Miami GP: Sergio Perez tops Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in Practice Three as Mercedes drop back

News Story

Watch Miami GP qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event; Build-up starts at 8.15pm before shootout begins at 9pm

Last Updated: 07/05/22 7:16pm


Max Verstappen was very fortunate not to hit the wall after hitting a curb at Turn 14

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Max Verstappen was very fortunate not to hit the wall after hitting a curb at Turn 14

Max Verstappen was very fortunate not to hit the wall after hitting a curb at Turn 14

Sergio Perez wrestled back the momentum for Red Bull heading into the first-ever Miami GP qualifying by topping final practice ahead of title rivals Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, as Mercedes dropped off the pace.

Red Bull’s Perez and Verstappen had disappointing starts to a bumper weekend in Miami – struggling for pace and reliability – but both responded on Saturday, and it was the Mexican who was fastest with a 1:30.304.

Verstappen had looked set to beat Perez late on before an error and a dramatic lucky escape, as he slid over the Turn 13-14 chicane but somehow managed to stop his Red Bull before smashing into the narrow walls.

Esteban Ocon had earlier not been so fortunate, crashing his Alpine at Turn 14 to bring out red flags.

Esteban Ocon lost control of his car on Turn 14, the same spot as Carlos Sainz in P2  and the car damage leaves qualifying in doubt for the Frenchman

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Esteban Ocon lost control of his car on Turn 14, the same spot as Carlos Sainz in P2 and the car damage leaves qualifying in doubt for the Frenchman

Esteban Ocon lost control of his car on Turn 14, the same spot as Carlos Sainz in P2 and the car damage leaves qualifying in doubt for the Frenchman

After Verstappen’s near-miss, there was just enough time for championship leader Leclerc to leapfrog him into second, a tenth behind Perez.

Missing from the front after a superb Friday were Mercedes, who went earlier with their qualifying simulations than their rivals and Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished way down in 15th and 17th.

“I don’t think that’s representative,” said Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok, who is still predicting a three-team fight for pole position in qualifying. The session starts at 9pm, live on Sky Sports F1.

Jenson Button, however, added on Mercedes: “It’s strange how the car looks like it did for the first four races of the year. It doesn’t look like what we had yesterday.”

In Ocon’s absence, Fernando Alonso continued his competitive start to the weekend by placing fourth, ahead of surprise packages in the shape of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Haas’ Mick Schumacher.

Carlos Sainz couldn’t quite unlock Ferrari’s pace as he found his feet in seventh after his Friday crash, while Kevin Magnussen, Alex Albon and Lando Norris completed the top-10.

Leave a Reply