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What the teams said – Sprint day and Qualifying in Miami

Special Contributor

Becky Hart
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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 in the

Red Bull

Verstappen made a clean getaway from pole to win his second straight Sprint this season, although he wasn’t entirely happy with his car again. Perez lost out to a quick starting Ricciardo at the start, and once he made his way back past he was too far back to try and chase down second place.

In qualifying, Verstappen looked unstoppable, grabbing his sixth straight pole by over a tenth to make it the perfect weekend so far – at least so far as results are concerned. Perez couldn’t quite match that, beaten by both Ferraris but is still very much in the mix up front.

READ MORE: Verstappen relieved to grab second pole on ‘incredibly tough’ weekend in Miami

Max Verstappen – Sprint: 1st, Qualifying: 1st, 1:27.241

“The car felt better after the changes that we made, but we have found that there were quite a few combining factors that make it very tricky to drive around this track. It has been difficult over the weekend with the tyres, as they have quite low grip, overheat quickly and we have also struggled with the balance of the car. It has just been quite unpredictable, and everyone has found that it has been difficult to put a lap in. Despite this, ultimately the most important thing is that we put it on pole and that this is seven poles in a row, which is something to be proud of. We have the changes in place to make it more of a straightforward race tomorrow and it was good to get the win in the Sprint race earlier today too. Once the tyres stabilise in the race when they are hot, it will feel a bit more normal to drive. The strategy will be a bit simpler tomorrow, so hopefully that will bring my tyre degradation down too. We will see what the race brings.”

Sergio Perez – Sprint: 3rd, Qualifying: 4th, 1:27.460

“It was a very tricky session, it was all too much with the grip, it was too hot and too on the limit. We didn’t maximise the potential, I think we could have had a shot at pole but I made a mistake on my final lap at turn eight, which probably lost me the front row. Unfortunately, I am on the wrong side of the tenth today, but we go again tomorrow. We will analyse our session because we were fast and we had more than we showed. Other than that, I think everyone had the same struggles today, some laps I was struggling to match myself from Q1. It will be a very demanding race and quite a challenge in the heat but the pace is there and anything can happen. Hopefully the changes we made to the car today from the Sprint will translate into race pace.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“Overall, a fantastic showing from the Team today with the Sprint race and qualifying here in Miami. We’re always trying to extract the maximum out of our car, and everyone was struggling a bit out there today to find the right balance and set-up on the last run. Max obviously found enough and was able to make it his seventh pole in a row, his sixth of the season, and it was another phenomenal performance from him. Checo put in a really, really strong performance and improved on his second run to put it on the second row, so we’re going into race day in a good position. The Sprint race today gives us a nice window into what the tyres are going to do tomorrow, but we’ll see how it plays out with set-up and conditions on race day.”

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Sprint winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Rose - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Ferrari

Leclerc had a quiet sprint – more than quick enough for second, but not fast enough to chase down Verstappen for the win. Which was just as well as his day started badly again, after Ocon hit the rear of his Ferrari in the pit lane on the way to the grid. Sainz’s 19 laps were much busier than his team mate’s, as he tried time and time again to get past the obdurate Ricciardo ahead, ultimately falling just a couple of tenths short.

READ MORE: Leclerc hoping to put pressure on Verstappen in Miami as Sainz explains why P3 could be ‘good place to start’

Leclerc was Verstappen’s closest challenger again in qualifying, coming up just short after over pushing on his final run. Sainz very much improved from his Sprint Qualifying performance, grabbing a spot on the clean side of the grid for the Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc – Sprint: 2nd Qualifying: 2nd, 1:27.382

"I was happy with the car, we didn't change much since this morning, just did a bit of fine tuning, but overall we are in a good place. It was tricky to put together the lap and not many of us improved on that last timed lap in Q3, so P2 on the grid is not a bad result and we will push to fight for the win tomorrow. In the Sprint race I had quite a good start and then was on the inside for turn 1, but I didn't want to take too many risks because of qualifying coming up later in the day. Both Max (Verstappen) and I braked late and eventually he kept his position but it was a good test and I’m looking forward to tomorrow."

