Perez takes pole position after Leclerc crash causes anti-climax qualifying

Sergio Perez will start from pole position for the second time in the 2023 Formula 1 season after a dramatic end to qualifying in Miami

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Sergio Perez has taken pole position for the 2023 Miami Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc crashed at the end of Q3, which brought qualifying to an anti-climatic end.

Leclerc was at the head of the snake on the final runs in Q3 when he lost control of his car at Turn 6, so the red flag was brought out, this the banker laps only mattered.

Max Verstappen had two big moments through Sector 1 on his lap and decided to back out, so will start in ninth.

Perez‘s 1:26.841 was 0.361 seconds quicker than Fernando Alonso, who will start on the front row despite setting his lap on used soft tyres.

Carlos Sainz was 0.508 seconds off Perez in third, ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly.

Magnussen‘s fourth place is the highest qualifying position for a Haas driver since they joined Formula 1 in 2016.

Leclerc himself was on course to challenge for pole position on the first Q3 runs but locked up at the end of the back straight and fell to seventh place, behind George Russell.

Russell scraped through to the final part of qualifying as Mercedes struggled, while teammate Lewis Hamilton was knocked out in Q2.

Esteban Ocon will start eighth, in front of championship lead Verstappen and Alfa Romeo‘s Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton’s disappointing day

Hamilton had a day to forget after clipping the wall in Q1 and qualifying down in 13th. The seven-time world champion had previously qualified in the top six in every F1 event in the United States.

He told his team they “sent him out too late” which compromised his tyre preparation ahead of his flying lap.

Alex Albon missed out on Q3 by 0.052 seconds for Williams and will start 11th, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Zhou Guanyu and Nyck de Vries, who reached Q2 for the first time this season.

Lewis Hamilton in action at the Miami GP | Mercedes

Misery for McLaren in Miami

McLaren were expected to continue their good form from Baku where they were best of the rest but Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were both knocked out in Q1.

As the track evolved, both drivers were bumped into the drop zone with Norris 16th and Piastri 19th.

Lance Stroll was the other big surprise in 18th for Aston Martin. Yuki Tsunoda qualified 17th and Logan Sargeant will start his home event from the back of the field.

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