Formula 1, Miami Grand Prix – Max Verstappen fastest in free practice 1 ahead of Piastri, Leclerc in reverse

Formula 1, Miami Grand Prix – Max Verstappen fastest in free practice 1 ahead of Piastri, Leclerc in reverse
Formula 1, Miami Grand Prix – Max Verstappen fastest in free practice 1 ahead of Piastri, Leclerc in reverse

Max Verstappen achieved the best time in the first and only free practice session of the Miami Grand Prix, 6th round of the Formula 1 World Championship, Friday at the Miami International Autodrome (5.412 km) in Miami Gardens. The Dutchman beat the Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) by respectively 105 and 116 thousandths of a second.

For once, the three-time reigning world champion remained at the bottom of the timesheet for almost the entire session. After missing a corner and going too wide at the start of the session, he then complained about the temperature of his tires and was almost never in the running. But he finally set the best time during his final fast lap, less than two minutes from the checkered flag.

The Mercedes single-seaters seemed rather comfortable, like the fourth place of the Briton George Russell, who was ahead of his teammate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton, seventh behind the Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and the Mexican Sergi Pérez ( Red Bull). The rest of the Top 10 was rather surprising with eighth place for the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (Racing Bulls), and the unexpected 9th and 10th times of the two Alpine single-seaters of Frenchmen Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. The latter even allowed himself to be at the top of the timesheet less than ten minutes from the end of the session!

For the weekend’s tests alone, the conditions were difficult with almost 30 degrees in the air and more than 50 on the track. And one of the big names was quick to make a mistake. The Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), who only completed three laps in this session, losing precious driving time in this weekend with a sprint race, in fact went into a spin and as he was unable to restart, he caused a red flag and the interruption of the session for almost 10 minutes. The drivers will return to the track a second time on Friday to compete in qualifying for the sprint.

1st free practice session

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:28.595 (25 laps)

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:28.700 (24)

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1:28.711 (24)

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:28.784 (26)

Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:28.817 (25)

Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:28.868 (23)

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:29.012 (24)

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:29.056 (25)

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:29.163 (23)

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:29.175 (27)

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:29.178 (27)

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:29.189 (26)

Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:29.314 (25)

Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:29.393 (24)

Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:29.445 (24)

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:29.495 (21)

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:29.636 (23)

Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:29.891 (23)

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:30.023 (22)

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:32.099 (3)

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