Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Verstappen quickest by four tenths from Leclerc in final Miami practice

2023 Miami Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen set the pace in the final practice session for the Miami Grand Prix, four tenths of a second quicker than Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari.

The championship leader set a new fastest time of the weekend so far to set the pace in the final hour of practice, while Leclerc was the only other driver to break under the 1’28 barrier. Sergio Perez was third-fastest in the second Red Bull.

The final hour of practice ahead of qualifying began with clouds hanging over Hard Rock Stadium with track temperatures just south of 30C for the third consecutive session. Esteban Ocon was the first driver to take to the circuit and he duly set the first lap time of the day with a 1’31.125 on the medium compound tyres.

There was not a great rush onto the circuit with many of the field content to remain in the garage and allow their rivals to rubber up the track on their behalf. Red Bull took to the track on soft tyres, with Perez going quickest of all. He was soon eclipsed by team mate Verstappen, who posted a 1’27.969 – almost matching his best overall time from Friday.

After complaining of low grip available from the circuit on Friday, drivers continued to find grip was at a premium on Saturday. Nico Hulkenberg, who crashed at turn three in the opening practice session, ran off the circuit at turns six, seven and eight, while Fernando Alonso had a brief off at the tight turn 17 hairpin in the Aston Martin.

Verstappen improved his best time to produce a new overall best lap of the weekend, setting a 1’27.535. Carlos Sainz Jnr also improved to move into second place in the times, but almost six tenths of a second behind the world champion. Perez was third-fastest in the second Red Bull, while the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly sat in fourth and fifth.

In the later minutes of the session, Perez briefly jumped up to second behind his team mate, but was still have a second behind Verstappen’s best. Then Leclerc put his Ferrari in between the two Red Bulls with a lap a tenth of a second faster than Perez but still four tenths behind Verstappen’s fastest time. Verstappen returned to the track in the final few minutes, but only to carry out a practice start, rather than try and improve his own best time, Red Bull ensuring he reached the arrived at the start/finish line seconds before the chequered flag appeared.

Verstappen ended the final session comfortably quickest, followed by Leclerc second and Perez third in the second Red Bull. Sainz was fourth fastest in the Ferrari ahead of the two Alpines of Ocon and Gasly. Valtteri Bottas was seventh in the Alfa Romeo ahead of Hulkenberg in eighth and Alexander Albon in ninth. George Russell completed the top ten for Mercedes.

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2023 Miami Grand Prix third practice result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB191’27.53518
216Charles LeclercFerrariSF-231’27.9410.40626
311Sergio PerezRed BullRB191’28.0500.51522
455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariSF-231’28.1250.59027
531Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5231’28.4070.87225
610Pierre GaslyAlpine-RenaultA5231’28.4280.89324
777Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’28.4560.92119
827Nico HulkenbergHaas-FerrariVF-231’28.4970.96216
923Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW451’28.5611.02620
1063George RussellMercedesW141’28.6061.07120
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-231’28.6071.07214
1214Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’28.6181.08324
1344Lewis HamiltonMercedesW141’28.7181.18323
1418Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’28.7231.18824
1524Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’29.0741.53919
1622Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT041’29.1791.64420
172Logan SargeantWilliams-MercedesFW451’29.2641.72920
1881Oscar PiastriMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’29.3751.84018
194Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’29.4011.86618
2021Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri-Red BullAT041’29.4471.91222

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Combined session times

PositionNumberDriverTeamFP1 timeFP2 timeFP3 timeGapLaps
11Max VerstappenRed Bull1’30.5491’27.9301’27.5351
216Charles LeclercFerrari1’30.4491’28.3981’27.9410.4063
311Sergio PerezRed Bull1’31.5661’28.4191’28.0500.5154
455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’30.7241’28.3151’28.1250.5902
531Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’31.5421’28.9371’28.4070.8729
610Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1’31.1041’29.0981’28.4280.89311
777Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’31.9021’29.1891’28.4560.92114
827Nico HulkenbergHaas-Ferrari1’31.3921’29.3931’28.4970.96217
923Alexander AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1’31.9031’29.0461’28.5611.02610
1063George RussellMercedes1’30.1251’29.2161’28.6061.07115
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’31.8531’29.1711’28.6071.07212
1214Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1’31.2311’28.6601’28.6181.0835
1344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’30.3371’28.8581’28.7181.1837
1418Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’31.3371’28.9301’28.7231.1888
154Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’31.9971’28.7411’29.4011.2066
1624Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’32.1341’29.1811’29.0741.53913
1722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red Bull1’32.1691’29.6131’29.1791.64418
182Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1’32.6191’30.0381’29.2641.72920
1981Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1’31.8101’29.3391’29.3751.80416
2021Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri-Red Bull1’34.6371’29.9281’29.4471.91219

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2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Author information

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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2 comments on “Verstappen quickest by four tenths from Leclerc in final Miami practice”

  1. Another funny radio rant by Yuki. More so his voice tone with the word understeer.

  2. So we’re back to the regular schedule this week? I don’t even know why I bother anymore. Looks like Max is going to run this one.

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