Verstappen comfortably tops Miami GP FP3 from Leclerc

Championship leader Max Verstappen topped FP3 at the Miami GP, despite Charles Leclerc benefitting from track evolution


Max Verstappen was fastest in final practice for the Miami Grand Prix as he underlined his status as favourite for pole position later on Saturday.

Verstappen‘s 1:27.669 was set with 25 minutes to go but kept him at the top of the timesheets from Charles Leclerc, who jumped into second place in the final minute.

There was a lot of track evolution during the session, yet Verstappen was still 0.406 seconds faster than Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz was third with Sergio Perez 0.598 seconds behind his teammate and also set his best time relatively early on.

Alpine impressed with Esteban Ocon in fifth and Pierre Gasly in sixth, but appeared to benefit from the track evolution.

Valtteri Bottas was seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, was is racing at the Miami GP for the first time.

Mercedes suffering big issues in Miami

It’s been downhill for Mercedes since George Russell led Lewis Hamilton in FP1, with both drivers complaining about different issues in final practice.

The seven-time world champion was 13th, with Russell in 10th behind Alex Albon of Williams.

Hamilton thought he was losing a lot more time on the straights compared to normal, whilst Russell was struggling at Turn 2 over the bump, complaining of hopping.

Should the track not come towards them for qualifying, Mercedes may struggle to reach Q3.

Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll were 12th and 14th for Aston Martin as they also appear to be lacking performance compared to earlier in the season.

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
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