Max Verstappen established himself as the clear favorite for the Qualifiers with his impressive display in Exercise Three; Charles Leclerc finished second for Ferrari ahead of Sergio Perez; watch Miami GP Qualifiers live on Sky Sports F1 at 9pm, accumulating from 8pm
Last Updated: 06/05/23 7:12pm
Max Verstappen continued to set the pace at the Miami Grand Prix as he topped the final practice session before Qualifying later on Saturday.
The world championship leader aided his impressive performance in his second training session on Friday by hitting 1:27,535 to finish 0.4 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in second. two.
Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who is six points behind the Dutchman at the top of the drivers’ standings, is third.
Perez’s victories at both the Sprint and last weekend’s race in Azerbaijan have led to much talk of the title fight within Red Bull, but Verstappen appears to be in a league of his own at Miami International Autodrome.
Carlos Sainz finished fourth for Ferrari, who is again considered Red Bull’s closest rival in the Qualifiers.
However, the picture behind the top 4 looks much less certain, with the rapidly evolving new surface of the track making it difficult to judge performance.
After a nightmare weekend in Azerbaijan, Alpine seems to be starting to reap the benefits of the major upgrades that have been brought to their car in Baku, with Esteban Ocon finishing ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly in position Thursday.
Valtteri Bottas is seventh for Alfa Romeo, with Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg and Williams’ Alex Albon behind him.
Mercedes continues to struggle with 10th George Russell and 13th Lewis Hamilton, with the Silver Arrows potentially facing the challenge to reach the final section of Qualifiers.
Also, it’s worth noting that in addition to the top 10 are Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, who are 12th and 14th respectively.
The slippery surface left many riders struggling to hold onto the road, including Albon and Norris among a few who went off track.
Challenging conditions look set to ensure an intense Qualifier session, with mistakes likely to be a major factor as drivers push their cars to the limit.
There could also be additional danger from the weather, with showers forecast for possible Qualifiers at 9pm.
Miami GP Practice Three Timesheets
|1) Max Verstappen
|2) Charles Leclerc
|3) Sergio Perez
|4) Carlos Sainz
|5) Esteban Ocon
|6) Pierre Gasly
|7) Valtteri Bottas
|8) Nico Hulkenberg
|9) Alex Albon
|10) George Russell
|11) Kevin Magnussen
|12) Fernando Alonso
|13) Lewis Hamilton
|14) Lance goes for a walk
|15) Zhou Guanyu
|16) Yuki Tsunoda
|17) Sergeant Logan
|18) Oscar Piastri
|19) Lando Norris
|20) Nyck de Vries
The Formula 1 season continues with the Miami GP this weekend. Watch the qualifiers at 9pm on Saturday and lights out at 8:30pm on Sunday. Get sports in the sky