Charles Leclerc Wrecks, Ends Miami F1 Qualifying Early

·2 min read
f1 grand prix of miami qualifying
Charles Leclerc Wrecks, Ends Miami F1 QualifyingJared C. Tilton - Getty Images

Charles Leclerc crashed in the final minutes of today's Formula 1 qualifying session at the Miami Autodrome, bringing out a red flag that would end the session early and keep the rest of the field from completing their final flying laps in what would otherwise traditionally be the battle for pole. As a result, Red Bull's Sergio Perez will start from pole tomorrow.

Replays show that Leclerc's car snapped out of control in mid-corner, then spun through a wide runoff before hitting the outside wall. It negated a real shot at pole for Leclerc and Ferrari, one that could have been the Monegasque driver's second in as many weeks. Instead, he will start from seventh. Leclerc also crashed in practice yesterday, but neither crash seems to have left the car with any significant damage.

As the wreck happened with just a minute and a half left in the session, Formula 1 ruled that warm-up laps could not be completed after a re-start and drivers would not be able to take a final flying lap to shoot for pole. The decision left Perez on pole, but the bigger impact came to his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen. The two-time world champion and current points leader made a mistake on his opening lap and failed to record a competitive time. As a result, he will instead start from ninth in Sunday's race. If Perez is able to win on Sunday, he is guaranteed at least a tie for the championship lead even if Verstappen finishes second and takes the day's fastest lap.

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