Charles Leclerc is the first-ever polesitter for the Formula One Miami Grand Prix. He’ll start ahead of his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz for the inaugural race on Sunday, topping the charts by two-tenths of a second. It’s the first front-row lockout for Ferrari since the Mexican GP in 2019.
“It is incredible to be here in the US and to see how much the sport has grown,” said Leclerc, who qualified ahead of celebrities including former First Lady Michelle Obama. “The last race was not great because I made a mistake but we start on pole here and I need to finish the job tomorrow.”
Teammate Carlos Sainz had struggled in qualifying, and he said: “Given from where I was coming from yesterday, I will take it. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day, I think we can do a good job.”
Max Verstappen made a mistake in his final hot lap, and he was forced to settle for third. His Red Bull team has a second-row lockout, with teammate Sergio Perez in second.
Verstappen said he was “surprised” to even be competitive after a disastrous Friday practice session, where he had gearbox, steering, and brake issues which kept him out of the car for most of the running. “I think we did a really good job,” he said, “but we have to start making the weekends a little less difficult.”
Verstappen’s team principle Christian Horner said that “Ferrari are very strong round here. To win, he said, it will take “strategy, a bit of luck, seeing what the weather does. The track is brutal here. As a track to drive… it’s really challenging and it bites hard if you make a mistake.”
Lewis Hamilton qualified sixth, unable to find the same speed from his Mercedes that he had enjoyed on Friday, but his teammate failed to advance from Q2 and will start Sunday from twelfth on the grid.
“We were a bit confused to be honest,” Russel said after stepping out of the car. “My qualifying lap then was slower than I did yesterday in FP2. It’s a real shame because I think the potential was in there. It’s just been a bit inconsistent. It’s not really making a lot of sense at the moment.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said his team “worsened” the car. He explained: “The car is still bouncing like a kangaroo and the drivers are not happy with it. That’s the reason we are off.” But he said the team “definitely got a better handle” on the problems with the car.
|3||1||RED BULL RACING RBPT||1:29.836||1:29.202||1:28.991||18|
|4||11||RED BULL RACING RBPT||1:30.055||1:29.673||1:29.036||21|
|5||77||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||1:30.845||1:29.751||1:29.475||20|
|10||18||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||1:30.441||1:29.996||1:30.676||21|
|13||5||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||1:30.677||1:30.214||15|
|17||24||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||1:31.020||9|