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FORMULA 1: Max Verstappen quickest in Sprint qualifying for Miami Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton’s troubled season continued in Miami after he qualified only 12th for Saturday’s Sprint Race at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen of Netherlands in action during the Sprint Qualifying, at the Miami International Autodrome in Miami Gardens, Florida, USA, 03 May 2024. The Formula One Miami Grand Prix is held on 05 May. EPA/CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH

Lewis Hamilton's troubled season continued in Miami after he qualified only 12th for Saturday's Sprint Race at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

As Max Verstappen put his Red Bull on pole position, Hamilton, who has so far failed to finish in the top six this season, grazed the wall as he was eliminated in Q2.

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell also failed to make it into the final phase, taking 11th place, on another disappointing afternoon for Mercedes in the Sunshine State.

“I have got nothing,” said Hamilton over the radio following his premature exit from qualifying which determines the grid for Saturday’s 19-lap dash.

The dejected seven-time world champion then shook his head as he departed his Mercedes.

The Silver Arrows have brought a revised machine to Florida, fast-tracking an upgraded floor originally due for the next round in Imola in a fortnight’s time.

But the new package failed to reverse the fortunes of a team labouring in fourth place in the constructors’ standings.

Team principal Toto Wolff put his forehead in his hands after seeing both drivers fail to make it out of Q2.

Verstappen is on course to waltz to his fourth world championship in as many years and the Dutchman put the team’s off-track troubles to one side – after designer Adrian Newey announced he is leaving Red Bull at the end of the year – to take spot.

Charles Leclerc qualified second for Ferrari with Sergio Perez third and Daniel Ricciardo fourth for RB.

However, Verstappen, who appeared to be struggling with the handling of his all-conquering Red Bull machine, was surprised he had managed to see off his rivals.

“Lol,” he said over the radio after edging out Leclerc by 0.108 seconds. “What happened to the others? This was terrible but I will take it.”

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz qualified fifth, with Oscar Piastri sixth for McLaren. Lando Norris could manage only ninth after he finished eight tenths off the pace.

2024 F1 Miami Grand Prix – Sprint Qualifying Results:

1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing – 1m27.641s
2 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari – 1m27.749s
3 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing – 1m27.876s
4 Daniel Ricciardo AUS Visa Cash App RB F1 Team – 1m28.044s
5 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari – 1m28.103s
6 Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren F1 Team – 1m28.161s
7 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team – 1m28.375s
8 Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team – 1m28.419s
9 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team – 1m28.472s
10 Nico Hulkenberg GER MoneyGram Haas F1 Team – 1m28.476s
11 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team – 1m28.343s
12 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team – 1m28.371s
13 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team – 1m28.379s
14 Kevin Magnussen DEN MoneyGram Haas F1 Team – 1m28.614s
15 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Visa Cash App RB F1 Team – 1m28.687s
16 Pierre Gasly FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team – 1m29.185s
17 Zhou Guanyu CHN Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber – 1m29.267s
18 Valtteri Bottas FIN Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber – 1m29.360s
19 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Racing – 1m29.551s
20 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing – 1m29.858s

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