Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix 2023 – QUALIFYING - PERSONAL THOUGHTS
AMBITION EXCEED ADHESION
Grip is a problem
Miami is a track that will punish any driver who goes whisky throttle trying to recover a missed apex, just as the pictures show Hulkenberg getting too close to the wall than his team would like but he was lucky to save it and kept going, other drivers like Sergio Perez tab the wall during the weekend, Albon on the Williams drift a few times, Verstappen loosing grip and there are too variants causing this issue both wind direction and dust on the track, toward the end dust was not that of a big problem but wind was, wind changing direction constantly kept pushing cars around while they take turns over 100 kmph.
Race Starting Grid
I think this is a grid no body was expecting, if there is rain during the race as it has been said I think we are going to have a few Safety Cars, yesterday I mention that this was the grid I wanted for Sunday
1- Max Verstappen
2- Charles Leclerc
3- Sergio Perez
4- Fernando Alonso
5- Lewis Hamilton
I only got two of the drivers on the top five, Max couldn't set a time on Q3 after Leclerc crash and red flag the session, well Leclerc crash but ended seventh on Q3 and Lewis couldn't find the pace, until FP2 he was doing ok but since then his performance was going down.
Both Mercedes drivers struggle during Quali to a point where Russel mention the pace is just not there, balance felt good, he was pushing as hard as he could and still couldn't get to the top ten, both drivers Lewis and Russell felt like it took them a lot of effort to try to survive Quali, Russell ended sixth and Hamilton thirteen for Sunday Grid, on Q1 both were at the bottom on the last lap place 18th and 19th but it still felt like Hamilton could ended on the top five, Q1 he pass with 1:27.846 but on Q2 everyone step up and Hamilton got knock out of Q2 by 0.180 of a second, it seems 2023 will be a long year with a car that is not performing besides Hamilton not having a good start on Miami, but who knows there still 57 laps to race on Sunday and the weather can change everything.
Max first flying lap was ruin because of wind changing direction and make him go wide on turns seven and eight, lucky for him it seems there was enough time to step out and try again since he did very well on both Q2 and Q1 but both Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc were close and there was not much difference on the rest of the grid, after third place it was a royal rumble with very low difference in time between drivers, there were the two Apline, a HAAS and Bottas on the Alpha Romeo so any small mistake will be payed in full but I think no one expected the red flag.
Prior to Leclerc crash he was doing great but after doing the BEST second sector of the track he locks up after hitting the wall on turn sixteen, this is where I mention sometimes he cant handle the pressure, a great driver but when he really has to step up just loose control and he locks up at the end of that long straight most likely because he still had on his mind that he hit the wall and then he was going too fast and didn't measure his speed correctly and cross the line on sixth place, there were about seven minutes left and Verstappen still had no time meaning he took a slow lap after he step out of that lap he lost grip.
F1 TV commentator says: if we got a yellow flag here and the order didn't change what a grid will that give the Miami Grand PrixCommentator says this phrase and its like Leclerc said: Hold my beer, I'll make your wish come true.
Leclerc goes back to the pits with four minutes to go meaning the team had to check if tires were good and the car was fine after he barely tap the wall and with less than two minutes for Q3 to finish I cant believe he crash and Verstappen still didn't have a time set for Q3.
The most epic part of Quali was Max after Q3 session was red flag, he comes on the radio and said
ayay ayay ayay.... **** *****The bleep the last part but it would be no secret if he said FUCKING LECLERC, I'm just assuming.
I'm really happy for Sergio Perez he deserve it, he has been pushing hard this year and wining is wining in racing as long as you are playing by the rules, for this weekend I think the race could end
1- Sergio Perez
2- Fernando Alonso
3- Max Verstappen
If weather doesn't make a big impact on the track once Max gets DRS he will start recovering places really fast and I don't think he will go out with hard tires, he has done it in the past and will go out to hunt but at the top he has two hard competitors to beat, Sergio who has a great car and knows how to nurse those tires and Fernando an old silver fox with a lot of tricks on his bag, I don't think the rest of the grid is match for Max, this will be an interesting race but warning it could turn boring at the front if Sergio stays ahead from the start, if he gets a good start he will probably start to increase the gap to the rest of the grid, he basically has this race with Max starting P9.