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Leclerc prepared for "tight" Verstappen challenge

Leclerc prepared for "tight" Verstappen challenge

F1 News

Leclerc prepared for "tight" Verstappen challenge

Leclerc prepared for "tight" Verstappen challenge

Charles Leclerc is expecting a "tight challenge" from Red Bull in the Miami Grand Prix after stealing pole position from Max Verstappen at the death of qualifying.

The Monégasque's time of one minute 28.769s was two-tenths quicker than team-mate Carlos Sainz, who jumped Verstappen after the reigning champion erred on his final lap at the sweeping turns four-five-six section.

Leclerc's performance exorcises any lingering demons from the Imola spin that cost him a podium in front of the adoring Tifosi.

Crediting the crowd at the Miami International Autodrome, the Ferrari driver said: "The fans are crazy.

"It is incredible to be here in the US and to see the sport has grown over the last few years, seeing so many people in the grandstands, it definitely motivates us.

"There are also a lot of Ferrari fans, it is amazing."

Referring to Imola, Leclerc added: "The last weekend wasn't great for me, I did a mistake in the race but today went well.

"We are starting on pole and we need to finish the job tomorrow.

"But they [Red Bull] are extremely quick in the straight lines, we are quick in the corners. It will be a tight challenge tomorrow and hopefully, we will come back on top."

Sainz "kept it cool" to overcome latest crash

Sainz's second position on the grid was a superb rebound from a series of mistakes from the Spaniard, with the latest an accident at turns 13 and 14 in second practice in Miami.

"Building from a pretty heavy crash yesterday, [it] wasn't easy at all to get the confidence back at such a difficult circuit like this new one in Miami," explained Sainz.

"But I kept it cool until Q3. I think I pulled out a couple of good laps, not quite enough for pole position but given from where I was coming from yesterday, I will take it."

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