Charles Leclerc Narrowly Misses Miami Sprint Pole

F1 Miami Grand Prix 2024
F1 Miami Grand Prix 2024

Sprint Qualifying at the Miami Grand Prix delivered the usual exciting battle fought to the nearest thousandth of a second. It ended with Charles Leclerc second quickest and Carlos Sainz fifth. The Monegasque’s performance was particularly noteworthy, as he went into qualifying having only completed three laps in free practice, after having to step out of his SF-24 following a spin at turn 16. The team did a great job, relying on the data from Carlos’ car, while Charles’ skill then took him to within a tenth of the pole time set by Max Verstappen. Sainz was also very strong all session long, but in the end missed out on a second row start by just 59 thousandths.

SQ3. The Ferrari duo made it through the first two sessions in which the rules stipulate the use of the Medium tyre, without any bother. In the final part to decide the front five rows of the grid, they got the most out of the Soft compound tyres over the single flying lap the team opted for, given the rapid track evolution. Charles posted a 1’27”749 and Carlos was matching his team-mate’s pace up until the final sector, where he lost the thousandths that kept him off the second row with a time of 1’28”103.

A busy Saturday. Points are on offer for the top eight finishers (8 to 1) in the 19 lap, 102.67 kilometre Sprint Race, which starts tomorrow at 16.00 local time (22.00 CEST.) The short race will also serve to provide valuable information for Sunday’s 56 lap Grand Prix, as today has not produced much long run data. Parc ferme rules are suspended after the Sprint Race so that teams can then work on the cars for qualifying for the Grand Prix itself which starts at 16.00 (22.00 CEST).

Charles Leclerc

I’m happy with my qualifying today as I can see that the work I put in over the last few weeks to improve tyre preparation has paid off. It was a tough one, as with only one timed lap completed in free practice, I had to go flat out straight into qualifying but I felt comfortable in the car from the start of the session.
We’ll go for it in the Sprint Race tomorrow, we don’t know much about the race pace for now but let’s hope we have a good one and go into Sunday with good chances for the win.

Carlos Sainz

‘It hasn’t been a great Friday. The feeling in the car changed between sessions and we struggled more during the Sprint Qualifying. The lap on the Soft tyre however was coming together more or less ok, but I went for it into turn 17 and made a costly mistake which dropped me to P5. Tomorrow we’ll try to recover and then we have another chance to work on the car and turn it around for the Grand Prix qualifying and the main race on Sunday.’

Fred Vasseur, Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari HP

‘Today we saw a situation similar to last weekend’s qualifying when the circumstances can change massively from one compound to another, while being very close between the top three or four teams. Both our drivers felt more comfortable on the soft compound and we can be quite pleased with how things went. Charles did particularly well, after not really doing this morning’s free practice. Carlos was matching him up until the last sector where he lost a bit of time.

‘It’s quite difficult to have a clear picture regarding tomorrow’s race because we, along with many others, didn’t do a long run. We will use the Sprint race as part of our preparation for Sunday and see if the set-up choices we made will give us an advantage in terms of tyre management. We will need a good start, especially for Carlos, but I think we are in with a chance.’


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