Miami Qualifying: Perez Pole, Leclerc crash in hectic session

Sergio Perez executed when it mattered to claim Pole Position in Miami, emerging from a tricky qualifying that was filled with unpredictability.

The Mexican driver set a strong lap early to put himself in P1, whilst teammate Max Verstappen made a mistake that forced him to abort his first attempt.

A crash from Charles Leclerc in the final moments of Q3 prevented anyone from improving, meaning Max Verstappen will start from 9th place and have a tall order to climb the grid on Sunday.

Fernando Alonso grew stronger as qualifying progressed, putting his AMR23 on the front row despite a difficult final practice session for the team.

Ferrari-powered teams had some success in qualifying, with Carlos Sainz earning an impressive P3 starting slot and proving himself far more at ease with the SF-23 compared to last week in Baku.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23.
05.05.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Practice Day.
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Kevin Magnussen was perhaps the biggest stand-out from qualifying, putting himself into 4th place with great prospects of scoring important points for Haas tomorrow.

The Danish driver explained last week that he felt the VF-23 had more pace than it showed at the Baku GP, and all indications suggest this analysis of his American machine was accurate.

Alpine was one of only three teams to have both cars in Q3, with Pierre Gasly outqualifying his teammate to finish 6th. Ocon’s lap was enough for 8th in a generally impressive session for the French squad.

Mercedes will be disappointed with their pace, which resulted in Lewis Hamilton being eliminated in Q2 and missing out on a chance in the final shootout.

Russell managed slightly better in P6, but the 25-year-old was still outqualified by five different teams at the end of qualifying.

Red Bull’s performance is difficult to refute, but today again demonstrated how closely matched the rest of the F1 field is.

After drivers struggled to overtake in Azerbaijan last week, there will be hoping that a relatively unorthodox starting grid can facilitate better racing and a more exciting Grand Prix in Maimi on Sunday.