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What we learned from Friday practice at F1’s 2023 Miami GP



A decisive 1m 27.930s gave Max Verstappen the lead in the second free practice session of the Miami Grand Prix, with the two-time Formula 1 champion clearing Carlos Sainz by 0.3 seconds.

That was more than two seconds quicker than the FP1 headliner set by Mercedes’ George Russell, who led Mercedes 1-2 in Friday’s opening session at Miami International Speedway despite a The team then lost about 25 minutes of game running time after an early struggle and he opted to change his bogie.

Verstappen had a quicker mid-run with Ferraris and team-mate Sergio Perez in the opening moments of FP2, but the switch to the soft tyres pushed Lando Norris into the top spot as the McLaren driver set an impressive lap time.

Although he was eventually beaten by Fernando Alonso’s Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin, Norris’ run was the first attempt and he ended up finishing sixth in the race.

story of the day

Aside from Verstappen’s and Russell’s leaderboards, the most notable event of Friday’s race was a Ferrari crashing into a wall – a crash that snuffed out much of the team’s long-running preparations before the end of the race.

With 10 minutes left in FP2, Charles Leclerc, struggling in a string of races, crashed into the barrier at Turn 7 and locked his rear tire to earn Monaco an entry barrier A one-way ticket – a red flag was generated.

He wasn’t the only supporter of a clumsy moment in the hour-long duo on Friday, as Nico Hulkenberg lost his Haas VF- at Turn 3 during the opening free practice session. 23 A red flag was sent out after the rear. Both Haas drivers were at war at one point during the day as Kevin Magnussen suffered a spin at Turn 14 early in FP2, luckily he only brushed the wall, ensuring he could stay in the race to get More laps on the board.

Alex Albon went too deep at Turn 17, maintained his own spin in FP2, and had to countersteer to keep his car clear of the wall. Drivers struggled with a lack of grip on the track, prompting Sergio Perez to quip that intermediate tires might be preferable on the freshly paved track surface.

Leclerc's practice in Miami ended abruptly on Friday

Leclerc’s practice in Miami ended abruptly on Friday

Photography: Mark Sutton/ motorsport pictures

Top 10 FP2 Orders

Leclerc’s accident in the final part of FP2 hurt the team’s long run, leaving very limited data for the team to continue to explore the limits of tire life in preparation for Sunday. This especially hurt those training on medium tyres; in the case of the Red Bull duo, their races on medium tyres lasted just three laps each, before Leclerc’s wall-slamming antics derailed their best plans In trouble.

Given the strength of the illustrious teams in 2023 relative to the rest, one can make a pretty good guess as to which team is most likely to emerge victorious, but it probably won’t be Red Bull’s opponent due to lack of data

Ferrari parted ways, with Leclerc racing on yellow-walled C3 tyres, while Sainz continued to race on red C4 tyres, at the 5.412km circuit. The Spaniard managed to complete five laps before his teammate was interrupted by a crash.

Here and now, dear reader – a peek behind the scenes. On a normal weekend, the post-FP2 feature would contain details of long-term pace and tire degradation in each driver before drawing conclusions about who is best positioned to win a grand prix. The pit time is analyzed, the time reduction is recorded according to the considerations at that time, and some order-like information can be derived from this analysis. However, in this case, no data exists.

Leclerc's ill-timed red flag leaves no healthy long-term database for any F1 team

Leclerc’s ill-timed red flag leaves no healthy long-term database for any F1 team

Photography: Alexander Trienitz / motorsport pictures

Given the superiority of the 2023 illustrious teams relative to the rest, one could make a pretty good guess as to which team has the best chance of winning, but a lack of data ensures it may not be Red Bull’s victory. If last year’s track surface remained the same, teams would be able to rely on models generated using last season’s data and try to extrapolate from incomplete data, but that variable also changed during the offseason.

This has resulted in slightly inconsistent tire performance, with wear around the Miami track still unknown. In the faster runs on the soft tires during FP2, there were some instances where the tires could retain enough life for multiple runs if the riders were able to manage their performance in the cool laps between push laps. As is often the case in F1, the soft tires struggle to function beyond a lap, and if this behavior carries over into qualifying, it could change slightly the way teams approach the end of each stage. But that’s just speculation at this stage, mainly because it remains to be seen how hot the track will be on Saturday. Temperatures are expected to be similar to Friday’s 30C peak, which could push the track above 50C. As a result, cooling rings become even more important in the thermal arena, where thermal degradation poses a very real threat.

There’s also speculation that rain could be expected for the rest of the weekend, but intervening hogs suspended in the sky may be more likely than any kind of cloud…

track watch

During the opening free practice session, Autosport looked at the initial stages of Turn 17 at Miami Circuit, the hairpin before the sharp left-right turn before the start straight. The drivers got off to a tentative start, making sure to hit the brakes at the end of the long straight to get the cars onto the track.

As each lap passed, the driving fraternity grew more confident, and more and more drivers began reducing their steering input on corner exits, sending the car drifting toward the wall. There was no doubt that Perez and Verstappen started opening more corners first, followed by Ferrari and Alpine.

The cars that traditionally occupied the further back grid positions were naturally the last to start the section, with drivers such as Williams and Haas making more mistakes. Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant went deep into the hairpin and Magnussen almost understeered into the exit wall – but the Dane managed to open some locks on the opposite side to stop the slide.

Every F1 team's racing identity exposed in Miami

Every F1 team’s racing identity exposed in Miami

Photography: Jack Grant / motorsport pictures

In the second half of this section we move to Turn 3 to look at Turns 1 and 2. There were more mistakes here, even among the leaders; Verstappen had a wide-open moment at the first corner, but Sainz’s eclipse at that corner was all the more spectacular as the Ferrari driver moved completely sideways Locked up, patiently waiting for the tires to bite and provide forward momentum with a chance.

The low-grip road surface proved to be a challenge, and if the tires struggled to find a buy, watching the drivers go all-or-nothing on Saturday’s qualifying lap would undoubtedly present dangerous moments.

what the drivers say

Max Verstappen: “I thought it was a good day. Initially, I thought it was getting used to the new tarmac a bit. I think it really picked up a lot throughout the day. But I always felt good in the car. We have a good balance. It’s still slippery off the line. I think the ride is ok. Once off the line, the grip is a lot less. But it’s the same for everyone. But most importantly, today, I think we have a good balance in the car, so I’m happy.”

“I think we need to make some improvements overnight. We knew we had potential because we saw it in FP1. We saw it at the start of FP2. We just have to get things aligned” george russell

Sergio Perez: “The grip is very low there, especially in FP1. It feels like intermediate conditions. We’re measuring wet conditions and interior conditions. We’ve been trying some things with mechanical balance. I don’t think we managed to get a read because we ended up doing very few laps there. But overall I think we had a good baseline.”

George Russell: “There’s no reason why we can’t be ahead of Ferrari and Aston Martin. That’s the goal. I think we’ve seen in the first four races that the three teams are very competitive. So if that’s just for the win. For It’s going to be very exciting for pole position. But it’s good because it shows that if we get things right, we’ll be rewarded and pass them. But I think we need to do it overnight Make some improvements. We know we have potential because we saw it in FP1. We saw it in the beginning of FP2. We just have to get things aligned.”

Who can take on Red Bull this weekend?

Who can take on Red Bull this weekend?

Photography: Alexander Trienitz / motorsport pictures


This is the time difference between Pirelli tyres in Spain




The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit places high demands on the tires of the F1 cars. Pirelli therefore brought the new C1 tire to the Spanish Grand Prix for the first time this weekend. Pirelli also said teams must increase tire pressure by one point.

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Haas needs to “stay cool” after F1 Spanish GP practice showing




Hulkenberg, who has not raced for Barcelona at Renault since 2019, finished his second practice session on Friday afternoon behind Fernando Alonso and Red Bull pacesetter Max Verstappen.

The returning German still hadn’t completed the final corner at 170 mph, and he ended up clocking 0.27 seconds in 1 meter 14.177 seconds. The next 12 cars finished 15th behind his teammate Kevin Magnussen by 0.536 seconds.

Hulkenberg, who was only 18th in FP1, believes his performances in FP2 are “real”, although he expects other teams to find their pace in Saturday’s game.

He therefore called on his team to “remain calm and realistic” despite the exciting result.

Insight: What we learned from Friday’s practice for the F1 2023 Spanish GP

Hülkenberg said: “I think it looks real, but I guess the others didn’t play well, they didn’t play well.

“In particular, there are a lot of top cars and I think they’ll find something or pick it up overnight. We’ve got to be calm and realistic.”

Hulkenberg, who is yet to reach the podium in F1, believes Haas is better suited to Barcelona’s permanent circuit, having finished only 17th in Monaco last time around (with a 10-second penalty for a pit stop error), despite Use a car with an upgraded front wing in the Principality.

He continued: “For me it was important to have a good feeling in the car, a good rhythm.

“I managed to find it today and that’s the most important thing for me and for the driver.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

Photography: Andy Horn / motorsport pictures

“Obviously, I hope to have an equally good day tomorrow. Just squeezing out what we have.

“But it’s going to get tense again. Even with the Q3 battle, if you see it in midfield, there are still four or five teams and we’re all fighting over the same tarmac.

“It’s going to be a tough, tough battle again… Naturally here too, the car is just in a happier place. It immediately makes me feel better than a week ago in Monaco.”

He added: “It feels good, especially that lap. The new padding gives you more grip on the lap.

“Especially with FP2, I think we’ve gained some performance. In FP1, it’s not quite there yet.”

Meanwhile, Magnussen, who was seventh in FP1, believes a late set-up tweak affected his speed.

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Alonso vs Verstappen; who beats whom? 'Man, that is hard'




While Fernando Alonso is not yet in contention for a win in 2023, the Spaniard’s performance in a relatively strong Aston Martin looks like a comeback. Even with a slightly better car, the nearly 42-year-old F1 driver could take on Max Verstappen, a fight everyone including Pedro de la Rosa would love to see.

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