Sergio Perez Secures Pole at Miami Grand Prix

May 6, 2023Ramon Jones
Formula 1

The Miami Grand Prix qualifying session is complete. Azerbaijan GP winner Sergio Perez secured pole position in setting a 1:26.841s lap on the Miami street circuit. In a not so fortunate finish, Charles Leclerc had a late session spin that ended his session. He was only able to secure 7th fastest, but will have an uphill battle to reach the podium places.

Leclerc had the following comments about taking risks. “That pays off nine times out of 10, but obviously, this is a weekend where twice I put it in the wall, and this is just not the level that I want it to be. I’m just very disappointed with myself. If I did a great lap in the first lap of Q3, there’s no point to say that when you don’t finish a lap and you lock up in the last corner. And the second lap, I put it in the wall. So, again, really angry with myself.” Veteran Fernando Alsonso (Aston Martin) and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) finished Q3 P2 and P3 respectively. Twitter Feed

Championship point leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) had an even more frustrating session finishing P9. In an interview with Sky Sports Verstappen stated after the session, “Well, yeah, clearly… I mean that was definitely a mistake of mine, trying to put it on the limit, and then I made a mistake and had to abort the lap.

Verstappen continued referring to the spin that Leclerc had that causes a red flag, “Then you rely on a bit of luck as well, that there is not going to be a red flag [at the end], and that can happen on a street circuit – [so I’m] just a bit upset with myself.” Verstappen was asked what his expectations are for tomorrows races and he responded, “A podium, for sure, but I want to win, so this is not great. [Winning is] not impossible, but it’s not going to be easy.” We’ve seen Verstappen win a race from the back of the grid in previous years. We will see if the Red Bull can make some magic happen on Sunday.

Elsewhere on the Grid

Hometown driver Logan Sargeant (Williams) had a difficult afternoon. It was not the homecoming he had hoped for as he will start P20 on the gride for the grand prix. Sargeant offered his thoughts to The Atlantic, “We made a pretty good step from FP3 to quali and had the car in a good place.” I had the couple of tenths needed to advance to Q2. I needed to do it on the first push, but I did it on the second, and I felt like the tires were graining towards the second and third sectors of that lap. It was extremely tight out there with fine margins. We’ll take the positives, which should leave us in a better place for the race. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we’ll try and be opportunistic and make the most of it.”

7 time world Champion Lewis Hamilton said, “It was one of those days.” Hamilton did not make it out of Q2 and had to settle for a P13 start in Sunday’s race. He stated after the session, “But at the end there I went out, they put me out behind seven cars – or something like that…so when I got to the last corner I was like the last of the group. I had to back up and lost all my temperature in the tires, so when I started the lap I just had no grip.”

Lewis Hamilton during the Miami Grand Prix Qualifying Session. Photo by Sam Bloxham/Courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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