A last min Mercedes 1-2 at the end of FP1 in Miami, with Leclerc and Verstappen following behind

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Photo credit: Mercedes F1

One pole for Charles Leclerc, one Grand Prix win for Max Verstappen at the Miami International Autodrome, where Formula 1 is headed this weekend for the second time in its history.

5.41 kms, 19 corners, three straights, just around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dolphins, the circuit is ready to host the fifth round of the Formula 1 season.

Let’s have a look then at how things went down on the first outing on track under the Florida sun!

Almost 30 degrees outside as the first cars head out of the garages, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen taking the top of the timesheet.

Early troubles for George Russell George Russell who struggling with steering and is forced to go back into the pits only ten minutes into the session, just as a brief yellow flag is waved for De Vries who spins into Turn 11.

A close exchange between Hamilton, Verstappen and the two Ferraris until Alonso takes the lead only to be beaten by Nico Hulkenberg who sprints his Haas ahead of everyone closing the lap in 1m31.392s, 0.5s ahead of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

Not much behind is his teammate Kevin Magnussen, behind Max in third, as we head into the second half of the session.

Having headed out on mediums and hard compounds it’s now the time for the Softs to debut on the Miami asphalt.

Tables turn with Hulkenberg sandwiched in P2 between the two Red Bulls, when he hits the wall at Turn 3 after losing the rear of his Haas.

The session is red flagged and resumed ten minutes later with Max Verstappen leading the timesheet and roughly another 15 minutes to go.

As track action returns there is another yellow flag as the Williams of Alex Albon takes a wide run at Turn 17 as he was sitting in P10, while the Ocon takes his Alpine up to top 5.

A wide take for Pierre Gasly as well on that very same corner.

“Lost the rear in high speed, I just completely lost it – very strange,” he lets his engineer know on the radio.

Five minutes to go it’s Verstappen and Leclerc racing for the top spot, with Sainz and Alonso behind and Hulkenberg still holding on that fifth place.

It’s finally time for the Mercedeses to take on the softest compounds, with Lewis Hamilton sprinting up from the back of the grid – P19, only to beaten by his teammate.

And it’s P1 for George Russell at the end of a dusty and struggly session, as he sprints ahead of Hamilton by 0.212s in 1m 30.125s on his brand new set of Softs.