Verstappen earns the right to lead the sprint race in Miami

MIAMI GARDENS.- The leader of the current World Drivers' Championship, the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), will start on Saturday from pole position in the sprint race of the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix by setting the best time in Friday's classification, around the Hard Rock Stadium of the “Capital of the Sun”.

The three-time world champion will start ahead of Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and his Mexican Red Bull teammate, Sergio Pérez.

The 19-lap race, a third of the length of Sunday's Grand Prix, will last about thirty minutes and will offer championship points: from eight points for first to one point for eighth.

The Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Racing Bulls) gave the surprise by taking fourth place, ahead of the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and his compatriot Oscar Piastri (McLaren).

The two Aston Martins of Canadian Lance Stroll and Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso will occupy the fourth row, while the British Lando Norris (McLaren) and the German Nico Hülkenberg complete the top 10.

Mercedes disappointed with British drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton starting only in 11th and 12th positions.

The Miami Grand Prix, the sixth round of the season, is the second of the six rounds of the year that features a sprint format, which alters the way the weekend is run.

As a result, drivers only participate in a free practice session on Friday before qualifying for Saturday's sprint race. After this race, the drivers will take part in the classic classification, which will determine the starting grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Starting grid for the sprint race in Miami:

1st line:

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull)

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)

2nd line:

Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull)

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Racing Bulls-Red Bull)

3rd line:

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari)

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes)

4th line:

Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes)

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes)

5th line:

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)

Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari)

6th line:

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes)

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)

7th line:

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault)

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari)

8th line:

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/Racing Bulls-Red Bull)

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault)

9th line:

Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Sauber-Ferrari)

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Sauber-Ferrari)

10th line:

Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes)

Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes)