F1 drivers championship leader Charles Leclerc had another stellar qualifying, taking the inaugural Miami GP pole position.

Leclerc outperformed his teammate Carlos Sainz’s time as the Ferraris locked up the front row ahead of the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez who had gone fastest in FP3.

The pole was the Monegasque’s third in five races this season, and 12th of his career as well as the first time Ferrari had secured the top two grid positions since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix.

Leclerc was easily the fastest in the first two qualifying sessions but Verstappen closed in, setting up a grandstand finish in the top-10 shootout.

Q3 saw the reigning champion take provisional pole but Leclerc eclipsed him for a final pole time of 1m 28.796s with Sainz second by 0.190s.

A mistake by Verstappen in his final flying lap caused him to eventually finish third, just 0.005s behind Sainz, ahead of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in P4.

Valtteri Bottas used his new Ferrari power unit to finish P5 ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who was sixth.

Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda both made it to Q3 for AlphaTauri, the Frenchman qualifying seventh and the Japanese driver ninth. Between them was Lando Norris, eighth in qualifying despite going P3 in Q2. Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso missed out on Q3 in P11, ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell who could not cope with severe porpoising in Q2.

Sebastian Vettel took P13 for Aston Martin and gear shift issues for Daniel Ricciardo put him 14th on the grid for McLaren, while Mick Schumacher was last in Q2, finishing P15 on Saturday.

Kevin Magnussen P16, Zhou Guanyu P17, and Williams’ Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi finished P18and 19th respectively.

Esteban Ocon did not take part in qualifying after his FP3 crash and is likely to start the race from the pit lane.

Charles Leclerc would be hoping to turn his fortunes at Miami GP with improving Verstappen hot on his tales cutting his lead to just 27 points.

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