Carlos Sainz – Sprint: 5th, Qualifying: 3rd, 1:27.455

"Overall we cannot be too disappointed with the result today. This track is always very tricky, slippery in some sectors and with the tyres on the verge of overheating. We are in a good position to fight with the Red Bulls and we’ll do everything we can to make the most of it in the race. Looking forward to tomorrow!"

Fred Vasseur, Team Principal

"Overall, it’s a good result, starting P2 and P3 with Red Bull P1 and P4. However, there’s a slight feeling of frustration as we had hoped to get a better result, but it was clear that everyone was finding it difficult to put a lap together in this session on the Softs. Everyone was right on the edge and if you pushed too hard it was easy to go over the limit. Today, as was already the case yesterday, our preparation for the flying laps went well.

"For tomorrow, let’s wait and see: it looks like our race pace is a bit slower than Max’s (Verstappen) so the most important thing will be to get a good first lap and make use of the DRS that is very strong at this track. After that, a lot will depend on tyre degradation on which we have collected some data from today’s Sprint Race. We brought home 12 points so it was not that bad, but the real points will be given out tomorrow and we’ll try our best."

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Second placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari and Third placed qualifier Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari talk in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Rose - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

McLaren

Norris was in the wrong place at the wrong time, on the outside leaving plenty of room into Turn 1. But he got tagged by Stroll, which ended his Sprint immediately. He was also investigated for entering the track on foot after making his way back to the pits but luckily for the team, his upgraded parts weren’t too badly damaged. Piastri was able to make it to the flag, having a quiet, steady race to sixth.

Come qualifying, Norris looked keen to gamble and play around on the medium compound tyre, but eventually switched back to the softs for his final run. McLaren couldn’t match the Bulls or the Scuderia cars, but locked out the third row.

Lando Norris – Sprint: DNF, Qualifying: 5th, 1:27.594

"I think it’s been a reasonable Qualifying. I probably couldn’t have asked for a lot more. The team did a great job to get the car back together after the Sprint, first of all, so thank you to them after the unfortunate incident we were involved in this morning.

"Otherwise, P5 and P6 is good for us as a team. I think that’s where we deserve to be and that’s all we had in the car today, so we maximised it and we’ll try to get a good amount of points tomorrow."

Oscar Piastri – Sprint: 6th, Qualifying: 6th, 1:27.675

"I’m pretty happy with that. It felt like it was a good Qualifying session, and the car was consistent the whole way through. I don’t think there was too much more in it to be able to push us any further forward, so I am pleased. The team have done a good job so let’s see what we can do tomorrow."

Andrea Stella, Team Principal

"Qualifying was intense today. Like most sessions in Miami, it was made difficult by a very hot track temperature and tyres behaving in a way that made it difficult to exploit the grip available. We tried a few different compounds but ultimately the result is largely according to competitive order. We had hoped for a little more, after a strong performance yesterday, but there is potential for a strong race from fifth and sixth on the grid. The pace Oscar displayed in the Sprint gives us encouragement for tomorrow.

"I want to take this opportunity to praise the incredible work in the garage to prepare Lando’s car after the damage it suffered at the start of the Sprint. There were moments where it looked like he wouldn’t be able to take part this afternoon, but the work done by the mechanics, with great support from the factory, was excellent and has put us in a strong position for tomorrow’s race."

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren walks away from his car after stopping on track during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Mercedes

Hamilton saw a gap down the inside into Turn 1 and sent it. But he couldn’t stop in time and bumped into Alonso, playing his part in what turned into a four car pile up. That delayed his team mate, who dropped down the order and couldn’t recover. From there Hamilton was challenging for points from ninth, repeatedly left frustrated by Magnussen’s over the line defence. He did get past eventually but was handed a penalty for speeding in the pit lane that dropped him from eighth across the line to P16.

Qualifying at least went much better than yesterday’s version, with both Mercedes cars making it to Q3. Once there they ran out of soft tyres and had to go for their final runs on the mediums, but neither driver had the pace to get in the mix towards the front.

