Sergio Perez has claimed pole for the Miami Grand Prix after a second crash in as many days for Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc ended the session early.
A day after crashing towards the end of practice running on Friday, Leclerc lost the rear at turn eight and clobbered the barriers on the outside.
Officials had no choice but to throw a red flag. With a little over a minute and a half remaining when the flag flew, the session was declared.
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McLaren endured an awful session, with both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri bombing out in the first part of qualifying.
Norris will start 16th, and Piastri 19th.
After finishing practice on Friday sixth-fastest, both McLarens were in the bottom three in Saturday practice.
Norris said the team had more or less shown their hand on Friday, and he wasn’t surprised to see both cars bomb out early.
“We overperformed (in practice),” he told Sky Sports F1.
“We showed too much performance in a way. Maybe not showed too much, but we showed a bias towards trying to get more out of the car. It was pretty much all we had already.”
“We knew it would be difficult to get out of Q1, and it showed.”
Norris said the updates the team brought to the last race in Baku were performing as expected.
“The car is not really much different, we’ve improved little tiny things here and there, the new floor it’s an update but it hasn’t transformed the car, wasn’t meant to transform the car, it’s just a different direction we’ve gone in. We’ve said that all year.
“It’s just being patient still. We weren’t expecting to be quick or competing for P3s. It’s just tough.”
Perez trails Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen by just six points in the championship standings, and team boss Christian Horner has vowed to allow the drivers to race for the title.
Verstappen, the two-time reigning F1 champion, and Perez each have two wins this year as Red Bull has swept all four races and finished 1-2 three times. Verstappen will start ninth after a mistake in his first run, before the red flag stymied his second run.
The pole for Perez was the third of his career, but the other two were on the street circuit at Jeddah. Perez won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and will try to make it two straight Sunday.
He said his qualifying effort was a massive turnaround after he had struggled through all three practice sessions.
“Everything came more alive and we were just playing with the tools and we put the lap in that we needed,” Perez said, before explaining why he was having such a tough weekend.
“Everything. It wasn’t coming together. It was one of those weekends where we were struggling with balance, confidence, this tarmac is very sensitive to temperatures.”
Fernando Alonso will start on the front row for the first time in his resurgent season with new team Aston Martin. He’s seeking his 33rd career F1 victory, which would be a first for Aston Martin.
Carlos Sainz qualified third for Ferrari and was followed by Kevin Magnussen in his highest-qualifying effort of the season. Magnussen’s Haas team is the only American team on the grid.
Pierre Gasly of Alpine qualified fifth and was followed by George Russell of Mercedes and Leclerc.
Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton failed to advance out of the second round and will start 13th on Sunday.
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