Max Verstappen narrowly lost out on pole position in the qualifying session of the 2022 F1 Miami GP. The Dutchman will start in P3, behind current championship rival Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Despite having been at the top of the time charts for most of Saturday’s qualifying session, the reigning world champion lost out to both Ferrari cars at the end of Q3. The Red Bull driver set an excellent first lap in Q3, but a snap of oversteer in Sector 1 stopped him from improving on his time, giving Charles Leclerc pole position. Despite the expected disappointment, the 24-year-old was optimistic in parc fermé, claiming he was surprised to have been alongside Ferrari after missing out on valuable track time on Friday.
Speaking to former NASCAR driver Danica Patrick after the session, Max Verstappen said:
“Overall I am pretty pleased with qualifying. Literally I did four or five laps yesterday so today I was still trying to learn the track and trying to find a decent balance in the car. To be that competitive in qualifying, I was a bit surprised. This is not an easy track to learn. Of course you want to be on pole, but where we came from I think we did a really good job. We have to start making the weekends a little less difficult. We have a good chance tomorrow. We have a bit of speed. The car is handling quite well. I’m looking forward to that.”
Max Verstappen had a ‘horrible day’ on Friday, claims Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner chimed in on Max Verstappen’s dismal free practice session on Friday. The Dutchman developed a hydraulic issue, causing him to lose control over his steering. As a result, the driver missed out on an opportunity to learn the new track and find his footing.
Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1:
“He’s had a horrible day. We had an issue this morning, so as a precaution we changed the gearbox and one of the coolers. Then he’s driven out of the pit lane and had a hydraulic issue, which unfortunately caused some damage to the rear brakes. He got a few laps in – I think he’s had five timed laps today which were all competitive, but thankfully with the red flags he’s not lost too much. But it’s frustrating not to have that track time.”
It seems like the loss in track time eventually affected Max Verstappen’s qualifying performance, losing out to both Ferrari cars at the end of Saturday’s Q3 session. With his RB18 holding a straight-line speed advantage over the F1-75, however, the Dutchman will definitely put up a strong fight against the team from Maranello.