Miami Grand Prix: Max Verstappen ‘quite pleased’ to start third behind Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Max Verstappen was shocked at how competitive Red Bull was in qualifying following hydraulic problems on Friday; He started Sunday’s race in third place behind Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz; Watch Miami GP live on Sunday on Sky Sports F1 at 8:30pm with broadcast from 7pm
Last updated: 08/05/22 12:00 am
Max Verstappen said he was “quite pleased” to start Sunday’s Miami GP in third place, despite a late error that forced the Red Bull driver to take the extremely potential spot.
Verstappen was conceded by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the tense final few minutes of qualifying after making a crucial mistake in Round 4 that cost him the final round of the session.
Verstappen overcame a multitude of reliability issues with his car on Friday as hydraulic problems and a precautionary gearbox change meant he completed just five of Formula One’s latest five laps. .
Despite his mistake in the third quarter that cost him what could have been a front-row start, Verstappen is pleased with how he has recovered from Friday’s setback and he has looks shocked to even be competing for pole position.
The world champion said: “Overall, I’m pretty happy with qualifying. I literally did four or five laps yesterday so today I’m still trying to learn the track and try find the right balance in the car”.
“To be so competitive in qualifying, I was a bit surprised.
“It’s not an easy track to learn. Of course you want to be at the top, but where we come from, I think we’ve done a good job. We have to start making the weekends less. a little more difficult.
“We have a good chance tomorrow. We have a little bit of speed. The car is handling pretty well. I’m looking forward to that.”
Leclerc put in solid performances in all three training sessions before packing for the title as his title battle with Verstappen intensified.
The Ferrari driver believes Red Bull will be stronger on Sunday, but with teammate Sainz by his side in the front row, he is confident back at the top of the podium after finishing seventh at the previous race in Imola.
Leclerc said: “I am very happy, I feel secure with the car.
“It’s a car where you need to think a lot to go fast, but for now I’m comfortable. It’s good to start at the pole and we need to finish the work tomorrow.
“I always thought there would be more pace whenever I finished a qualifier. Maybe a little more today than the other qualifiers, but anyway we’re starting in the position. so I’m very happy with this.
“We don’t know about the race pace, especially with Max because he’s not running in P2, but with more laps I’m sure he’ll just be more competitive.
“Tomorrow will be intense, but it’s great to have Carlos by my side and hopefully we can keep those positions until the end of the race.”
Sainz: I feel confident with the car
It’s been a test couple of weeks for Sainz, his bumps at the Australian Grand Prix and Imola’s confidence in the Spaniard.
After Friday’s second practice session, it looked like things took a turn for the worse as he rushed out on a tough Turn 14 to make it three crashes in three days over the weekend.
Although many expected a reserved qualifier, a resurgence ensued and he finished in second place, admitting that his confidence regain was down to his trust his car.
“I’ve recovered a bit from a pretty heavy crash yesterday,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s not easy to regain confidence in a tough round like this in Miami but I kept that up until the third quarter.
“I managed to pull a good couple of laps, not enough for turret, but given where I’m from, I’ll do it.
“Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day with everything going on this weekend.
“I haven’t been running for a long time, I have filled up the car with gas and tested it, so I will feel it for the first time tomorrow.
“So it’s going to be quite challenging but at the same time, I feel confident with the car.
“The car is really good to drive around here so I think we can do our job well.”
Sky Sports F1 Sunday schedule
3:20pm: W Series Race Two
7pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Miami GP Build-up
8:30pm: MIAMI GRAND PRIX *
10.30pm: Checkered Flag: Miami GP Reaction *
11:30 p.m.: Ted’s Notebook *
* Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event (simulation of qualifying build and race from 8:30pm and 7:30pm respectively)
** Simulcast on Sky Showcase