1 Miami Grand Prix – LIVE!
Charles Leclerc aims to reassert his authority in the 2022 Formula 1 world title race with victory in the inaugural F1 race in Miami today.
Saturday’s qualifying saw the championship leader keep his Ferrari on pole position with a fantastic lap, almost equaled by teammate Carlos Sainz to score a 1-2 to the Scuderia.
In third was Max Verstappen, victorious two weeks ago at Emilia Romagna, where Leclerc lapped at the end, but with an error of his own when starting his last qualifying lap yesterday.
F1 has held four memorable races so far, with Red Bull’s unreliability hitting defending champion Verstappen with two retirements already.
But his problems were nothing compared to those of Lewis Hamilton, who starts in a more reasonable sixth place in Miami after a dismal weekend at Imola.
Today’s race starts at 8:30pm BST and is live on Sky Sports.
Join Marc Mayo and Matt Majendie for all the latest updates from Miami with Standard Sport’s live blog…
A faster lap from Leclerc, who is pushing the mids to the back like all four drivers at the front, the pit walls of Red Bull and Ferrari maybe a little nervous because those hard tires are taking a while to warm up.
Verstappen is still well ahead, 4.5 seconds to be exact.
Return 23/57: Norris and Magnussen are the last to slide into turn 17, from 14th and 16th respectively. It became a real nightmarish afternoon for McLaren.
Here comes Hamilton in the pits, running sixth. This is a clean stop and he leaves with clean air, now seventh.
Trouble for Perez!
“I’m losing energy!” Perez says to the Red Bull team radio. “The engine is gone, man!”
There are no such worries from his engineers, who tell him it’s just the trailer for Sainz he’s lost. Are more Red Bull reliability issues coming?
“Five-zero failure, power unit looks good now,” comes the correction. “I think it’s back,” replies the Mexican. He lost about six seconds on Sainz on that.
Norris stops in seventh and a slow stop of 3.6 seconds earns a smirk from David Beckham, watching from the edge of the garage.
Vettel and Magnussen are fine on the Brit and the Hard tires take a while to warm up, allowing both of them to pass him! That’s 15 for Norris…
Matt Majendie, F1 correspondent
There has been so much fanfare about the inaugural Miami GP, but the concern is that one-third of the way through this race, it is currently in danger of being something of a procession to the checkered flag.
Max Verstappen looking incredibly comfortable leading the race and moving further and further away from Charles Leclerc – his lead is now 3.4 seconds.
Alonso suffers a long 5.7 second pit stop in his fight with Gasly for seventh, and leaves with Stroll on his tail in a battle for 13th!
Behind them, Vettel and Latifi are enjoying a big fight and the German keeps him on the inside to go 14th.
With those stops, Russell is moving up the field well and looks good for a pit stop while he was in eighth place, between the two McLarens who have yet to pit. Next up is Ocon in 10th, another who started with the Hards.
Back 15/57: Don’t go anywhere yet… Faded tires and lots of overtaking around this place mean a safety car or VSC isn’t really out of the question.
Plan D is the strategy for Leclerc, he is 2.8 seconds behind Verstappen – and here’s how the Dutchman took the lead:
Leclerc goes very far at turn 17, which costs him a full second and Ferrari could get him off the medium tires sooner or later.
Red Bull told Verstappen he is doing an “excellent job” looking after his right forward.
Magnussen and Tsunoda are the first to leave midfield.
Back 11/57: Leclerc dropped to 1.5 seconds off Verstappen, a bigger gap than there is between the championship leader and Sainz in third.
Ferrari team radio tells the Spaniard that they are extending this first period as much as they can, hoping to force Red Bull into a strategic decision.
Matt Majendie, F1 correspondent
Rumors are that Red Bull thinks it will win the tire battle here in Miami. A radio message to Max Verstappen from his team suggests Charles Leclerc’s Pirellis are in trouble, and moments later he passes him.
I hope it’s not the death knell for this race in terms of competitiveness for the win.