Lewis Hamilton – Sprint: 16th, Qualifying: 8th, 1:28.107

"Overall, it’s been a much more positive day than yesterday. That said, these tyres are so sensitive and trying to get them to work consistently lap-to-lap is a challenge. The track temperature and grip was similar throughout Qualifying but we still struggled to deliver the maximum potential on each lap. We had that glimpse of what was possible at the end of Q2, but we couldn’t deliver it in Q3. It’s an area we are focused on improving.

"I gave it everything in the Sprint; it was a tough battle out there. Contact is never intentional at the first corner, and I went for a gap. It closed quickly though and several of us connected. After that, I was fighting hard to get past the Haas of Magnussen, and I enjoyed the racing. The penalty was unfortunate, and it was a shame that it cost us that final point."

George Russell – Sprint: 12th, Qualifying: 7th, 1:28.067

"We were struggling throughout the whole of Qualifying to get the tyres into the right place. They work within a very small window, and we saw with Lewis in Q2 that, if we were able to get them in a better place, we had good speed. This is the same story for everyone though. We have to be realistic and, unless we get the perfect lap, P7 and P8 is about where our car is at currently. We know we have work to do and hopefully tomorrow will be better.

"In the Sprint earlier in the day, I made a good start but got caught on the outside and lost a few positions. After that, I was stuck in a DRS train, so it was quite a processional race. Hopefully we will have a better Grand Prix on Sunday and move forwards."

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"We have seen once again how difficult it is to get the tyres in the right window. We of course don’t blame the tyres for that, and we need to look at ourselves and our car to understand how we can get the tyres more consistently into the correct operating window. We were able to get it right at the end of Q2 and Lewis’ was P3, with just 0.15s off P1. Unfortunately, we couldn’t replicate that for Q3.

"In the Sprint, cars that were quick on the straight but not necessarily through the corners were able to hold position. We had more pace but couldn’t show it. We therefore made some changes after the Sprint that will hopefully help us in the race tomorrow. We are starting slightly further forward than we were this morning so let’s see what we can do."

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

"The Sprint was disappointing, but we were realistic in our expectations given our grid positions. George lost out because of the first corner incident and couldn't break through the DRS train. Lewis fared better off the line but then spent most of the race battling to get past the Haas of Magnussen. We knew we were on a high wing level and that would have been OK if we'd qualified further forward. Unfortunately, when you are racing in the middle of the pack, it isn't ideal.

"Going into Qualifying, we modified the set-up slightly and changed our wing level. The car was improved but it was still difficult to land the tyres in the right window. We don't seem to be the only team struggling with that but when we got it right, the pace was strong. That said, we are well aware that we have a lot of work to do in order to improve the car. If we can do so, that should help us deliver that stronger pace more consistently."

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 leads Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

RB

Ricciardo had a brilliant getaway, briefly running third but he couldn’t keep the faster Red Bull at bay. What he did do was hold off a Ferrari though for pretty much the entire race, an incredible feat considering Sainz behind had DRS and Ricciardo did not. His performance only just eclipsed Tsunoda’s, who rose from P15 in Sprint Qualifying to eighth via a very astute manoeuvre on Hamilton midway through.

The two swapped around in qualifying, Ricciardo losing grip on his flying run in Q1 and running wide which cost him dearly as he exited in Q1, which means he’ll start last thanks to his grid penalty picked up in China. Tsunoda though made Q3 with ease and is in with a very good chance of points in the Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo – Sprint: 4th, Qualifying: 18th, 1:28.617

"t was a very tough Sprint race, but I felt awesome, fighting towards the front just feels so much nicer. I saw a Ferrari in the mirror for almost the whole race and I thought, alright, challenge accepted, let’s do what we can! Every lap I was able to hold off Carlos (Sainz), so when I saw the end of the race coming near, I really thought that maybe we could maintain the position. It was a Sprint race in all forms of the word and was without any tyre-saving. I’m proud of myself and the team, of all the people who stood behind me and believed in me. There’s happiness for sure, but also some powerful emotions, especially looking at the first few races of the season. Thanks to the people for having some patience and then being awarded with a result like this. We all deserve this result as we went through a bit of stuff to get here, so it’s even nicer.

