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Max Verstappen sets fastest time of Friday practice in Miami with 1:27.930; Carlos Sainz second three tenths back ahead of Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc; Leclerc crashes into barriers late in session watch the Miami GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend
By Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 06/05/23 8:47pm
Max Verstappen set an ominous pace in Miami as he comfortably topped Practice Two for Red Bull while Charles Leclerc crashed into the barriers.
The world championship leader was the only driver to dip below 1:28 as he posted a session-leading 1:27.930 which no one else could get close to.
Carlos Sainz was 0.385s back in second with Ferrari team-mate Leclerc a further tenth back in third.
But Leclerc’s session would end 10 minutes early as he hit the barriers at Turn Eight after getting a tank-slapper, wrecking his front right suspension.
Sergio Perez had an improved second session after finishing 11th in the opening practice session, but remained well off the pace of his team-mate and title rival and had to settle for fourth, nearly half a second off Verstappen’s time.
After surprisingly securing a one-two in the morning session, Mercedes were unable to build on that with Lewis Hamilton having to settle for seventh while Practice One pacesetter George Russell was way down in 15th.
Russell at one point complained that his car felt like it was “three-wheeling” through Turn Two and also had a big moment outbraking himself at Turn 11.
Fernando Alonso ensured Aston Martin were the leading team behind Red Bull and Ferrari while Lando Norris was a very impressive sixth for McLaren, less than a tenth behind Alonso.
“We’re still learning the car from Baku because we didn’t quite as much practice as we’d have liked with the new parts but so far so good,” McLaren boss Zak Brown told Sky Sports.
Alonso also took aim at his former team Alpine over team radio after getting stuck behind a slow-moving Esteban Ocon.
Lance Stroll, Ocon and the impressive Alex Albon completed the top 10.
Verstappen had immediately sought to stamp his authority on the session as he went six tenths of a second quicker than anyone else with his opening lap.
Despite being troubled by headset issues which had him complaining over team radio, the Dutchman was untouchable once the soft tyre runs commenced, opening with a 1:28.255.
Leclerc wrecked his opening flying lap with a big lock up at Turn 17 and his second attempt put him a tenth and a half off Verstappen’s leading time.
Team-mate Sainz would initially close to just 0.060s off the world champion before Verstappen set his session-leading time with his next effort.
And Leclerc’s rather messy session would end with his Ferrari embedded in the barriers. While the Monegasque driver caught his car’s initial snap through Turn Seven, he was unable to slow the car down to avoid hitting the barriers.
Kevin Magnussen also had a brush with the wall at Turn 14 early in the session but his Haas car escaped major damage, unlike team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in the opening session.
Miami GP Practice Two Timesheet
|1) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:27.930|
|2) Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+0.385|
|3) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.468|
|4) Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+0.489|
|5) Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+0.730|
|6) Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.811|
|7) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.928|
|8) Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+1.000|
|9) Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+1.007|
|10) Alex Albon||Williams||+1.116|
|11) Pierre Gasly||Alpine||+1.168|
|12) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+1.241|
|13) Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||+1.251|
|14) Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+1.259|
|15) George Russell||Mercedes||+1.286|
|16) Oscar Piastri||McLaren||+1.409|
|17) Nico Hulkenberg||Haas||+1.463|
|18) Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+1.683|
|19) Nyck de Vries||Alpha Tauri||+1.998|
|20) Logan Sargeant||Williams||+2.108|
The Formula 1 season continues with the Miami GP this weekend. Watch qualifying at 9pm on Saturday with lights out at 8.30pm on Sunday. Get Sky Sports