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Max in P1 after third free practice in Miami

Published on 06 May 2023 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen finished the final free practice session in Miami as fastest. The two-time world champion was four tenths faster than the number two: Charles Leclerc. Max’ teammate at Oracle Red Bull Racing, Sergio Pérez, finished third. He was more than half a second slower than his teammate. Carlos Sainz finished in fourth position. It was a good day for Alpine: Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly completed the top six on the Miami International Autodrome.

It is 28 degrees in Miami, with a track temperature of 45 degrees. There are lots of famous people around. Including Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, who visits the Oracle Red Bull garage. When the lights at the end of the pitlane go green, slowly drivers come out on track. Esteban Ocon is the first to set a time, a 1:31.125 on medium tyres. Both Ferraris go faster not much later. Verstappen comes out on track after about 8 minutes. His first time is a 1:28.963 on soft tyres, putting himself in first position. The two-time world champion improves his time not much later with a 1:27.969. More than ten tenths faster than number two, Leclerc. Then Max returns to the team.

Hamilton has not a flawless training. The Brit locks up multiple times and reports feeling vibrations. Alexander Albon has a moment in turn 17, but he can continue without issues. Ocon is visibly unhappy with Magnussen, who impeded them in his quick lap. The teammate of Magnussen, Nico Hülkenberg, goes straight on but can also continue the session. Nyck de Vries is getting into a better rhythm and puts himself in P11.

With half an hour to go, Max comes back out on track. He improves his time by setting a 1:27.669 on a used set of tyres. Halfway the session the top five is formed by: Verstappen, Sainz, Leclerc, Pérez and Alonso. When Pérez leaves his pit box, Oscar Piastri is already in the fast lane, getting a closeup view of the read of the RB19. The track is evolving and is getting better and better. Hülkenberg puts his Haas in fifth position, ahead of both Aston Martins. Pérez improves his time, but is still more than half a second behind Verstappen. He is in P3.

It is not a good session for Mercedes. With twenty minutes to go, Hamilton is in P10, and his teammate Russell in P11. Russell also reports vibrations. Hamilton moves up into P5 but is more than a second behind P1. Verstappen complains about his headrest. The team of Oracle Red Bull Racing is busy trying to fix the issue.

Suddenly Pierre Gasly is in fourth position. Lando Norris is not doing that well. With fifteen minutes to go, he is in P19. He loses control over his McLaren at high speed but comes out unhurt. Max improves his time to a 1:27.595. Surprisingly, Valtteri Bottas puts his Alfa Romeo in fifth place. Ocon takes P4 in the final phase of the session.

At the end of the session Verstappen is fastest. Leclerc follows in P3, with Pérez in third position. Sainz and Ocon complete the top five. It is a disappointing session for McLaren, they finish in P18 and P19. Mercedes will not be happy either, with Russell in tenth position and Hamilton in P13. Nyck de Vries finished last.

Contest GP Miami: win a by Max Verstappen signed 1:2 Miami GP 2022 helmet!

Results third free practice Miami:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:27.535 17
2Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:27.941+0.406s25
3Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:28.050+0.515s21
4Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:28.125+0.590s26
5Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:28.407+0.872s24
6Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:28.428+0.893s23
7Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:28.456+0.921s18
8Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:28.497+0.962s15
9Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:28.561+1.026s19
10George RussellRUSMercedes1:28.606+1.071s19
11Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:28.607+1.072s13
12Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:28.618+1.083s23
13Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:28.718+1.183s22
14Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:28.723+1.188s23
15Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:29.074+1.539s18
16Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:29.179+1.644s19
17Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:29.264+1.729s19
18Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:29.375+1.840s17
19Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:29.401+1.866s17
20Nyck De VriesDEVAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:29.447+1.912s21