"This is the sport, it’s highly unpredictable, and sometimes things can change so quickly, so at least we really enjoyed the morning with the team. Today’s afternoon was frustrating and obviously, I’m not happy with it as there’s a big contrast with what we achieved in the Sprint. I saw Lando’s lap in SQ3 yesterday, where he was struggling from the start of the lap, sliding everywhere with his rear with the softs, and honestly, I felt the same today. I started sliding out of Turn 1 and it just got worse and worse throughout the rest of the lap. There’s no real explanation right now. I feel that we have a good car, but I think that in the last run of Q1, the tyres were simply operating on a different level of grip. The warm-up lap was fine and also the team was happy with where the tyres were. We’ll definitely be looking at it tonight, to hopefully have an explanation. Tomorrow will be a long race, obviously starting last doesn’t help, but we’ll have a lot of laps trying to come through the field. I’ll put my head down for it!”

Yuki Tsunoda – Sprint: 8th, Qualifying: 10th, 1:28.192

"First of all, happy for the team, and congrats to them and Daniel for today’s Sprint race! For me, it’s very mixed feelings; I lost the battle against Lewis (Hamilton) in the end. If he didn’t get a penalty in the Sprint, I would be P9, and even though the final result was P8, he did a very good job of overtaking me. If I had defended better, I think I could’ve finished ahead of him at the chequered flag. It is frustrating as a driver to lose a battle, but I did enjoy it, and something I can learn from. As a driver, I’m not fully happy, but I’m happy to pay back to the team and score a point, especially after not being able to put it all together yesterday to extract the performance of the car.

"I’m happy I can start the race in the top 10, and a better position than in the Sprint. Qualifying wasn’t the best for me personally, but we still got to Q3. I never felt very proud of my lap, I didn’t make any big mistakes but I could’ve done better overall. It’s something else to learn for the future. The team did a fantastic job and I felt comfortable and confident in the car from FP1. Yesterday, I wasn’t able to extract the performance, but I’m happy because I feel I maximised the strong performance of the car more today. After today’s Sprint and our race performance, I’m looking forward to tomorrow!"

Guillaume Dezoteux, Head Of Vehicle Perfomance

"A rollercoaster for us today and overall, a very positive result for the team as we score six points and increase the gap to our direct competitors in the Constructors Championship. The Sprint race this morning has been fantastic. Daniel had a good start and managed to gain a position down to Turn 1. He was then passed by Perez but managed to keep Sainz behind for the entire race. His defence has been extremely strong, keeping the fight clean and he secured a fourth position, which is an amazing result for us. Yuki also had a good Sprint despite starting further back in P15. We put him on the softs to learn about this tyre compound and to attack at the start. He gained five positions in the opening lap due to incidents happening in front of him. On Lap 14, he managed to overtake both Hamilton and Magnussen for eigth position, fighting for one point. Hamilton overtook him on the last lap, but we got the position back as Lewis was penalised for speeding in the pit lane during the Safety Car period at the start of the Sprint.

"The qualifying session this afternoon was difficult and it was a challenge to find the right balance for extracting all the performance from the cars and the tyres. Daniel started well, but in his last lap, he had a poor exit out of the last corner and lost a lot of time. It means he got knocked out from Q1, which shows once more how tight the competition is. Yuki drove a strong qualifying session and reached Q3 again, and that is a great result. It still appeared difficult to put the perfect lap together, but our first analysis suggests it was tricky for everyone out there. Tonight, we will look at various scenarios for tomorrow’s race. For Yuki, we will probably favour a more conventional strategy focused on the best race time and fighting the cars around us, while for Daniel there is scope to take more risks and try to use the pace of the car to gain positions. Our car is improving and the drivers and the team are super motivated to bring home some more points tomorrow, so let’s bring it on!"

