Miami GP: Leclerc takes pole as Ferrari lockout front row

Charles Leclerc’s quest for redemption got off to a splendid start in Miami after the Monegasque driver delivered an excellent lap to put his Ferrari on pole for the race on Sunday. Leclerc looked in control throughout the free practice sessions and did not put a foot wrong when it mattered. His teammate Carlos Sainz who has been on a bit of a rough patch would be extremely satisfied with his result in qualifying after he was able to lock out the front row alongside his teammate.

Redbull and Max Verstappen would not be overly rejoicing at their qualifying result after a mistake from Verstappen in the second run of Q3 undid any chance of Dutchman trying to get closer to his championship rival Leclerc. Sergio Perez in the other Redbull could not replicate his FP3 result and had to settle for fourth position on the grid, locking out the second row next to his teammate.

Disappointment for Verstappen as he steps out of the car. Image courtesy of Red Bull content Pool

It was yet another disappointing session for Mercedes as only Lewis Hamilton could make Q3 this time, qualifying in 6th in the process. His teammate George Russell got knocked out in Q2 after the English driver could not deal completely with the issues of oversteer in his Mercedes. He will be starting the race from P12 on the grid which would mean that he has a decent amount of work ahead of him on Sunday to score some points.

Bottas on his way to a P5. Image courtesy of Pirelli F1 Press Room

Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo continued to impress this season after the Finnish driver put together a great lap in the final run of Q3 good enough for a fifth place on the grid. His teammate Zhou in the other Alfa Roemo unfortunately finished only P17 as traffic on the last runs of Q1 ruined his flying lap. This concluded a mixed Saturday for Alfa Romeo but they definitely look highly likely to score good points through Bottas come Sunday.

It was a great Saturday in Miami for Alpha Tauri after Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda qualified seventh and ninth respectively. Gasly got off to a shaky start in Q1 after he had his lap time deleted but he got on well with the rest of the session earning the team a great chance to score points on Sunday.

McLaren were able to get one car into Q3 via the courtesy of Lando Norris as the Englishman is set to start the race from P8. Daniel Ricciardo in the other McLaren could not improve enough in the second runs of Q2 and the Australian will be forced to start from P14 for the race.

Vettel not able to make it to Q2. Image courtesy of Aston Martin F1 Media

Aston Martin seem to be finding pace slowly as the season progresses as this time, Lance Stroll comfortably made it into Q3 after a very good lap in the last run of Q2. He will be starting the race from P10 while his teammate Vettel in the other Aston Martin will be starting the race from P13 after missing out on Q2 by 0.086 seconds, which the German driver admitted on radio was due to his mistake.

Alpine had only the one car of Fernando Alonso running in the qualifying after a heavy crash in FP3 meant that Esteban Ocon could not participate in qualifying. Alonso will be starting P11 whiile Ocon will be starting at the back of the grid.

Both the Haas cars will be starting P15 and P16 with Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen respectively. They will be looking to make inroads on Sunday for some points. Both the Williams will start with Albon at P19 and Latifi in P20 respectively and would take something special like Australia to score points come raceday.

It was Ferrari’s turn to draw first blood this weekend after Redbull took 1-2 in their home country a couple of weeks ago. The Italian team will be looking to convert their excellent qualifying result into a race result but they will be facing a big task of fast charging Redbulls from the second row.

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