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Max Verstappen

Verstappen puzzled after 'terrible' Miami sprint pole

It is a first sprint pole position of the season for Max Verstappen, claiming P1 in Miami.

Verstappen Miami FP1
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has conceded his surprise at taking pole position for the Miami Grand Prix sprint after a tough sprint qualifying.

The world champion topped the sole practice in Miami, but reported feeling unsettled in his RB20 throughout the sprint qualifying session, but emerged with pole by a tenth from the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

It is Verstappen's first sprint pole since the United States GP in 2023, as he took seven pole from 14 sprint races, a hit-rate of 50%.

"To be honest, it felt pretty terrible," Verstappen said.

"Maybe that in last session, it was really difficult to get the tyres to work, as in SQ2, I didn't feel great.

"SQ3 felt quite similar for me, I didn't really really improve on the soft, but somehow we were first, and of course, I'll happily take it.

"But it didn't really feel enjoyable out there to drive for whatever reason, because in practice, it felt really, really nice, I felt comfortable and confident, but in qualifying, not so much.

Verstappen's rivals all fell away through the session, including Lando Norris of McLaren who went slower on the softs than he did on the mediums, as Mercedes also suffered a double SQ2 elimination.

The field was bunched up throughout the session, but Verstappen was unsure about the cause of this.

"I honestly don't know, it might be the track layout," he added.

"After practice, I thought that we could really fight for pole, but then in qualifying, it didn't really feel like that for me and somehow we still ended up in first but I don't know what happened to the other cars on the last lap."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying