Charles Leclerc is fastest in the first practice of the Miami Grand Prix as Mercedes finds the pace

ANand welcome to our coverage of the first and second practices of the 2022 Miami Grand Prix. Going to a new track is always fun, isn’t it? There is also a sense of the unknown and the danger of the unknown for drivers. Add that it is a street circuit (as many of the newer tracks are these days) and that also comes with even greater danger.

Of course, until you get to the race on Sunday, you, and the drivers too, can say whatever you want about the circuit, get lyrical, etc. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and eating in this case is the actual Grand Prix on Sunday.

It’s always good to have absolutely zero expectations for a new circuit and then be surprised when they are exceeded. So far in 2022, we’ve had some good racing, but not quite the 2021 crop. That’s fine, it’s been hit or miss in other ways. In any case, F1 has certainly tried to make this a big event. It is the first of two races in the United States this year and will be one of three in 2023, along with the Las Vegas race. In many ways they have tried to turn this event in the F1 Super Bowl.

Anyway, far from superfluous things, there is a tight fight at the moment. Charles Leclerc leads the way for Ferrari, although his championship lead dwindled after he went a little too far in the closing stages of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and spun. That has put Max Verstappen’s championship hopes back on track after two DNFs in the first three rounds. It’s not very good for the Ferrari fans at Imola, it’s true, but it’s probably what the championship needed. Leclerc’s advantage is now reduced to 27 points from his Dutch rival. He could and should have been more.

Anyway, the first practice starts at 7:30pm BST and lasts for an hour and then we have the second practice at 10:30pm, also for an hour. Let’s see what Miami has in store. Other than that fake marina.

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