Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed the pole Saturday for the inaugural Formula One Miami Grand Prix.
Lecerc, who has won won two races this season and both from the pole, claimed the top starting spot with a lap time of 1:28.796s around the temporary street course.
“The last weekend hasn’t been great for me, I made a mistake in the race, but today went well,” Leclerc told ESPN. “We’re starting on pole and we need to finish the job tomorrow.”
The pole is the 12th of Leclerc’s career.
“(Red Bull) is extremely quick in the straight line, we’re quick in the corners,” Leclerc said. “It will be a tight challenge tomorrow.”
Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz, will start second Sunday after posting a time of 1:28.986.
Defending champion Max Verstappen (1:28.991) will start third. His Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez qualified fourth, followed by Valtteri Bottas in fifth.
“Overall, I was pleased with qualifying today, we are still trying to learn the track and trying to find a decent balance in the car,” Verstappen said. “To be that competitive in qualifying was a big surprise, this is not an easy track to learn. Of course, we want to be on pole but I think we’ve done a really good job considering where we were yesterday. It’s always going to be tricky and it’s hard to push to the limits when you don’t know the track overly well. I think we have a good chance tomorrow as we have a good top speed and the car is handling quite well so I’m looking forward to it. It’s quite slippery outside the racing line, it almost feels like gravel, maybe I need to call my dad and ask for some rally advice.”
Haas, Williams and Alpine were the only teams that missed out on putting a driver into the final qualifying round.
The inaugural Miami G.P. is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday.