Rundown of what happened in the Friday practice sessions at Miami GP
George Russell led a Mercedes one-two in the opening FP1 practice session at the Miami Grand Prix. And in FP2 championship leader Verstappen placed his RedBull 3 tenths clear of Sainz.
FREE PRACTICE 1:
Verstappen improved from his initial run when the session restarted due the red flag caused by Hulkenberg crashing his VF-23 at Turn 3. But Max was surpassed by the Mercedes duo and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.
Russell ended up fastest on a 1m30.125s which was 0.220 seconds faster than team-mate Lewis Hamilton and a further tenth faster than Leclerc, who also set a late flying lap.
Verstappen set his fastest effort earlier in the session and ended up over four tenths adrift of Russell. His Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez’s quickest time was a second slower than Verstappen’s and he ended up outside the top 10 in 11th place.
Carlos Sainz made it two Ferraris in the top five ahead of Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and the Aston Martin drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.
Hulkenberg’s best pre crash time was still good enough for ninth ahead of the second Alpine of Esteban Ocon, who completed the top 10.
Perez was 11th ahead of the lead McLaren of Oscar Piastri and the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen.
FREE PRACTICE 2:
Verstappen issued more complaints about his headrest during the session, similar to the ones hemade during the Azerbaijan GP. but that didn’t slow his him down as he was the fastest in FP2.
He immediately matched the pace set by George Russell to top first practice on his first lap on FP2, and set his fastest time of the session on his fifth lap on soft tyres.
Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc was third, but he later brought out the only red flag of the session when he crashed into the barrier through the long Turn 6/7.
The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez was fourth fastest with a gap of 0.241s behind him to Fernando Alonso in fifth.
The McLaren appeared a better prospect at last weekend’s race in Baku than it had at the start of the session but Norris’s FP2 lap in Miami was a particular standout given he was the first to attempt a qualifying simulation lap in the session.
Lewis Hamilton was seventh in his Mercedes W14, but Russell, had a far trickier time in FP2.
Behind Hamilton was the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, Ocon’s Alpine, and Alex Albon.