Miami, FP1: Russell quickest in opening practice

Ahead of Hamilton and Leclerc


By Franck Drui

5 May 2023 - 21:18
Miami, FP1: Russell quickest in (...)

George Russell led a Mercedes 1-2 in first practice for the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton second ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc third. Last year’s Miami race winner and defending F1 champion Max Verstappen finished fourth.

Hamilton set the pace early in the session with a lap of 1:34.527 set on medium tyres but that was soon beaten by Verstappen who used the hard compound Pirelli tyres to take top spot.

Carlos Sainz then went quickest with a 1:33.823 before Hamilton and then Verstappen jumped back to P1 with the Dutchman posting a lap of 1:32.465 and then improving on that set the bar at 1:31.826.

Many of the field then made a shift to soft compound tyres and Haas’ Nico Hülkenberg took over in P1 with a lap of 1:31.392 set just before the halfway mark.

Verstappen then went quickest of all with a lap of 1m31.054, while the Dutchman’s team-mate Sergio Pérez, slotted into third place behind Hülkenberg.

The Haas driver couldn’t make an attempt to recover P1, however, as he then crashed at Turn 3. The German driver went wide on entry and spun before hitting the wall with the front right corner of his car, breaking the suspension.

That brought out the red flags for eight minutes and when the session resumed Verstappen, on softs, improved to a 1:30.549. Leclerc then slotted into second place before he was dropped back by Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz. Leclerc then improved again to move ahead of his team-mate before the Mercedes drivers bolted on soft tyres for the time and Hamilton jumped from 19th to first with a 1:30.337.

Leclerc then moved ahead of Verstappen thanks to a lap of 1:30.449 but Russell had the last word when his first run on softs vaulted him to first ahead of Hamilton with a time of 1:30.125.

01 George Russell Mercedes W14 1:30.125 18
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 1:30.337 24
03 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 1:30.449 23
04 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:30.549 22
05 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF-23 1:30.724 23
06 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault A523 1:31.104 20
07 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 1:31.231 24
08 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 1:31.337 24
09 Nico Hülkenberg Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:31.392 14
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A523 1:31.542 27
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:31.566 22
12 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes MCL60 1:31.810 24
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:31.853 25
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:31.902 24
15 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW45 1:31.903 25
16 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL60 1:31.997 23
17 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:32.134 22
18 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:32.169 28
19 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes FW45 1:32.619 27
20 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:34.637 10

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