Formula 1

Formula 1: Max Verstappen brushes off potential McLaren challenge to take pole position for Miami Sprint

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Max Verstappen takes this weekend’s first pole position during Sprint Qualifying, seeing off a challenge from an upgraded McLaren team.


A careless situation occurred in the dying minutes of SQ1 as Valtteri Bottas had excessively slowed down going into turn 1, which forced Oscar Piastri, who was starting a flying lap behind him, into an emergency overtake. Piastri was none too pleased about the incident, which had ruined that particular run, whilst Bottas seemed to not be aware or told that the Australian was coming up right behind him.

Logan Sargeant was born only a stone’s throw away from this circuit, however he could not overturn the poor start to his 2024 campaign with a result in Miami. Sargeant qualified 19th, and was only saved of the ignominy of starting last in tomorrow’s sprint because Alex Albon had a lap invalidated for cutting the chicane at the start of sector 3.


16. Pierre Gasly – Alpine +0.145

17. Zhou Guanyu – Kick Sauber +0.227

18. Valtteri Bottas – Kick Sauber +0.320

19. Logan Sargeant – Williams +0.511

20. Alex Albon – Williams +0.818



Mercedes had themselves a horrible time during this session. They spent the majority of the time looking to be at risk of elimination, and when it came to their final laps, neither were able to improve by enough to make it into SQ3. Lewis Hamilton hadn’t even improved on his time, and had hit the wall on the exit of the sector 3 chicane, as Ricciardo and Alonso had also done at earlier points.

Red Bull gambled on giving Max Verstappen just one lap to set a time good enough to reach SQ3, confident in the knowledge that if there was any car and driver combination that could do it, it was Max Verstappen in the RB20. Verstappen did indeed breeze his way into the final part of Sprint Qualifying with his lap, but was only quick enough to go 4th fastest, four tenths down on the newly upgraded McLaren of Lando Norris, setting up an intriguing end of Friday running.


11. George Russell – Mercedes +0.038

12. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes +0.041

13. Esteban Ocon – Alpine +0.049

14. Kevin Magnussen – Haas +0.284

15. Yuki Tsunoda – Alpha Tauri NO TIME



Given the high track temperatures and high levels of track evolution seen on the Miami circuit, all the drivers left it late before setting off on their one and only flying laps. Sergio Perez had set an early provisional time, and Verstappen had looked only marginally quicker in the opening part of the lap. The reigning world champion then had a slight bit of oversteer in the chicane, though despite this was able to go fastest by two tenths.

Attention now turned to the McLaren of Lando Norris, who had topped the opening two sessions. However, he was already eight tenths down by the end of sector 1, killing any hopes of getting pole position for the Sprint, ultimately finishing in 9th. Piastri, in a McLaren that does not yet have all of the upgrades that Norris has, ended the session in 6th.

Leclerc was able to split the two Red Bulls in order to bring himself onto the front row. Carlos Sainz will start tomorrow’s Sprint in 5th, while just ahead of him is Daniel Ricciardo, who looks reinvigorated after getting a chassis change ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Sprint Qualifying results

1. Max Verstappen – Red Bull 1:27.641

2. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari +0.108

3. Sergio Perez – Red Bull +0.235

4. Daniel Ricciardo – RB +0.403

5. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari +0.462

6. Oscar Piastri– McLaren +0.520

7. Lance Stroll – Aston Martin +0.734

8. Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin +0.778

9. Lando Norris – McLaren +0.831

10. Nico Hulkenberg – Haas +0.835

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