Miami GP 2023
MAY 6, 2023
Qualifying Report - Perez takes pole in Miami
By Peter Habicht
Sergio Perez claimed his third pole position in a dramatic and dynamic qualifying session at the Miami International Circuit this afternoon setting a time of 1m26.841s while his teammate Max Verstappen was relegated to ninth after the session was cut short with a red flag with 1:36s left following a crash at turn seven by Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc on the unforgiving street circuit.
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso will start alongside the Mexican, followed by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, the Haas-Ferrari of Kevin Magnussen, and Alpine's Pierre Gasly.
Track temperature, evolution and traffic all contributed to strategies which saw several teams releasing drivers late in each round to take advantage of the quicker conditions, but which put several drivers at risk as several were caught out with less than optimal lap times as the clock wound down.
At Mercedes, drivers waited to set their fastest times until the final two minutes of Q1 and the final minute of Q2 while in the elimination zone, the latter round proving disastrous to Lewis Hamilton's chances as he failed to put together a lap for Q3 in time and leaving him to start in 13th, his worst qualifying result ever on American soil.
Teammate George Russell managed better to qualify sixth ahead of Leclerc, Alpine's Esteban Ocon and the weekend's favorite, Max Verstappen. Alfa Romeo's Valttieri Bottas was also too late to set a quick time in Q3 and will start alongside the Dutchman in tenth.
Farther back, Alex Albon will start 11th for Williams alongside Nico Hulkenberg and ahead of Hamilton, who will start ahead of Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu, now in his second year in Formula 1.
Dutchman Nyck De Vries did well to advance to Q2 for Alpha Tauri-Honda, and will start in 15th with McLaren's Lando Norris alongside, who failed to advance on the starting grid despite updates to his MCL60.
Yuki Tsunoda will start from 17th on the grid for Alpha Tauri, with Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, McLaren's Oscar Piastri and Williams' Logan Sargeant rounding out the back of the field.
The Miami Grand Prix will start at 3:30p ET, and weather has been forecast with a chance of rain during the day.