ahead of the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri in fifth and sixth respectively, and the fourth row belongs to the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in P7 and P8.

    Nico Hulkenberg repeated his qualifying result from last time out in China by slotting his Haas into P9, while Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10 in the RB.

  2. Max Verstappen called Miami Grand Prix qualifying “extremely difficult” as he was “guessing” with how the Pirelli Formula 1 tyres would behave on his way to pole position.

    The reigning world champion notched up his seventh consecutive F1 grand prix pole position, backing up his sprint race pole from Friday in the process, to continue his domination in Miami having converted that pole into a sprint race win earlier today.

    But in a similar pattern to sprint qualifying, the majority of drivers produced inconsistent form, with many of the top 10 shootout failing to find substantial gains on their final runs in Q3.

    The majority of drivers found it tough to put together the ideal lap on the soft tyres, with the hot conditions and slippery track surface leaving drivers “guessing”, according to Verstappen.

    “It has been extremely difficult to put together a lap where everything just works,” he explained. “For some reason, it is extremely difficult to make the tyres work around the whole lap.

    “Sometimes you have moments here and there and it is not very consistent. That makes it very difficult to try to hit the perfect lap.

    “Every lap you put on the board is a bit of guessing with what is going to happen so it doesn’t make it very nice to drive.

    “I think we handled the situation well, we did the best we could and the car definitely felt a little bit nicer compared to yesterday.”

  3. Charles Leclerc feels Ferrari is genuinely closer to Red Bull in race pace at Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix, based on the evidence of his form in Saturday’s sprint.

    Although the Monegasque could do little about stopping Verstappen from roaring to yet another victory in the sprint, the fact that he was able to match his pace once he dropped into clean air has left him upbeat about his chances.

    Critical, he thinks, for his chances to stop Red Bull from winning is to put Verstappen under pressure – something that he reckons could be on the cards.

    But asked why he felt that way, with Verstappen having been pretty much untouchable so far this year, Leclerc said: “Just the sprint race, we were a little bit closer to what we normally see.

    “However, Max wasn’t really happy with his car in the sprint race, so we need to see how much of a step forward he does being happier with the car.

    “But we did some fine-tuning on our side. We’re also confident we did a step forward, so we’ll see.

    “If we have a similar pace like we’ve seen [in the sprint] then I think with strategy you can always put a bit more pressure. And I hope that is the case. We’ve got the two cars in the front, so it’s a good opportunity.”

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