F1: Verstappen untouchable during sprint and qualifying in Miami | TV5MONDE

F1: Verstappen untouchable during sprint and qualifying in Miami | TV5MONDE
F1: Verstappen untouchable during sprint and qualifying in Miami | TV5MONDE

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) untouchable on Saturday in Florida: the Dutchman won the sprint race then took pole position for the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, sixth round of the season.

The three-time reigning world champion, who continued his faultless qualifying run in 2024 with a sixth pole in six Grands Prix, will be the big favorite on Sunday for the GP which will be contested at the Miami International Autodrome, around the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

As during the sprint, the Dutchman was not ultra-dominant during qualifying, but it was enough to beat the two Ferraris of Monegasque Charles Leclerc and Spaniard Carlos Sainz by respectively 141 and 214 thousandths.

“It was very difficult to do a perfect lap, I don’t know why but it wasn’t possible to get the tires to the right temperature today (Saturday). It was a bit frustrating, that’s not all. “It’s not fun to drive in these conditions. The car was still a little better than yesterday (Friday) so it’s positive for the race,” he explained.

His Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez will start in fourth, ahead of the two McLarens of Briton Lando Norris and Australian Oscar Piastri, and the two Mercedes of Britons George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen in control, Leclerc solid

During the midday sprint, Verstappen, who started in pole position, slightly missed his start but stuck Leclerc on the right of the track to be able to keep the lead at the first corner. He then controlled the race but without managing to significantly distance the Monegasque and Pérez, who took third place.

“It wasn’t entirely perfect (…) but it’s good to have won, even if there are things to improve”, underlined “Mad Max” after the sprint.

Leclerc rode a strong race to finish just over three seconds behind the untouchable Verstappen and with his second place in qualifying he had a great day.

The big surprise during the sprint came from the Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Racing Bulls): fourth on the grid, he overtook Pérez at the start of the race, who overtook him a few laps later, and then defended tooth and nail his place at the foot of the podium, magnificently resisting the pressure from Sainz and Piastri.

On the other hand, the smiling “Aussie” did not manage to repeat this performance a few hours later during qualifying where he took a disappointing 18th place.

Mercedes had a disappointing day as the German team scored no points in the sprint, with George Russell finishing 12th and Lewis Hamilton 16th. The seven-time world champion, who snatched the point for eighth place on the last lap, finally received a 20-second penalty for speeding in the pits.

Encouraging day for Alpine

The start of the sprint race was marked by a collision at the first corner which led to the retirement of Norris (McLaren) and Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin).

Also affected, Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) was able to continue but finished second to last. The Spanish veteran had a very frustrating Saturday as he then only took 15th place on the Grand Prix starting grid.

The French team Alpine, which is still chasing its first points this season after a catastrophic start to the year, had an encouraging day.

During the sprint, Frenchman Pierre Gasly (Alpine) failed to score points, in 9th place, while his teammate and compatriot, Esteban Ocon finished 15th after receiving a ten-second penalty for an incident in the pits. before the start of the race.

Under the eyes of Zinedine Zidane and American football star Patrick Mahomes, three-time SuperBowl winner who recently invested in the Alpine team, the two blue cars then took 12th and 13th places in qualifying, which allowed them to can hope to finish in the Top 10 on Sunday.

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