Leader Verstappen before qualifying

Leader Verstappen before qualifying

In the third practice session ahead of round 5 of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship, the Miami Grand Prix, the fastest time came from Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

Weekend 5 of the 2023 Formula 1 calendar began with two training sessions held yesterday.

Training reports:

In Miami, the track action continued with the 3rd practice session, and during this 60-minute session, drivers had the chance to make final adjustments, making final adjustments before the final qualifying laps.

As the light at the end of the pit lane turned green, the 60-minute session began and Alpine driver Esteban Ocon was the first to hit the track.

Later, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton also completed their journeys. Ferrari drivers joined them.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photo: Mark Sutton / Sports Pictures

At this stage the drivers were laps on soft tires and their best position as a lap, so the position of the front line changed many times.

The first 15 minutes were behind, with Max Verstappen leading in 1:27,969. At Ferrari, Charles Leclerc was second, 0.650 behind him. Sergio Perez was finishing in the top 3. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was fourth, one second behind.

Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz and George Russell were finishing the top 8.

The new tarmac in Miami had resulted in poor grip, and yesterday we saw drivers struggling to find grip, gain corner power, and pick breakpoints.

Although the level of grip increased when the F1 cars visited the new track yesterday, the drivers had problems today, as yesterday, we saw names flooding and blocking the track today.

Lewis Hamilton had a particularly difficult time stopping the W14 at Turn 17 and locked his left front tire several times. Fernando Alonso and Alexander Albon also blocked at Turn 17 and flew out.

Carlos Sainz, George Russell, and Nico Hulkenberg, on the other hand, exploded in the fastest division in the first sector.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Photo: Jake Grant / Sports Pictures

Verstappen was still leading by the midway point of the session, but Sainz had moved up to second and cut the gap to the Dutch driver to 0.150 seconds.

Just at this stage, Verstappen started another fast lap and with a time of 1:27,669, he once again extended his lead to 0.450 seconds.

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With 20 minutes to go, the Mercedes drivers tried again on soft tyres, but their pace was mediocre. Russell was 11th, just 1.5 seconds behind Verstappen. Hamilton was in 5th place, one second behind.

Hamilton said on team radio after his lap that they “lost a lot of time on the line”.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo: Jake Grant / Sports Pictures

Traffic piled up for the final 15 minutes, and in the final seconds of the session many drivers started a timed lap on soft tyres, but there was little change at the front and Verstappen finished the final session before qualifying on top.

The Dutch driver was fastest with a time of 1:27.535. Verstappen’s closest follower was Leclerc. The Monaco driver was second, 0.406 seconds behind. Perez was third and Sainz was fourth.

Alpine left behind a very positive session. Esteban Ocon was finishing the top 5 about 0.8 seconds back. Pierre Gasly was the sixth fastest name behind his teammate.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photo: Jake Grant / Sports Pictures

Valtteri Bottas took seventh in Alfa Romeo. Nico Hulkenberg and Alexander Albon followed suit.

George Russell, who flooded the track many times during the session and was not satisfied with the rest of the car, completed the top 10. Kevin Magnussen was 11th, just 0.001 seconds behind Russell.

At Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso was 12th, almost 1 second behind. Lewis Hamilton, who had trouble stopping the car during the session, was 13th behind his former team-mate.

They were followed by Lance Stroll, Guanyu Zhou, Yuki Tsunoda, Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri. The last two places went to Lando Norris and Nyck de Vries.

The qualifying rounds will start at 23:00 TSi.

Results of the session:

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo: Jake Grant / Sports Pictures