1 Miami Grand Prix – LIVE!
Charles Leclerc is set to reassert his authority in the race for the 2022 Formula 1 world title with victory in F1’s inaugural race around Miami today.
Saturday’s qualifying saw the championship leader stick his Ferrari on pole position with a fantastic lap, almost matched by team-mate Carlos Sainz to score a 1-2 for the Scuderia.
In third position, Max Verstappen, winner a fortnight ago in Emilia-Romagna where Leclerc spun late but with an error on his part as he started his last qualifying round yesterday.
F1 has served up four memorable races so far, with Red Bull’s unreliability hitting defending champion Verstappen with two retirements already.
But his setbacks have nothing compared to those of Lewis Hamilton, who begins a more reasonable sixth in Miami after a dismal weekend at Imola.
Today’s race kicks off at 8.30pm BST and is live on Sky Sports.
Join Marc Mayo and Matt Majendie for all the latest updates from Miami with Standard Sport’s live blog…
Gasly, after this entanglement with Alonso, had taken off and rejoined the track just in front of Norris, who tried to overtake but cut off the rear left of the McLaren!
Russell pits for mediums with Perez and Hamilton also entering.
A BIG shunt although it fortunately avoids the barrier.
It’s a virtual safety car!
Round 40/57: Verstappen’s lead over Leclerc sits stubbornly at around 7.5 seconds, as he loses the fastest lap to his title rival.
In the fight for ninth place, Gasly and Alonso tangle which appears to have knocked a piece of the AlphaTauri down as he loses the spot and drops to 11th.
“He closed the door at the last minute,” claims the two-time champion although he did a lot inside on that one.
Russell says on team radio that they might as well hang on to a possible safety car or a virtual safety car, he has a 12 second lead over Bottas and would come out seventh if he stops now.
Rain on the radar!
“A bit of rain at around eight minutes,” Vettel told team radio after running wide at Turn 17 and letting Norris pass for 14th. It may not be enough to shake up this race, with 20 laps to go…
F1 correspondent Matt Majendie
As Max Verstappen clocks the fastest lap, he looks incredibly confident for the win. But how his hard tires behave from now and the remaining 20+ laps is the big question.
That, and the prospect of someone hitting the wall and pulling out the safety car.
Lap 35/57: As the midfield falls on top of each other and the favorites stretch far ahead, Russell sits fifth, having yet to stop but hoping for a very decent run after what looked like a bad weekend.
When he stops, Bottas will take fifth and Hamilton sixth – could this turn into a nice little grand prix for Mercedes?
Ocon, who also did not pit, is eighth ahead of Gasly and Alonso to complete the points.
The biggest battle at the moment isn’t even for points, with Stroll in 12th and still pitting old hard tires leading a DRS train that includes the two Haas cars, Vettel and Norris.
Ricciardo stops from ninth place to come out just behind and even behind Albon, 17th. Not a great day for McLaren.
Round 30/57: Here are the times after the halfway point:
Verstappen set the fastest lap and edged Leclerc by 7.8 seconds, who was 11.2 seconds ahead of Sainz in third. Perez finished fourth after 4.9 more seconds. Russell, who is not yet in the pits, is fifth.
Red Bull boss Horner told Sky that Perez had a sensor issue for this scare earlier, which is now resolved.
In the battle for third place, Sainz and Perez go head-to-head with 5.4 seconds taken by Ferrari to tie up their Hards, but Perez moved to 3.1 to close the gap.
Right-front placement issues for the Spaniard, the wheel that took the most hits around this counter-clockwise track in the Miami heat.