FP1: Leclerc leads Russell in first-ever Miami Grand Prix practice session
Championship leader Charles Leclerc edged out the Mercedes of George Russell to set the quickest time in first practice for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver bolted on a set of the soft Pirelli compound tyres to clinch top spot, just 0.071s clear of Russell, whose Mercedes featured a suite of upgrades including a new low downforce rear wing, revised front wing and beam wing.
READ MORE: Mercedes drivers cautiously optimistic on Miami GP upgrades while Hamilton praises ‘Super Bowl’-like build-up
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who has won two of four races this season, was briefly top of the charts but skimmed the wall on a green track and spent a fair chunk of the session in the garage. He ended up third quickest, 0.179s off the pace.
Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez was fourth, ahead of the leading AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly – who is onto his third internal combustion engine (with a further change triggering a penalty) – with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz failing to get a soft tyre time on the board after he picked up a puncture courtesy of a big lock up into Turn 1.
FORMULA 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX 2022
United States 2022
Practice 1 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:31.098|
|2 George Russell RUS Mercedes||+0.071s|
|3 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.179s|
|4 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.203s|
|5 Pierre Gasly GAS AlphaTauri||+0.400s|
Williams’ Alex Albon was a very impressive seventh, around a tenth of a second clear of Lewis Hamilton, who had to abort his soft tyre run when he was baulked by traffic.
Kevin Magnussen (P9) and Daniel Ricciardo, who had a close encounter when the latter exited the pit lane at the same time Haas driver Magnussen was passing by on a hot lap, completed the top 10.
GALLERY: View special Miami Grand Prix helmet designs from Norris, Zhou, Verstappen and more
Miami’s 5.412km, 19-turn street track provided an entertaining session, with several drivers getting caught out – most notably Valtteri Bottas, who hit the barriers rear-first at Turn 7 to bring out the red flags.
READ MORE: Drive To Survive confirmed for 5th and 6th seasons on Netflix
Lando Norris was 11th, a fraction behind McLaren team mate Ricciardo, with Fernando Alonso the leading Alpine in 12th. The second Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu was 13th, ahead of Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, Alpine's Esteban Ocon and the other Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.
Alfa Romeo's Bottas ended up 17th, with Yuki Tsunoda – who clipped the wall but continued – 18th for AlphaTauri as Haas's Mick Schumacher and Williams' Nicholas Latifi propped up the timesheets.
Watch the Miami GP Live on F1 TV Pro with exclusive onboard cameras, pre-race show and technical shows. Stream live ad free on your favourite device with F1 TV Pro. Subscribe now (only available in selected countries)