Perez on pole as Leclerc crash cuts quali short in Miami

A late red flag means it's a mixed up grid for tomorrow's Miami Grand Prix

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 06: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 06, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202305060433 // Usage for editorial use only //

Sergio Perez will start the Miami Grand Prix from pole position as a red flag cut qualifying short.

Charles Leclerc crashed with less than two minutes to go in Q3, halting the session.

The premature finish prevented Max Verstappen from putting together a clean flying lap in Q3, leaving him down in ninth.

Fernando Alonso will start alongside Perez on the front row, with Carlos Sainz and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen making up row two.

There was a frantic push to set lap times at the end of Q1 as track evolution meant times started to fall, with both Mercedes drivers finding themselves in the bottom five with a couple of minutes to go.

While Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both managed to progress, they did so at the expense of both McLaren cars, while there was also disappointment for Lance Stroll, who’ll start towards the back of the field.

Hamilton did have a scare early on when he came across a slow moving Haas, and was forced to take evasive action to avoided colliding with the car, but did clip the wall.

Mercedes’ struggled continued in Q2 as Hamilton was unable to put together a clean lap, resulting in him missing out on a top 10 qualifying for the first time at an American race, while Russell only just made it through to the final part of qualifying.

In the top 10 shootout, Leclerc was pushing hard as he sought to challenge at the front of the grid, but the Ferrari driver took too much kerb, sending him spinning into the barrier, and preventing the rest of the drivers from completing their second attempts in Q3.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

2. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

4. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

5. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

6. George Russell (Mercedes)

7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

9. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

10. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

11. Alex Albon (Williams)

12. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

13. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

14. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

15. Nyck DeVries (AlphaTauri)

16. Lando Norris (McLaren)

17. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

18. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

19. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

20. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

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