Charles Leclerc Crushes Max Verstappen to Miami F1 Pole as Ferrari Complete Dominant 1-2

Published 05/07/2022, 5:08 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during qualifying REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc delivered yet another spectacular on-track show as the Monegasque eventually went on to clinch only his third pole position of the 2022 F1 season at the Miami GP. Carlos Sainz completed a commanding Ferrari 1-2, consequently pushing his Dutch rival down to P3.

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How the F1 qualifying session unfolded at Miami GP

Q1- Alpine F1 suffers early blow with Ocon

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Only 19 drivers joined the track for the first part of qualifying, as Esteban Ocon’s FP3 shunt obstructed his Alpine from taking part in the session. Verstappen began his qualifying outing with a blinding lap time of 1:30:235.

May 6, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alpine driver Fernando Alonso of Spain races into turn 5 through the circuit during the third practice session for the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

His teammate, Perez, too wasn’t far off as the Mexican slotted his Red Bull into P2 ahead of Russell and Sainz. However, with the track conditions ramping up, Leclerc raced his way into the 1m 29s, setting the provisional fastest lap of the session.

The biggest shock, though, was in the bottom five; Magnussen failed to carry his US-based Haas into Q2. Along with the Danish racing driver, Zhou, Albon, Latifi, and of course, Ocon, exited the first part of qualifying.

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Q2- Mercedes lose one leg with Russell

Yet again, the big four commanded the top positions, with Verstappen leading the pack this time around with a 1:29:202. It certainly would have been a miracle to see one of the four drivers failing to secure a spot in the top 10.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Mercedes’ George Russell during practice REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

But, that unfortunately wasn’t the case with the Mercedes duo, Russell and Hamilton, as the once-hailed deadly combo constantly themselves under the pressure of making yet another embarrassing Q2 exit. In the end, only one driver escaped the wrath of Q2 – Hamilton!

Alonso, Russell, Vettel, Ricciardo, and Schumacher were the five drivers that failed to make it into the final part of qualifying.

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Q3- Verstappen vs Leclerc for pole at Miami

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Championship leader, Leclerc, was one of the first drivers to join the track; The Monegasque eventually went on to set a decent lap time only for his rival, Verstappen, to snatch the provisional pole by a mere 0.06s. Sainz held on to P3 ahead of the other Red Bull of Perez.

8 minutes into the session, the final shot at pole began as Stroll, Bottas and Hamilton raced their way onto the track for their respective flying laps. Leclerc and Verstappen, too, returned to the track with just over 2 minutes left in hand.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during qualifying REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The two Ferrari drivers put together amazing lap times to be rewarded with a dominant 1-2. On the other hand, over-steer cost Verstappen what could have been his second pole position of the season. Behind the Dutchman arrived his own teammate, Perez followed by Bottas, Hamilton, Gasly, and Norris completing the top 8.

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Overall, what a breathtaking Saturday afternoon Miami turned out to deliver! The pole was there for the take, with Mercedes too showing glimpses of joining the party. However, ultimately, it was always going to be the two title-contending rivals snatching the spotlight.

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Rohit Kumar

1862 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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