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Max Verstappen spins off as Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez tops Miami practice

Max Verstappen spun in final practice for the Miami Grand Prix (Darron Cummings/AP)
Max Verstappen spun in final practice for the Miami Grand Prix (Darron Cummings/AP)

Max Verstappen missed out on top spot in final practice when he spun his Red Bull on a blistering lap of the new Miami International Autodrome.

The world champion, who missed all of Friday’s concluding running following a hydraulics failure and then a rear-brake fire, was on course to knock team-mate Sergio Perez off the summit.

But Verstappen lost control of his Red Bull through the slow-speed Turns 14 and 15 – a chicane Lewis Hamilton has likened to a B&Q car park – before narrowly avoiding contact with the wall.

Verstappen’s mishap allowed Perez to finish 0.194 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with the second Red Bull settling for third.

George Russell topped second practice here on Friday afternoon, but the Mercedes cars were well off the pace in the last track action before qualifying. Hamilton finished 15th, 1.586 sec behind Perez, with Russell even further back in 17th.

Verstappen’s near-miss with the wall arrived after the one-hour session was red-flagged when Esteban Ocon crashed out.

The Alpine driver locked up through Turn 14 before hitting the concrete wall, and sustaining extensive damage to his machine.

British driver Lando Norris also flirted with danger when he brushed the wall in his McLaren but escaped unharmed. He finished 10th.

Qualifying for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix starts at 4pm local time (10pm UK).