Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Verstappen quickest ahead of Ferraris as Leclerc crashes in second practice

2023 Miami Grand Prix second practice

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Max Verstappen set the quickest time in second practice for the Miami Grand Prix ahead of both Ferraris after Charles Leclerc crashed out of the session.

The championship leader was the only driver to run under the 1’28 barrier, three tenths of a second ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr and Leclerc, who hit the barrier at turn eight in the final 10 minutes of the session.

The sun was already beginning its descent over the Florida skyline as the second of Friday’s practice hours got underway. Track conditions were near identical to the first session, with surface temperatures north of 40C as cars ventured out on the circuit.

Drivers had reported poor grip offline from the newly-laid asphalt around the Miami International Autodrome in the afternoon session, but they quickly improved their times from their first laps. Fernando Alonso set the initial benchmark with a 1’32.115 on the hard tyres, but the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz beat that, the former producing a 1’31.459.

The Red Bulls of Verstappen and Sergio Perez then displaced the Ferraris on top of the times with the world champion posting a 1’30.146, easily quicker than his team mate. Kevin Magnussen briefly looped his Haas at the chicane of turns 14 and 15, making light contact with the right-hand barrier but avoiding similar damage to that suffered by team mate Nico Hulkenberg in the earlier session.

Leclerc improved to break under the 90-second barrier for the first time this weekend with a 1’29.497, putting Ferrari back on top. That was short-lived, however, with Verstappen taking a tenth of a second off Leclerc’s best time to regain the top spot on the times. Perez moved to third, a quarter of a second slower than his team mate’s best.

While many of the drivers returned to the garage to change set-ups, Lando Norris headed out in the McLaren on soft tyres. He used the quickest compound to go easily fastest, posting a 1’28.741 to beat Verstappen’s previous benchmark by just over six tenths. Sainz and Alonso both fitted the soft tyres but neither could match the McLaren driver’s best time.

Then it was Verstappen’s turn to run on the soft tyres, with the Red Bull driver duly replacing Norris on the top spot by almost half a second. Leclerc could not match the championship leader, going second-fastest a tenth of a second behind the Red Bull. Sainz beat his team mate’s time to move within a tenth of Verstappen, but the Red Bull driver further improved on his next lap by three tenths to post a 1’27.930.

The second half of the session was dedicated to longer runs as teams looked to gather data ahead of Sunday’s grand prix. However, Leclerc suffered a snap of oversteer as he made his way around the long left-hander halfway around the lap and speared off with his car heavily locked up, crashing into the TecPro barrier with the front of his car.

With the Ferrari in the TecPro, the session was stopped with the red flags flying. Leclerc climbed out of his car to return to the paddock while his Ferrari was cleared. After a five minute delay, the session resumed for the final six minutes of running. Drivers took to the track to run their final laps, but there were no improvements of note at the front of the field before the chequered flag signalled the end of the session.

Verstappen ended the session as the fastest on the day, three tenths ahead of Sainz in second with Leclerc third despite crashing out. Perez was fourth-fastest in the second Red Bull, with Alonso fifth for Aston Martin. Norris was sixth for McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon, and Alexander Albon completing the top ten.

2023 Miami Grand Prix second practice result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB191’27.93022
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariSF-231’28.3150.38526
316Charles LeclercFerrariSF-231’28.3980.46820
411Sergio PerezRed BullRB191’28.4190.48923
514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’28.6600.73025
64Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’28.7410.81124
744Lewis HamiltonMercedesW141’28.8580.92822
818Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’28.9301.00023
931Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5231’28.9371.00724
1023Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW451’29.0461.11626
1110Pierre GaslyAlpine-RenaultA5231’29.0981.16821
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-231’29.1711.24121
1324Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’29.1811.25126
1477Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’29.1891.25925
1563George RussellMercedesW141’29.2161.28621
1681Oscar PiastriMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’29.3391.40924
1727Nico HulkenbergHaas-FerrariVF-231’29.3931.46322
1822Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT041’29.6131.68324
1921Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri-Red BullAT041’29.9281.99824
202Logan SargeantWilliams-MercedesFW451’30.0382.10826

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    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    4 comments on “Verstappen quickest ahead of Ferraris as Leclerc crashes in second practice”

    1. This track is pretty awful.

      Just not an especially fun track to watch as there isn’t really any part of it that is especially exciting to watch. There’s no corner or sequence that stands out or makes you excited to see cars get to.

      Just a flat bit of tarmac in a car park made for the tik tokers and influencers to brag about been there.

      1. You are spot on. We’re slowly losing our proper racing tracks for barriers and fencing defining the tunnel that is the racetrack. Souless.

    2. Something, something, Charlie, crash.

    3. This track makes me ashamed to be an American.

    Comments are closed.