2024 Miami Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AUTODROME, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - MAY 04: Pole man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, receives his Pirelli Pole Position Award from Producer Jerry Bruckheimer during the Miami GP at Miami International Autodrome on Saturday May 04, 2024 in Miami, United States of America. (Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images)
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AUTODROME, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - MAY 04: Pole man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, receives his Pirelli Pole Position Award from Producer Jerry Bruckheimer during the Miami GP at Miami International Autodrome on Saturday May 04, 2024 in Miami, United States of America. (Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images)

2024 Miami Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis – Max Verstappen has scored a perfect four out of four first places in all four sessions held so far at the Miami Grand Prix. Having been quickest in yesterday’s free practice and Sprint Qualifying, the Dutchman won the lunchtime challenge, with victory in the Sprint Race and five hours later, he was top again, this time in qualifying, securing his first Miami Grand Prix pole at his third attempt. Verstappen’s best lap of 1’27”241 was set on his first Q3 run.

As was the case in the short race, Max will have Charles Leclerc for company on the front row, second quickest in 1’27”382. Curiously, it was the second sector that split the two of them as that was where Verstappen made up all of his 141 thousandths of a second advantage. In fact, the Ferrari driver was quickest in the first sector by 74 thousandths, exactly the same amount of time by which the Dutchman was quickest in the third one.

The second row features their respective team-mates, Carlos Sainz (3rd, 127”455) lining up behind Verstappen and Sergio Perez (4th, 1’27”460) behind Leclerc.

As expected, the Medium was the main tyre of choice for teams and drivers with 18 drivers covering the 19 laps on the middle of three compounds brought to Miami by Pirelli. The only exceptions were Tsunoda and Sargeant who opted for the Soft. Despite the high temperatures, which again today exceeded the 55° C mark, the performance of the C4 was more than acceptable with the Racing Bulls and Williams cars making up several places, the Japanese driver even coming close to taking the eighth and final points place.

Qualifying confirmed some aspects of what had already emerged yesterday afternoon. Track conditions improved up to around halfway through the session, after which they pretty much stabilised, so that only a few of the drivers who had made it to the top ten were able to improve on their second runs. In fact, the performance difference over a flying lap between the C3 and C4, of the order of three to four tenths, was significantly less than the simulations going into this event and also when seen against the usual comparison between these two compounds. It explains why Norris, Hamilton and Russell reverted to the C3 to try and move up the order on the starting grid, a rather rare occurrence.

Verstappen was handed his Pirelli Pole Position Award by film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Among his best known works are films co-produced with Don Simpson such as Flashdance, Top Gun and Bad Boys. Since the 2000s he has also put his name to the Pirates of the Carribean films, Pearl Harbor and, more recently, Top Gun: Maverick, along with the TV series, CSI, Cold Case and Without A Trace. Bruckheimer is one of the producers on the film about Formula 1, directed by Joseph Kosinski with Brad Pitt in the lead role. It is due for release in 2025.

Mario Isola – Pirelli Director of Motorsport

“So far, this weekend has provided plenty of food for thought when it comes to tyre behaviour. Looking at the predictions and simulations going into this event, based on Pirelli data combined with that provided by the teams, we have now had indications that will lead us to delve deeper into the analysis of the data aquired so far. We need to understand why the difference in performance between the Medium and Soft was so small and why qualifying times were slower than last year by about four tenths and by an even more significant gap of almost a second compared to our simulation. We will above all look at how the Soft behaved on the track surface which, from data gathered on Wednesday and Thursday had significantly different levels of abrasiveness compared to 2023.

As for strategy, there is little doubt that a one-stop is clearly the quickest option. But it’s a different matter when it comes to the compounds and the order in which they will be used. While the drivers found the C4 harder to read over a flying lap, in today’s Sprint Race it demonstrated that it cannot be ruled out for tomorrow afternoon’s Grand Prix. The C2 will definitely be the outright favourite, but all combinations of it with the C3 and C4 are viable on paper.”

2024 Miami Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis

06 Us24 Quali En
06 Us24 Qualicompare En

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