Pole position at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix will be decided on the streets of the Magic City this evening.
Mercedes have been boosted by an improved showing during practice in Florida, with George Russell leading the way in FP2 after being narrowly pipped by Charles Leclerc in the opening session.
There is cautious optimism that a raft of upgrades has finally solved a number of the Silver Arrows’ glaring issues after a dreadful start to the latest defence of their constructors’ title.
However, it was something of a disastrous opening to the weekend for Red Bull on Friday, with Max Verstappen experiencing problems in both sessions.
The reigning world champion will be hoping for a quick solution as he bids to build on his second win of the 2022 season at Imola a fortnight ago.
Verstappen currently trails championship leader Leclerc by 27 points ahead of Formula One’s eagerly-anticipated debut in Miami.
Follow Miami Grand Prix qualifying LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below, including expert analysis from Matt Majendie at the track!
Verstappen’s Friday woes
Gearbox issues, hydraulic issues… it was a Friday to forget for Max Verstappen as life in Miami began in frustrating fashion.
“Yes, just not a good day, and of course these days [it is] extremely painful, especially on a track like this where you want to be out there and learn the track and get up to speed,” Verstappen said.
“So, I basically did four or five laps today – fast laps – so that’s not what you want:
Christian Horner added: “He’s just had a horrible day. He had an issue this morning, so as a precaution we changed the gearbox and one of the coolers, and then he’s driven out of the pit lane and had a hydraulic issue which has unfortunately caused some damage to the rear brakes.”
Championship leader Charles Leclerc topped the opening practice at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on Friday.
Leclerc covered the 19-turn, 3.36-mile circuit (5.41 kilometers) in 1 minute, 31:098 seconds in his Ferrari in the first of two looks at the purpose-built course around Hard Rock Stadium. George Russell was second fastest for Mercedes, which has been slow out of the gate this season with its new car.
Reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen was third and followed by Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez. Verstappen and Perez are second and third in the standings behind Leclerc.
In the second practice, Russell went one better and topped the timing sheets for a resurgent Mercedes.
Earlier this afternoon in final practice, it was Sergio Perez who came out on top of the standings, while Esteban Ocon crashed out.
How to watch qualifying
TV channel: Qualifying will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and F1, with coverage beginning at 8.15pm BST, before the session begins at 9pm.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also tune in via the Sky Go app.
Highlights: Channel 4 will be airing full free-to-air qualifying highlights at 8.30am on Sunday morning.
Live blog: You can keep up to date right here with us!
Good evening and welcome to Standard Sport’s coverage of today’s qualifying in Miami.
The action starts at 9pm BST but we’ll be bringing you everything from the paddock.