100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Hamilton keeps nose stud after showdown with Grand Prix 'bling' police
Miami (AFP) - After threatening to skip the inaugural Miami Grand Prix over a bling clampdown, Lewis Hamilton removed almost…
Russell tops the times for Mercedes in opening practice
Miami (AFP) - George Russell confirmed Mercedes recovery from their early-season problems when he topped the times in Friday's second…
Ferrari's Leclerc grabs pole for Miami Grand Prix
Miami (AFP) - World championship leader Charles Leclerc claimed pole position and led Ferrari to a front-row lockout on Saturday…
Perez quickest in final practice as Mercedes slump again
Miami (AFP) - Sergio Perez topped the times for Red Bull ahead of championship leader Charles Leclerc in Saturday's final…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Lewis Hamilton bows to pressure from F1 chiefs amid jewellery stance ahead of Miami GP
Lewis Hamilton will not wear ear piercings during the race in Miami this weekend, just hours after threatening to boycott…
Miami GP: Leclerc tops first practice from Russell by 0.071s
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc narrowly beat George Russell in the updated Mercedes to set the pace in the first practice session…
Get all your news in one place
Latest Sport news:
Kevin De Bruyne commits future to Manchester City after latest Premier League title
Kevin De Bruyne pledged his future to Manchester City after helping the club secure a fourth Premier League title in…
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Kylian Mbappe insists Real Madrid dream is ‘never over’ despite signing new PSG contract
Kylian Mbappe has refused to rule out a future move to Real Madrid despite leaving the Spanish side furious after…
Qatar World Cup Audience Projected at 5 Bln, Says FIFA Boss
The 2022 World Cup hosted by Qatar is expected to be watched by 5 billion people around the world, FIFA…
French Open: Emma Raducanu battles through at Roland Garros but Heather Watson suffers early exit
Emma Raducanu was made to work hard for her first-round win over Linda Noskova at the French Open.
Turning despair into action for female athletes
After a decade of research, advocacy and outreach for female athlete health by NZ experts, why are sports organisations not listening and…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Champions League final prediction, kick off time, TV, live stream, team news, h2h
For the 63rd and final time this season, Liverpool will take to the pitch on Saturday night when they face…
Man City Premier League title parade: Route and start time after trophy clinched on dramatic final day
Manchester City have confirmed plans for an open-top bus parade after retaining the Premier League title in dramatic fashion on…

Leclerc fastest in Miami as Hamilton given 'bling' exemption for nose stud

By Tim COLLINGS
. ©AFP

Miami (AFP) - World championship leader Charles Leclerc was fastest for Ferrari in Friday morning's opening free practice ahead of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old Monegasque clocked a best lap in one minute and 31.098 on soft tyres to outpace nearest rival George Russell, in an updated Mercedes, by 0.071 seconds.World champion Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull.

Russell's team-mate seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton was eighth after gaining a late exemption to keep in his nose stud, following a bling clampdown by the sport.

Mercedes introduced a major package of aerodynamic upgrades and were rewarded with a revival on the track.

Sergio Perez was fourth in the second Red Bull, ahead of Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri, Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari and Alex Albon for Williams.

Behind Hamilton in eighth were Kevin Magnussen, ninth for Haas, and Daniel Ricciardo, 10th for McLaren.

On a near-perfect day of blue skies and sunshine, the session began in hot conditions with an air temperature of 34 degrees and the track at 54, but with fast-forming clouds threatening rain.

The track surface was described as gritty and potentially loose, as the early runners, led by Lance Stroll, began setting lap times and testing their limits on the new track.

Verstappen, pushing hard, skimmed a wall under the bridge at Turn 13 after nine minutes, having gone top, before Leclerc outpaced him, the pair enjoying finding their limits as others spun and slithered.

Leclerc and his Ferrari team-mate Sainz traded fastest laps as they led the way, the Italian team having introduced a revised rear wing, while the Mercedes' duo both lapped in the top ten.

Hamilton had removed most of his jewellery in compliance with a scrutineers' clampdown, which had generated much controversy before the action began.

He kept his nose stud, however, for which he was given a special exemption, according to a pre-session note circulated by the FIA, confirming that Mercedes had finally completed a scrutineering declaration.

This meant both of their drivers would obey the rules about 'the wearing of jewellery' and 'compliant underwear', issues that had annoyed several drivers including four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

The Aston Martin driver chose to show his feelings on the subject by wearing his underpants over his race suit as a sign of protest.

Hamilton's exemption was reported to have been granted for two races and came after his successful efforts to remove his earrings.

On track, the first crash of the weekend came after 36 minutes when Valtteri Bottas clattered into the barriers at Turn Seven, prompting a first red flag.

After an eight-minute interruption, the action resumed with Hamilton, making the best of his improved Mercedes, rising to second before Sainz collected a front left puncture and spun at Turn Four.

In a final rush, Verstappen regained brief control at the top of the order and Russell proved Mercedes' rediscovered pace by taking second before Leclerc clocked his best ahead of the Briton.

Hamilton, also on softs, was fast, but slowed by Tsunoda, and wound up eighth.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Hamilton keeps nose stud after showdown with Grand Prix 'bling' police
Miami (AFP) - After threatening to skip the inaugural Miami Grand Prix over a bling clampdown, Lewis Hamilton removed almost…
Russell tops the times for Mercedes in opening practice
Miami (AFP) - George Russell confirmed Mercedes recovery from their early-season problems when he topped the times in Friday's second…
Ferrari's Leclerc grabs pole for Miami Grand Prix
Miami (AFP) - World championship leader Charles Leclerc claimed pole position and led Ferrari to a front-row lockout on Saturday…
Perez quickest in final practice as Mercedes slump again
Miami (AFP) - Sergio Perez topped the times for Red Bull ahead of championship leader Charles Leclerc in Saturday's final…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Lewis Hamilton bows to pressure from F1 chiefs amid jewellery stance ahead of Miami GP
Lewis Hamilton will not wear ear piercings during the race in Miami this weekend, just hours after threatening to boycott…
Miami GP: Leclerc tops first practice from Russell by 0.071s
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc narrowly beat George Russell in the updated Mercedes to set the pace in the first practice session…
Get all your news in one place