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Miami Grand Prix 2023

Russell fastest in red-flagged first Miami Grand Prix practice

George Russell's late flyer put him fastest in FP1 in Miami, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.

Russell Baku
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell overcame Mercedes car trouble to clock the fastest time in the opening practice session for the Miami Grand Prix.

On his first lap in Florida, Russell reported a problem with his steering, which was down to the team running a development part.

Russell radioed in to express his unhappiness with the car's steering, and recommended missing part of the session to fix the issue.

He returned to the track late on - and in the dying embers bolted on a set of Soft tyres to post the fastest time, a 1:30.125s, eclipsing teammate Lewis Hamilton in an encouraging practice for Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc was third fastest for Ferrari - ahead of World Champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez only 11th in the sister Red Bull.

Verstappen immediately fastest

The World Champion, and race winner in the inaugural race 12 months ago, was quickly into his stride as he headed out with flow-vis paint and Hard tyres aboard the Red Bull RB19.

Verstappen held the fastest time after the initial runs with there being a mix in drivers using the Medium and Hard tyres - before reinforcing his advantage once the Soft tyres were bolted on.

On a second set of Softs, Verstappen pumped in a 1:30.549s effort to lower his benchmark after a red flag for Nico Hulkenberg's crash.

In the opening trading of lap times, Verstappen put a 1:34.054s in to leapfrog the Medium-shod Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton - with the two champion trading times as they gathered data over their runs.

By the end of this segment of the 60-minute session, Verstappen had lowered his time to 1:31.826s, still on the Hards, with Leclerc 0.6s slower, also on the white tyres.

Hulkenberg vaulted to the top of the times on the Soft tyres, pumping in a 1:31.392s, but Verstappen quickly responded with a 1:31.054s to return him to the top of the times.

Still in P2, Hulkenberg crashed at Turn 3, with about nine minutes being lost while the Haas was recovered.

When the session resumed, Verstappen went even quicker on a 1:30.549s, which stood as the quickest time until the closing minutes.

With four minutes remaining, Hamilton finally put a set of Softs on, lapping in 1:30.337s, but was quickly bettered by Russell's 1:30.125s in a Mercedes one-two.

Result Free practice 1 - Miami

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Difference for Red Bull

Leclerc also bettered Verstappen on a 1:30.449s, with Carlos Sainz rounding out the top five.

Pierre Gasly, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll, Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon filled out the top 10 places, with Ocon 0.024s faster than Perez could manage, having been comfortably behind Verstappen all session.

Oscar Piastri headed McLaren teammate Lando Norris by four positions (12th to 16th) and about two-tenths, with Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas and Alex Albon all filling in between.

Zhou Guanyu, Yuki Tsunoda, Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries were 17th-20th, with de Vries briefly investigated for dangerous driving after a spin.

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

F1 2023 Miami Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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