Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc expressed his mixed emotions after qualifying in third place for the Miami Grand Prix. Leclerc, who missed out on pole position by less than a tenth of a second, admitted his disappointment but also acknowledged the incredible support from the tifosi (Ferrari fans). He credited his teammate Carlos Sainz for his outstanding performance and shared his determination to secure a podium finish in the race.
Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen, who qualified in second place, reflected on a competitive qualifying session. Verstappen acknowledged the improvements made by his team since the previous day and expressed his satisfaction with securing a front-row start. Looking ahead to the race, Verstappen acknowledged the challenge of competing against the two Ferraris and their passionate fans, but remained focused on putting up a fight to win the race.
Carlos Sainz, who claimed his first pole position for Ferrari, described the intense qualifying session as the highlight of his weekend. Sainz acknowledged the close competition between himself, Leclerc, and Verstappen and highlighted the risks he took in the final lap to secure pole position. The Ferrari driver expressed his overwhelming excitement and pride, attributing it to the incredible support of the crowd. Sainz expressed his determination to hold onto the first position in the race.
In the press conference, Carlos Sainz described the indescribable feeling of achieving pole position for Ferrari at Monza. He attributed his strong performance to the support and energy provided by the fans and the positive vibes from his recent birthday celebration. Sainz admitted that the car felt completely different from previous races and praised its efficiency around the Monza circuit. He highlighted the car’s balance and the confidence it gave him, particularly in Sector 2, which he credited for making the difference in his qualifying lap.
Sainz addressed the potential controversy in Q1 when he was reportedly reported to the stewards for not obeying the Race Director’s maximum lap time instructions. He clarified that he slowed down too much to avoid impeding other drivers, prioritizing their safety over strictly adhering to the lap time requirements. Ultimately, no further action was taken against him.
Looking ahead to the race, Sainz acknowledged the challenging race pace of Red Bull, especially after a few laps when tire degradation comes into play. However, he expressed his motivation and energy to win, highlighting the good opportunity presented at Monza. While being realistic about Red Bull‘s speed, Sainz emphasized the importance of working as a team and making life difficult for his competitors to maximize their chances of victory.
Max Verstappen, who narrowly missed out on pole position, playfully addressed the count of his consecutive pole positions, mentioning his previous pole in Spa. He acknowledged the tight competition in qualifying and expressed his satisfaction with starting in second place. Verstappen remained focused on enjoying the moment and shifted his attention to the race, where he expected a challenging battle against the Ferraris and their passionate fans.