Miami Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc top as Mercedes show signs of pace

Formula 1
George Russell

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc set the tempo in first apply on the Miami Grand Prix as Mercedes confirmed indicators of accelerating competitiveness.

Leclerc was quickest by 0.071 seconds, with Mercedes’ George Russell second, an unfamiliar place for the world champions in a tough begin to 2022.

Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen, Leclerc’s title rival, was third, 0.179secs away.

Lewis Hamilton was eighth, battling visitors on his greatest laps and obvious understeer within the automobile.

Numerous drivers made errors as they acquired to grips with the brand new road observe across the Miami Dolphins’ Laborious Rock Stadium, however none had been greater than that of Valtteri Bottas, who crashed his Alfa Romeo at Flip Eight.

The accident was dangerous information for his workforce, who’re wanting spare components after issues on the earlier race at Imola in Italy.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz additionally had a giant spin, at Turns 4 and 5, wrecking his set of sentimental tyres and inflicting a front-right puncture.

Miami

Leclerc had a lower-speed spin whereas studying the observe early within the session, and Verstappen brushed the wall popping out of Flip 16, with no harm to his automobile.

The Ferrari, which has a brand new rear wing as an improve, on stability appeared the quickest automobile within the session, though Verstappen was struggling together with his automobile overheating within the Florida warmth.

There have been two placing components of the session – the tempo of the Mercedes automobile and Alexander Albon managing to place the Williams seventh.

Mercedes have some important upgrades for the primary time this season, with a brand new lower-drag rear wing.

They hoped this might assist cut back the issues they had been having with high-speed ‘porpoising’, the place the automobile bounces due to under-body airflow disruption.

It’s early days however the first indications are that the experiment has been a hit. Mercedes have by no means regarded so convincingly fast by way of a session to this point this season, at the very least so far as Russell is anxious.

Hamilton gave the impression to be struggling together with his automobile, although, front-end grip showing to be an issue.

Pink Bull’s Sergio Perez was fourth quickest, forward of Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, and Sainz, whose greatest time was set on the medium tyres due to his spin.

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