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Laurent Mekies, Team Principal of Visa Cash App RB talks with 4th placed Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB in the Paddock after the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Haas

Both Hulkenberg and Magnussen profited from the chaos at the start of the Sprint to work their way into the points. But with Hamilton bearing down in ninth, Magnussen was forced to defend as hard as he ever has. He employed some dubious tactics to keep the Mercedes at bay and allow his team mate to escape up the road, earning himself four separate time penalties as a result.

Hulkenberg continued his strong form over one lap by making Q3 yet again, as he chases more points but Magnussen fell foul of traffic in Q1 and exited very early on.

Nico Hulkenberg – Sprint: 7th, Qualifying: 9th, 1:28.146

“We had track position straight away, and that was really key for us today in the Sprint. I had the inside line into Turn 1 and managed to avoid problems. The group ahead of me was a bit faster, but towards the end once the race settled, we were pretty okay. In qualifying it was really tricky to string the perfect lap together, it’s a challenging track with the hot temperatures and the tyre getting hotter over the lap. Overall, it’s been a very positive Saturday, getting two points today, and they come at a premium for us and it’s quite nice to have them already. Of course, we’re going to push for more points tomorrow – it’s going to be a tight fight with the RB’s and everyone else behind us for sure.”

Kevin Magnussen – Sprint: 18th, Qualifying: 19th, 1:28.619

“I sound like a broken record every time after qualifying talking about traffic. I think we have a decent car so should be able to do something tomorrow, but I’m tired of starting from a bad position because of traffic. For now, it’s time to stay focused and do the job.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal

“I think the Sprint went really well because obviously only the top eight get points and we weren’t really expecting anything from here. Our pace was good and Nico coming home in P7 was fantastic, an amazing result for us. In qualifying, looking at what we’d already done this weekend, we knew the car was quick and both of our drivers were quick, so we were aiming for both in Q3. Unfortunately, Kevin on his final run in Q1 encountered traffic and didn’t make it further. Nico actually had a DRS issue in Q1 and nearly didn’t make it through, but the whole garage did an amazing job to fix it before Q2. To make it into Q3 and beat the RB – who’s been quicker all weekend – is very good. It’s been a very satisfying day.”

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Aston Martin

Aston Martin’s Sprint was over almost before it started. Stroll on the outside of Turn 1 turned in on his team mate, who was bumped across by Hamilton. The two collided, the damage ending Stroll’s Sprint. Alonso was able to continue, via a pit stop for a puncture and new front wing that dropped him down the order.

The team’s day didn’t improve in qualifying either, both drivers struggling for pace and exiting in Q2. For Alonso, it was the first time this season he hasn’t made Q3 in any format. He’ll hope his race pace is better, as coming back from P15 will be a tough ask.

Fernando Alonso – Sprint: 17th, Qualifying: 15th, 1:28.427

“It was a disappointing day for us. Firstly, there was the incident into Turn 1 at the start of the Sprint and then we had a difficult Qualifying session for tomorrow's race. We struggled in Q1 and Q2 and finished in P15 in both sessions. I didn't seem to have much pace and we were just outside of that group fighting for the top ten this time around. We made some set-up changes from the Sprint race to now and it seems these changes didn't work. I think it will be a challenging race tomorrow, but we'll analyse our performance tonight and try to recover some points.”

Lance Stroll – Sprint: DNF, Qualifying: 11th, 1:28.222

“It's been a frustrating day on track. My Sprint event came to an end on the first lap after contact with other cars. It was an unfortunate incident, but there wasn't a huge amount I could do. In Qualifying, the car just didn't have the pace we needed. It was disappointing to miss out on Q3 by such small margins, but we were struggling to improve throughout Q2 and I didn't have the confidence I needed in the car. We'll try to find a little more pace for tomorrow's race and hopefully we can fight for some points in Miami.”

