Sergio Perez takes Miami Grand Prix pole in front of Fernando Alonso

Sergio Perez takes Miami Grand Prix pole in front of Fernando Alonso as Charles Leclerc’s dramatic late spin brings out red flag to leave Max Verstappen stranded NINTH… while Lewis Hamilton is only 13th quickest

  • Sergio Perez took pole position after a dramatic qualifying session in Miami
  • Charles Leclerc crashed late on, leaving Max Verstappen down in ninth place
  • Lewis Hamilton went out in Q3 and will start tomorrow’s race from 13th place 

Lewis Hamilton endured a terrible qualifying session for the Miami Grand Prix – finishing in 13th place – as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashed again to gift pole position to Sergio Perez.

Max Verstappen will start ninth due to the crash, Fernando Alonso second and Carlos Sainz third with Kevin Magnussen fourth in a topsy-turvy grid.

As for Hamilton, he failed to beat his team-mate George Russell, who crept into Q3.

A dejected Hamilton came straight on the radio to say: ‘We left that way too late.’ But, in truth, he and Mercedes were way off the pace throughout practice and his early elimination came as no great surprise.

He was 1.1 seconds off Verstappen in the same session and two-tenths short of Russell.

Sergio Perez took pole position for Red Bull at the Miami Grand Prix on Saturday

Perez was gifted pole after Charles Leclerc crashed into the barriers late in Q3

Lewis Hamilton had a miserable qualifying session and could only finish down in 13th place

Hamilton has now been out-qualified by Russell 4-1 this season. The sport’s most decorated driver shook his head as he got out of the car.

Russell ended up qualifying sixth.

Hamilton’s progress had been given an early check when he was squeezed by the Haas of Kevin Magnussen at Turn 17 and returned to the pits to check if his contact with the barrier had damaged his front wing.

‘I hit the wall,’ he said, before returning to the fray.

Leclerc’s crash at Turn 7, where he crashed on Saturday, brought out a red flag that brought an end to proceedings. Verstappen was unable to get in a final flying lap and turned the air blue on the radio.

It was a terrible afternoon for McLaren. Both cars bombed out in Q1. Lando Norris qualified 16th with rookie team-mate Logan Sargeant only 19th. A pained expression came across chief executive Zak Brown’s face as he saw the results on the timing screens.

Making matters more uncomfortable is the fact McLaren took on a major upgrade only in Baku last week – the one that was meant to unlock speed that their original design had lacked.

Local boy Sargeant, who comes from Fort Lauderdale, finished last of all for Williams. The grand prix will be the first time the 22-year-old has raced in his homeland, having moved to Europe to pursue his career. It promises to be a tough afternoon on his Stateside debut.

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