Miami Grand Prix: Friday RecapMay 6, 2023
Round 5 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with Friday practice at the Miami International Autodrome as teams prepared for Sunday’s 57-lap Miami Grand Prix.
The Florida track was resurfaced ahead of this year’s event and grip was the main question going into the opening session for MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.
Hulkenberg started FP1 running the Pirelli P Zero White hard tire before moving onto a set of Red softs, where he set a fastest lap time of 1:31.392. The German momentarily went off-line coming out of Turn 3, which was enough to spin his VF-23 into the wall cutting his participation in the session early, at a time when he was sitting P2 on the timesheets.
Magnussen opted for a set of Yellow medium tires for his exploratory laps ahead of a second stint on a pair of Red softs, where he recorded a fastest time of 1:31.853. When the session resumed with 18 minutes remaining, the Dane went out for a final run on a used set of mediums, classifying P13 overall.
FP2 saw Magnussen sample the hard compound to start, a spin and minor brush with the wall at Turn 13 providing some early drama in the session. When he returned to the pits he swapped out for a set of softs for a Quali sim – banking a best time of 1:29.171 for P13.
Hulkenberg ran the medium tires first before he too took on a fresh set of softs where he set a lap of 1:29.393 for P17 – traffic impacting his flying run. An off from Charles Leclerc with 10 minutes left interrupted high-fuel running for the Haas pairing – a red flag stop required to clear the stricken Scuderia Ferrari.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team ran a total of 83 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 36 by Hulkenberg and 47 by Magnussen.
“I think we had a good day. We did some tests in FP1 with the new bits we brought for this race and that’s looking good and I tried them in FP2 and it seems to be feeling good. A heavy-fuel run was looking very good as well, so it’s all going to plan and hopefully we can repeat it again tomorrow. I think Q2, maybe Q3 is possible – it’s super tight and a couple of tenths will put you from P15 to P10 – so it’s all to play for tomorrow.”
“I wanted it a bit too much, a bit too soon and paid the price for it. It happens sometimes and luckily there wasn’t too much damage and we picked things up in FP2 and were in a good spot. I feel the car actually handles and fits quite well to this circuit and I like the circuit a lot too. It was my first time on track in a Formula 1 car and it’s got a nice flow to it, it’s technical and challenging. I had a good day despite the incident.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“As much as today doesn’t look good for us, it was a good day. The only little thing was Nico’s crash in FP1 but the team did a fantastic job to get him out again for FP2. Where we were in the standings doesn’t really show where we are as Nico on his fast lap had a lot of traffic in the second sector. All in all, we’re very happy and the upgrade seems to be working well so we’re really looking forward to going out again tomorrow and having a good qualifying.”