Mike Krack, Team Principal

"We missed the ultimate pace to compete today. The margins are small and Lance just missed out on making it into Q3 with Fernando a couple of tenths further back. We will review tonight and see where we can improve for tomorrow. The Sprint was disappointing with both drivers caught in the middle of a four-car sandwich going into Turn One. The damage to Lance's floor and suspension forced his retirement, while Fernando resumed to give us some valuable learning on the tyres. It will not be easy tomorrow because we saw how difficult it can be to progress here with DRS trains making overtaking very challenging, but we will fight hard to score some points.”

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes stops in the Pitlane and retires from the race during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Rose - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Alpine

Ocon’s Sprint got off to a bad start before the lights even went out. He hit the back of Leclerc’s car in the pit lane on the way to the grid, earning himself a 10-second time penalty. As for Gasly, he managed his best finish of the year – albeit in a Sprint where plenty of rivals were handed penalties.

Alpine’s upgrades started to pay dividends in qualifying too, with both drivers making Q2 with ease – the second straight race they’ve had two cars in Q2. They are not too far away from their first points of the year tomorrow.

Esteban Ocon – Sprint: 15th, Qualifying: 13th, 1:28.371

"I would say it has not been the smoothest of days for us today. We had a misunderstanding at the beginning of the Sprint in the Pit Lane – a big and costly mistake – and the team and I will work hard to improve this type of thing. After that, it was a busy race but well outside the mix of the points as a result of the penalty.

"In Qualifying, we knew it was going to be a difficult session and we were again able to progress through Q2 but fell short of making it to Q3. The field is very close so we have to keep working on the things that will make us benefit next time. The aim is to fight and push forwards in the race and we will do everything we can tomorrow, getting as much out of the car as possible and, hopefully inside the points."

Pierre Gasly – Sprint: 9th, Qualifying: 12th, 1:28.324

"There are plenty of positives and learnings to take as a team today. The upgrades we have on the car are clearly working in line with our expectations. In the Sprint, we finished in ninth place, which is the closest we have been to the points all season.

"Then, in Qualifying, we finished just one tenth from reaching Q3. We know where we are lacking and we have to try and improve these areas as the gaps in and around the top ten are so small. I had a very good feeling on my Q1 lap but then it felt different in Q2 so there are things to analyse and further understand. It does feel like progress and I’m aiming for the first points of the year in tomorrow’s race."

Bruno Famin, Team Principal

"It’s been a very busy day in Miami with the Sprint Race followed by Qualifying. Firstly, in the Sprint, it’s the closest we have been to points this season with Pierre in ninth place. As a team, we will investigate the Pit Lane incident from the Sprint to prevent this from occurring again, as the penalty compromised Esteban’s race.

"Qualifying was not straightforward with challenges on the behaviour of the tyres. Again, we take positives from the result and the fact the upgrades we have brought have worked as expected. We have put ourselves in a position to fight hard for points in tomorrow’s race."

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1 A524 Renault on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Williams

Albon started from the pit lane and was thus just a little bit too far back to get involved in the Sprint. Sargeant, from 18th, made his way up to P10, for one of his best results of the year so far. The Floridian was left disappointed in qualifying though, exiting in Q1 after hoping he’d done enough to progress. Albon did move into Q2 but could go no further, via one incident where he came close to hitting the barriers after missing the apex on a hot lap.

READ MORE: Who is Andrea Kimi Antonelli – and why is he such a hot topic in the Miami paddock?

Alex Albon – Sprint: 13th, Qualifying: 14th, 1:28.413

"Today was more about tyres than anything else. Even just now in my Qualifying laps, I’m having to do a lot of race management with the tyres and it’s like the quicker you drive the slower you end. The hot track temperatures seem to hurt us a little more when running lower downforce for better straight-line speed, so by turn 11, the tyres are gone. I locked up on the corner when the front tyres went off, and then the rears will go off the next corner, so it’s just a bit tricky. Let’s see what we can do from P14 tomorrow."

