Miami Grand Prix – Qualifying

After the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix LEC is 27 points ahead of VER, with PER a further 5 points back; Ferrari are just 11 points ahead of Red Bull, with Mercedes another 36 points behind.

Miami is new on the calendar this year, and it looks like there will be a third USA GP next year. The FIA say: “Set in the Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens, home to the NFL’s famous Miami Dolphins franchise, the track is the culmination of a development process that simulated no less than 36 different layouts before settling on a thrilling, 19-turn lap that provides a street circuit vibe, not dissimilar to Melbourne’s Albert Park.”

(click to go to FIA’s circuit info)

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: LEC (1:31.098), RUS, VER, PER, GAS, SAI, ALB, HAM, MAG, RIC
    BOT lost the rear of his Alfa Romeo and slid backwards into the tyre wall
    VER touched the wall in Turn 16 but got away with it
    SAI and SCH went wheel to wheel, ending with SCH having to cut a corner
    SAI spun and picked up a puncture
    LEC spun in Turn 1
    Alpine released OCO right into the path of RUS

  2. FP2: RUS (1:28.938), LEC, PER, HAM, ALO, NOR, GAS, ZHO, OCO, MAG
    SAI lost the rear of his Ferrari in Turn 13 and ended up in the barriers, causing a red flag [video]
    PER spun, and later clipped the wall
    VER reported a problem with his steering feeling heavy; “I can’t steer”
    LAT brought out a red flag but this time it was because of a technical problem that caused him to park his Williams
    (Even though the FIA own and designed this circuit, there’s little run-off in many places)
    Drivers generally reported the track was slippery

  3. FP3: PER (1:30.304), LEC, VER, ALO, VET, SCH, SAI, MAG, ALB, NOR (HAM P15)
    OCO carried a bit too much speed into Turn 14, lost the tail and slammed into the wall; red flags [video]
    That’s the same spot where SAI spun in FP2 – it’s a wall, not tecpro barrier, so any contact is going to hurt
    OCO was taken to the medical centre as a precaution, as the impact was over the G-force limit set by the FIA, but he was given the all-clear
    GAS complained his AlphaTauri was bouncing around “like a kangaroo”, and the on-board with HAM and RUS felt like a roller coaster
    Starting grid incident involving RIC – not following race director’s instructions

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 33°C; track 52°C; 37% humidity
The mechanics were busy on PER’s and SAI’s cars just ahead of Q1
OCO won’t be able to run in Quali because his car is still being rebuilt following his FP3 accident
MAG is first to set a time but there’s a gaggle of quick runners behind him
SAI 1:30.858
NOR P2
LEC P2
RIC P2
VER 1:30.235
PER P2
RUS P3 but HAM only P10
GAS cuts across the chicane at Turn 15
NOR P2
RIC P2
SAI 1:30.079
LEC 1:29.474
VER P2
Radio from ALO reporting he brushed the wall
HAM cut T15 and his lap time is deleted
5mins left; bottom 5 are HAM, GAS, LAT, ALB, OCO
HAM pits for new soft tyres
ALB goes P14; relegates TSU to P16
GAS P8; MAG P16
TSU P5; ALB P16
MAG P14; ZHO P16
HAM P5; ALO P16
ZHO has to abandon his fast lap because he caught the traffic jam waiting to start their final lap
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are ALO, ZHO, ALB, LAT, OCO
ALO P6; MAG P16
LAT P19
Back of the grid: MAG, ZHO, ALB, LAT, OCO* (*No time set, so will need to appeal to the stewards for permission to race)

Will there be penalties for those who blocked ZHO’s final flying lap?

Qualifying session 2
LEC 1:29.754
SAI 1:29.729
VER 1:29.202
PER P2
RUS pits without setting a time
HAM P5
RUS starts another flying lap but he’s fighting the Mercedes; aborts the lap; reports it’s bouncing
LEC 1:29.130
5mins left; bottom 5 are STR, SCH, VET, RIC, RUS
TSU reports he’s touched the wall, although the replay looks like there was a tiny gap
RUS P7; NOR P11
VET P8; TSU P11
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are TSU, NOR, STR, SCH, RIC
STR P6; ALO P11
SCH P14
NOR P3; VET P11
TSU P9; RUS P11
ALO P11
RIC P14
Middle of the grid: ALO, RUS, VET, RIC, SCH
Incident involving ALO and SAI noted – impeding

Qualifying session 3 starts shortly…
Top 10 shootout is between LEC, VER, NOR, PER, SAI, BOT, HAM, STR, TSU and GAS
Incident involving ALO and SAI – no further action
LEC 1:29.055
SAI P2
BOT P3
VER 1:28.991
PER P4
Order after first run: VER, LEC, SAI, PER, BOT, HAM, NOR, TSU, STR, GAS
Everyone pits for new tyres
Just over 2mins left as they all return to the track
VER past PER on their out lap
Chequered flag
LEC 1:28.796
VER has abandoned his lap – replay shows he ran wide in Turn 6
SAI P2
HAM P5
BOT P4
NOR P7
PER P4
GAS P7
TSU P9
Front of the grid: LEC, SAI, VER, PER, BOT, HAM, GAS, NOR, TSU, STR

Apparently OCO’s FP3 impact at Turn 14 was 51G – surely they ought to put something (TecPro or tyres) in front of the wall before the race?

Provisional grid: LEC, SAI, VER, PER, BOT, HAM, GAS, NOR, TSU, STR, ALO, RUS, VET, RIC, SCH, MAG, ZHO, ALB, LAT, OCO*
(*No time set, so will need to appeal to the stewards for permission to race)

[2022 calendar and line-up]

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