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Max Verstappen places a ‘horrible’ automotive on pole for F1 Dash at Miami Grand Prix


MIAMI — On reflection, it was a shocking little bit of honesty from Max Verstappen following Dash Qualifying on the Miami Grand Prix.

“To be trustworthy with you, it felt fairly horrible.”

That’s how Verstappen described his run which put him into P1 for Saturday’s Dash Race.

That’s the place we’re with the three-time Drivers’ Champion. Talking with Naomi Schiff following qualifying he indicated that the automotive felt higher throughout observe than it did through the qualifying session, however finally Verstappen was once more in entrance of the sector.

The automotive felt “horrible.” He thought observe was higher. He appeared annoyed all through the qualifying session.

And he nonetheless completed up entrance.

Simply think about how the remainder of the weekend will go if he feels even marginally higher concerning the automotive than he did on Friday afternoon right here in sunny Miami.

Listed here are the total outcomes, in addition to another winners and losers from Dash Qualifying right here on the Miami Grand Prix:

F1 Grand Prix of Miami - Previews

Photograph by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Pictures

Winner: Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo is thought for having one of many brightest smiles on the paddock. However the smile we noticed throughout Thursday’s media classes in Miami had one thing completely different behind it.

Confidence.

Adjustments to the chassis on Ricciardo’s RB01 noticed him ship his greatest race weekend of the season within the Chinese language Grand Prix, the place he superior to each Q2 and SQ2 within the two qualifying classes in Shanghai. Whereas he completed P11 within the Dash Race in China, and noticed an opportunity at factors within the Grand Prix ended after an affect from Lance Stroll, it was nonetheless a step ahead.

However he made an even bigger step ahead on Friday, pushing into SQ3 to advance to the third portion of qualifying for the primary time this season. And when the mud settled, Ricciardo was up in P4, and he’ll begin the Dash Race tomorrow on the second row, alongside Sergio Pérez and simply behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“I undoubtedly felt loads higher in China and yeah, hopefully that’s the beginning,” mentioned Ricciardo to the media on Thursday, together with SB Nation. “However loads of it comes out right here feeling and being snug, you realize? There was, actually, one thing that when I hit the monitor in China, I did really feel like I had a bit extra.

“So whether or not that could be a bodily change that perhaps one thing chassis offered me, and it simply gave me a bit extra feeling of actually what the automotive is gonna do. In order that was good.”

China was good.

To date, Miami is healthier.

Losers: Mercedes

Earlier immediately, some individuals theorized that the upgrades Mercedes delivered to the Miami Grand Prix — particularly some new parts to their ground — would translate into some progress on the monitor.

Me. The particular person referred to above was me.

Nevertheless, that was not the case in SQ2 as each Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been eradicated. Maybe extra worrisome for Mercedes? Whereas Russell was in P11 and Hamilton in P12 in SQ2, they have been only a hair forward of Esteban Ocon, driving for an Alpine workforce that has but to open their account this season.

Whereas there’s nonetheless an extended option to go this weekend, this was not the Friday afternoon the Silver Arrows have been hoping for.

F1 Grand Prix of Miami - Practice & Sprint Qualifying

Photograph by Music Haiyuan/MB Media/Getty Pictures

Winner: Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc barely participated within the single observe session forward of Dash Qualifying on the Miami Grand Prix. A spin early in observe noticed Leclerc caught in Flip 16, and when he was unable to get his SF-24 rotated after making an attempt what appeared like an ungainly seven-point flip, the “Austin Powers” memes flooded social media.

Then early in SQ1 Leclerc had one other snap of overcorrection coming by way of Flip 7 and into Flip 8, and it appeared like his Dash Qualifying session would possibly finish early.

It didn’t.

Leclerc completed in P2, a shocking turnaround from the place his day started.

Actually, and figuratively.

Losers: Sauber

The week in Miami started with the information that Nico Hülkenberg could be driving for Sauber beginning subsequent season, forward of the workforce turning into the Audi works outfit in 2026.

Friday introduced a double elimination for the workforce in Dash Qualifying, with each Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas knocked out in SQ1.

Not solely that, Zhou had a lap time deleted for exceeding monitor limits at Flip 15, and there was a scary incident between Bottas and Oscar Piastri, who was on a push lap. Bottas radioed in that the warning from his workforce got here late, and this would possibly e part of the feeling-out course of between Bottas and a brand new race engineer:

Sauber will now hope for a greater end to the weekend.

Losers: Williams

This was not the begin to the weekend that Williams hoped for.

Heading into the week there was a perception round Williams that the FW46 could be a stable automotive for the workforce “Each drivers have highlighted this monitor as one that ought to go well with the FW46, so we must be on prime of our recreation on Friday morning,” mentioned Sporting Director Sven Smeets within the workforce’s media preview.

“I’m not utterly certain the place we’re gonna be efficiency based mostly, however like I mentioned, I believe this monitor can probably go well with our automotive higher than a few the final ones we’ve been to,” mentioned Logan Sargeant to me earlier this week. “So a little bit little bit of optimism there for certain.”

Nevertheless, each Alexander Albon and Sargeant have been eradicated in SQ1, with Sargeant down in P19 and Albon down in P20, because of a lap time being deleted for exceeding monitor limits.

At the moment there’s loads of chatter across the paddock right here in Miami concerning the future at Williams. Experiences surfaced on Friday that the workforce had submitted to the FIA looking for a dispensation for Andrea Kimi Antonelli to be granted a Tremendous License previous to his 18th birthday, probably to slip Antonelli right into a seat at Williams prior to anticipated:

Talking on the Friday FIA Press Convention, Williams Workforce Principal James Vowles brushed apart the rumors that Antonelli was being eyed for Sargeant’s seat.

“Let’s put it this manner. I haven’t spoken to Kimi since Abu Dhabi final 12 months. Hopefully that places it in context,” outlined Vowles. “I do know nothing about what’s occurring at Mercedes’ checks proper now. We’re trying, as everybody else is, for the place we need to be on driver line-up for subsequent 12 months and we now have our personal younger driver program.

“Within the case of Kimi, I can’t actually adjudicate on the extent he’s at. In case of him coming into the automotive this 12 months, I’ve at all times mentioned from the start, it’s a meritocracy. Logan has to earn his seat. And in the meanwhile, he has some robust targets the place he has to get a lot nearer to Alex. However there’s nothing on the radar in the meanwhile for changing him.”

Whereas that matter stays to be clarified, one factor is evident.

Williams’ day got here to an finish faster than they hoped.



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