Logan Sargeant – Sprint: 10th, Qualifying: 17th, 1:28.487

"When I look at yesterday, I knew we had the pace to get through to Q2 and I wanted to deliver that today. We executed our run plan well but it’s not easy when it’s extremely tight with one tenth separating several cars. I’m honestly happy with the changes we made to the car between sessions and how I drove. We’ll try to have another good race tomorrow taking any opportunity that comes our way. We have the pace and straight-line speed to keep a lot of people behind, so we need to give ourselves track position to make the most of it."

Sven Smeets, Sporting Director

"We’re much happier with how today went as we have made progress from yesterday. It’s a shame that Logan, in his home race, missed Q2 by just thirty milliseconds; it would have been a massive result for him, and it was incredibly close. With Alex, maybe Q3 was just a little bit too far away but we saw how close it was and it was important to manage the tyres throughout the lap, so it was a Qualifying all about tyres. Tomorrow there will be opportunities available to us. We saw in the Sprint Race Logan starting in 18th and finishing 10th in an incident full race. Tyre management will be key to a good result. We’re looking forward to tomorrow."

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46 Mercedes on track during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Kick Sauber

Both Kick Sauber drivers were caught up in a DRS train down the field and thus didn’t cause too much of a stir in the Sprint. They couldn’t show much pace in qualifying either, both exiting at the first time of asking. For Zhou it was a busy session, as he was called to the stewards not once but twice – to explain an unsafe release in the pit lane at the start of Q1 and why he ran over the white line on exit at the end of Q1. Given he qualified last, it was a bit of a day to forget for the Chinese racer after the highs of Shanghai.

Valtteri Bottas – Sprint: 14th, Qualifying: 16th, 1:28.463

"Nothing much happened to us during the Sprint this morning; I got stuck in a train right after the start, and that didn’t leave too much room to make progress throughout the laps. We used the Sprint to maximise our learnings in terms of setup, to come prepared for qualifying and the race. The resulting setup change made a difference, and the car definitely felt much better this afternoon.

"We had a clean first run, but then unfortunately got unlucky once again with some traffic on the second run. Still, we made a decent improvement through the weekend so far and got really close to the Q2 threshold – only missing out on it by just one hundredth. All in all, we still have a lot to play for tomorrow; our pace was decent today, and I’m positive that with a strong start and a good strategy, we can put ourselves in the battle for points."

Zhou Guanyu – Sprint: 11th, Qualifying: 20th, 1:28.824

"The sprint race was quite uneventful for me: starting P17 meant that I was stuck in a DRS train where it was quite difficult to overtake, but we managed to make the most of other people’s mistakes. However, we’ve seen a promising progress compared to where we started the weekend in terms of race pace. This afternoon, unfortunately, the qualifying session ended earlier than we hoped, leaving me at the back of the grid for tomorrow’s race.

"I wasn’t able to get my last lap in with lots of cars trying to protect their positions – and even had to go side-by-side with Oscar [Piastri] into turn one, which cost me valuable time. If we had managed to have a clean final lap, we might have been able to fight for Q2. While the pace for single laps wasn’t there, the team will continue working hard, and I am positive that our race pace will allow us to make up some positions during the race, where fans will hopefully see some exciting overtakes."

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative

"We used the sprint race positively today as we improved our car balance and made a good step forward compared to the start of the weekend. The team was able to address the lack of pace in low-speed corners we saw yesterday and – although it’s difficult to overtake in a sprint race as it’s common to be stuck in a DRS train – we have seen that our race pace allowed both drivers to fight with their direct competitors. Zhou was able to stay ahead of George Russell throughout the entire sprint race without suffering any particular threat from the Mercedes driver.

"The qualifying session proved to be more difficult for us today: while the car balance was good, both drivers experienced lots of traffic for their final lap in Sector 1, which prevented them from making it into Q2. Nevertheless, we remain positive about our car balance and tyre behaviour and start with the determination to fight for points. While this will be difficult, we’ve seen the progress made by the team as we recovered from a disappointing start to the weekend. The team will aim for another step forward and play all cards to be in the position to fight for points."

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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Kick Sauber C44 Ferrari on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Pirelli

Mario Isola, Motorsport Director

“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 acquired 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.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from qualifying in Miami as Verstappen claims pole

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