Perez takes pole in Miami as Leclerc crashes again

Sergio Perez took his second pole position of the season ahead of the Miami Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Mexican set the fastest lap in the early part of the third and final qualifying session, before a late crash for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc left him and Max Verstappen seventh and ninth respectively.

Leclerc lost control in the first sector of the lap on the final run in qualifying. It follows a collision with the barrier earlier in the weekend, and one last weekend in Baku during sprint qualifying.

Perez will be joined on the front row by Fernando Alonso, with Carlos Sainz third ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. The Dane will be investigated later on for an impeding incident with Sir Lewis Hamilton in the first phase.

Alpine’s Pierre Gasly will start fifth ahead of George Russell, and Leclerc had to settle for eighth after his crash on his second run in Q3. Max Verstappen had made what turned out to be a costly error on his initial run in the third session, and the red flag induced by Leclerc means that the reigning champion will start ninth. Valtteri Bottas rounded off the top 10.

Alex Albon got his Williams up to 11th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, and a hugely disappointing day for Hamilton saw him eliminated in the second part of qualifying in 13th. Zhou Guanyu will start Sunday’s race 14th, with Nyck de Vries and Lando Norris behind on the eighth row.

Yuki Tsunoda was out-qualified by de Vries for the first time this season as he qualified 17th, and another surprise exit arrived in the form of Lance Stroll down in 18th.

Oscar Piastri’s elimination in 19th spelled McLaren’s first double Q1 exit this season, while home hero Logan Sargeant starts at the base of the grid.

Perez heads into the race in search of his third win of the season, which could send him to the top of the championship.

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