Disaster struck at the Miami Grand Prix with a team inexplicably missing two cars from the grid before the race.
The inaugural Miami Grand Prix got off to a dramatic start on Monday morning.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc secured pole position during Sunday’s qualifying session, but reigning world champion Max Verstappen overtook him to take the lead on lap 9.
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For his part, the Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo started 14th on the grid, after his disaster in qualifying.
His troubles continued early Monday when he dropped two places.
Verstappen takes the lead
Max Verstappen roared past Charles Leclerc with a deft move heading into Turn 1.
Using a DRS advantage, Verstappen made it look easy as he took the lead on lap 9.
Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, passed Yuki Tsunoda and Kevin Magnussen to return to 11th after 14 laps.
Big moves in the chaos of the first laps
Charles Leclerc has remained in the first place in the chaotic first round in Miami.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz lost out to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen heading into the second corner with the Red Bull driver climbing into second.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo moved up three places on the first lap to take 11th. However, he fell back to 13th on lap 4 after both Haas cars passed him.
Lewis Hamilton dropped to eighth and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was 19th after starting from pit lane.
Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu has been forced to return to the pits and has retired.
“We have to stop. I can’t believe it,” the team said on the radio.
Aston Martin in last minute bet
Both Aston Martin cars were missing as the cars lined up on the starting grid.
The team had not had public problems at the beginning of the weekend.
Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle called them “last minute gremlins”.
Lance Stroll told Sky Sports before the race that it was a “fuel issue”.
‘Ridiculous’: F1 champions criticized for ‘childish’ antics
Formula 1 great Ralf Schumacher has slammed Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for their “ridiculous” protests ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, accusing them of “childish” antics.
Earlier this week, race director Niels Wittich wrote in his guidelines that drivers’ jewelery and undergarments must be checked to ensure they meet the FIA’s fireproof safety standards.
Hamilton expressed his disdain for F1’s bling ban at a news conference, showing up with three watches, a bracelet, eight rings, four necklaces, two earrings and a nose ring.
Meanwhile, Vettel wore boxer shorts over his race suit on Friday as a sign of protest.
speaking to sky germanysix-time race winner Schumacher argued that Hamilton and Vettel should set a better example for younger drivers.
“To be honest, I find it all a bit childish,” he said.
“The drivers who drive Formula 3 and Formula 4 must know that the greats stick to it.
“And above all, it’s about their own safety and that it’s actually a ridiculous thing for people who are so experienced and have seen so many accidents to make fun of it like that.”
Miami Grand Prix starting grid
1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
3) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4) Sergio Pérez, Red Bull
5) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
6) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
7) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
8) Lando Norris, McLaren
9) Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri
10) Walk Lance, Aston Martin
11) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
12) George Russell, Mercedes
13) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
14) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
15) Mick Schumacher, Haas
16) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
17) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
18) Alex AlbonWilliams
19) Nicholas Latifi, Williams
20) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
Originally published as Miami Grand Prix Live: The F1 team in the last-minute ‘gremlins’ disaster