Charles Leclerc ends qualifying and screws Verstappen by crashing (VIDEO)

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Miami Grand Prix (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Miami Grand Prix (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Charles Leclerc spun out and crashed into the wall during the final qualfiying stage, ending the session and slotting Max Verstappen in at ninth.

The Miami Grand Prix is an unpredictable race for many reasons. It’s a street circuit with much more space for overtaking than the likes of other street circuits like Azerbaijan or Monaco. But it’s also a new track, debuting in 2022 that is largely unfamiliar to the entire field.

It was also resurfaced before the 2023 Formula One visit.

Qualifying was strange all around. Neither McLaren made it past Q3, an Aston Martin failed to get past the first cutoff as well. Lewis Hamilton for the first time on American soil failed to get into the final cut round and will start behind in the grid.

As time was running out on the third and final qualifying stage, Charles Leclerc was pushing a fast lap to try to move up the starting grid higher than seventh, where he was.

Instead, he spun out, flew well off the track into open space, and collided, thankfully softly, with the outside wall. Take a look here:

"Leclerc crashed into the wall, session red flagged"

Charles Leclerc screws himself and Max Verstappen with late crash

Since the race was red flagged with just about a minute and a half left, the FIA did not resume qualifying and instead took the times as they were when the incident happened to set the stage for the starting grid tomorrow, which you can find here. 

Max Verstappen, who drives the fastest car this year and is the best driver in the field, had not had a chance to set a time in Q3, and was on his first lap of the third stage. That meant that Verstappen (and Valterri Bottas, as well) filled in the final spots remaining. So Verstappen starts ninth with his work cut out for him on Sunday afternoon.

It also resulted in a Haas in fourth, with Kevin Magnussen having the fourth-fastest time of the third round just as the crash happened. That’s incredible positioning for Haas to attempt to hold onto, who as a team have not finished better than seventh this season yet.

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