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Leclerc: “I’m betting everything on the start. I'll have to stay glued to Max.”

“We had tire overheating problems in qualifying.” Verstappen: “Improved car, but sensations not yet optimal.” Sainz: “The wind here is very strong. Starting third might help.”

Auto - News: Leclerc: “I’m betting everything on the start. I'll have to stay glued to Max.”

The Sprint Race was filed away with a podium that, all in all, if not predictable, was rather normal, while the qualifying session before tomorrow's Miami GP guaranteed a few more turn of events.

The first was Daniel Ricciardo, 4th in the mini-race, being eliminated in the Q1. Racing Bull’s Australian driver finished 18th and will probably start from the pit lane on Sunday, considering that he received a penalty for overtaking Hulkenberg under the Safety Car in China. Like him, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, another role player in the morning, was out in the first stage, while both Aston Martins stopped at the Q2, with Fernando Alonso 15th and Lance Stroll 11th.

Thanks to a 1’27"241 time, Max Verstappen will be starting from the pole position for a seventh consecutive time. The Red Bull champion preceded Charles Leclerc's Ferrari by a tenth and Carlos Sainz's by two. With this performance, Sainz will be redeemeding himself from his meager 5th place of the morning.

RB20’s Sergio Perez reached a 4th place and was unable to keep the promises of a great round. He was followed by Lando Norris’ McLaren, fresh from an accident at the start of the Sprint that forced Woking’s mechanics to work extra, and also Oscar Piastri. The Mercedes also traveled in pairs with George Russell preceding Lewis Hamilton. Closing the Top 10 were Hulk and the Racing Bulls of a consistent Yuki Tsuonda.

The poleman at the finish line stated: "We improved the car compared to yesterday. I find it difficult to find a balance in the sensations here, both with the vehicle and with the tires, but we still reached the maximum result."

Thinking about the highlight of the weekend, the driver from Monaco said: "I felt on edge and, at certain times, we overheated the tires. Starting well and not losing track of Max will be crucial."

His teammate was also optimistic: "Too bad for the morning race. But, all in all, qualifying went well. Unfortunately, here the wind greatly influences how you face the lap, but a third place could be positive in a GP perspective from this point of view."

 

Translated by Leila Myftija

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