Qualifying: The Miami Grand Prix Weekend

Qualifying: The Miami Grand Prix Weekend

This weekend in F1 Qualifying, we saw the drivers navigate round an anti-clockwise track under the Miami heat. There were shock exits and some spins, but it was Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who took the inaugural pole position. Let’s look at what went down during qualifying this weekend in the moments that led up to Leclerc taking pole. 

Q1

Qualifying was relatively calm this weekend as the drivers were getting to grips with Miami soil. One driver who didn’t have a feel for Miami before qualifying was Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who had a nasty crash in FP3. The Frenchman didn’t manage to compete in qualifying because of it and began P20 for the race. Q1 saw several different contenders for pole, P1 switching between Verstappen, Sainz and Leclerc. There were several different contenders heading for the drop zone too, including Hamilton. The traffic building up in the last sector of the track was proving tense not only for the drivers, but the viewers at home. The chequered flag ending Q1 saw Magnussen, Zhou, Albon, Latifi and Ocon all out and starting at the back of the grid for Sunday’s race.

Q2

Q2 got swiftly underway, with less traffic meaning quicker lap times. The usual front-runners were once again battling for P1, with Sainz and Verstappen both going fastest early on into the session. One man struggling in Q2 was Mercedes’ George Russell, whose used tyres didn’t quite like the feel of Miami turf. As a result, he fell into the drop zone. Russell’s repeated protests on the porpoising of the W13 travelled to Miami with him, and he was heard on the team radio battling with the bouncing. Leclerc was flying as usual and soon took P1. Meanwhile, Russell’s teammate Hamilton struggled to push for a faster lap time. The McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo struggled in the final sector of his last lap and knocked him down in the drop zone. He was eliminated along with Alonso, Russell, Vettel, and Schumacher at the end of Q2. 

Q3

So now we hit Q3, which is the last 10 drivers. We have both Redbull’s, both Ferrari’s, both AlphaTauri’s, a McClaren, a Mercedes, an Aston Martin, and an Alfa Romeo. Leclerc set the first time of the session and the fastest, but Verstappen swept in and took Pole away from him. As Q3 came to an end, there was a battle of the Ferrari’s to take Pole back from Verstappen. Sainz had a flying first sector in his final lap, some well-earned redemption for the recently suffering Spaniard. But it was Leclerc who managed to get back on top, earning himself the first ever Pole Position of the Miami GP. Verstappen’s frustration went beyond his loss of Pole, for an unfortunate oversteer sent him wide and he abandoned his lap. 

The grid was then set with a Ferrari front row and a Redbull second row. Bottas took P5 ahead of former Mercedes teammate Hamilton, who began in P6. A Ferrari 1-2 and Redbull 3-4 can only mean one thing… an intense battle on Sunday. 

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I'm an English Literature student at the University of Birmingham, and I'm obsessed with anything literature related! I love reading, watching F1, and listening to music. I've always loved writing articles on my interests and can't wait to get stuck into more journalism.