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May 4, 2024 7:28 pm

Two-time champion Max Verstappen on pole for Miami Grand Prix

Max Verstappen

Two-time defending Miami Grand Prix winner and reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen helped his chances for a third straight victory by capturing the pole in qualifying Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Verstappen has taken seven consecutive poles and a record-tying six to start a season. Alain Prost last accomplished the feat in 1993.

It was the Dutchman’s first pole at Miami.

He started the day by winning the sprint race at the 3.363-mile Miami International Autodrome. He also was fastest in afternoon qualifying for Sunday’s race, posting a lap of 1 minute, 27.241 seconds.

The Red Bull Racing driver finished with a 0.141-second edge over Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (1:27.382), with his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third (1:27.455).

Verstappen, who has victories in four of the first five F1 races this season, said gaining the pole was the most important thing coming out of a difficult experience, calling it “not the most enjoyable lap of my career.”

“I think we’ve definitely improved the car a bit,” he said. “I don’t know what it is here, every year we come here I find it extremely difficult to be very consistent with the tire feeling, the car feeling over one lap. It’s just super hard to make sure sector one feels good and sector three to make that happen together is incredibly tough and again today.”

Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing teammate, said he felt like he could have gone faster after his lap of 1:27.450. He will start fourth, ahead of McLaren Mercedes drivers Lando Norris (1:27.594) and Oscar Piastri (1:27.675).

“I knew that in qualifying I could be in the top three and we managed to do some clean laps — which is really tricky around here with the new soft (tire),” Perez said. “Every lap is a bit of adventure with the wind, you don’t know what’s going to happen and keeping all this in mind, it wasn’t too bad.”

–Field Level Media

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