Drivers’ Standings leader Abbi Pulling ran the show in Qualifying, going from strength to strength to secure both F1 ACADEMY pole positions on offer in Miami.

Her hold over the top spot was unrelenting, with a time of 1:58.507 in the final minutes of the session putting her over five tenths clear of Doriane Pin and Red Bull Racing’s Hamda Al Qubaisi. The Alpine driver will have different company on the front row for Race 2, as Bianca Bustamante’s consistency was rewarded with P2, four tenths off, ahead of Pin in third.

With only 30 minutes on the clock, there was no time to lose as the field flooded out as the lights went green. Having set the pace in Free Practice 2, Pulling laid down the initial benchmark at 1:59.882.

Ferrari’s Maya Weug took over the top spot heading into the halfway mark, going 0.024s faster than Pulling’s latest attempt.

After a short visit to the pits, Pulling was back out on track and seemed to have plenty of speed still left in the tank. Further improvements to a 1:59.237 gave the Briton a two tenths buffer over P2 as Bustamante slotted in behind her.

Benefitting from the track evolution, Bustamante pushed on, deposing Pulling momentarily with a 1:59.122, whilst Pin moved inside the top three. Pulling immediately responded with a 1:58.714, but she wasn’t quite done yet.

Pulling secure her first poles of the season doubling her pole position tally in F1 ACADEMY
Pulling secure her first poles of the season, doubling her pole position tally in F1 ACADEMY

As Pin improved to just over three tenths off, one final flying lap solidified Pulling’s place at the top of the timing sheets, breaking 0.574s clear of the Mercedes driver.

Hamda Al Qubaisi’s late burst of pace elevated her to third for Race 1 ahead of McLaren driver Bustamante. Weug wound up fifth ahead of Campos Racing’s Nerea Martí and Chloe Chambers.

PUMA’s Aurelia Nobels will be looking to add more point to her tally starting from P8 followed by Tina Hausmann and Lola Lovinfosse, who rounded out the top 10. However, the Charlotte Tilbury has a five-place grid penalty carried over from Jeddah, promoting Jessica Edgar up to the fifth row.

Pulling will once again start on pole for Race 2 alongside Bustamante. Pin lines up in third next to Hamda Al Qubaisi, ahead of Martí, Weug, Nobels, Chambers, Edgar and Hausmann for Aston Martin.

The field won’t have to wait long to be back in action, with lights out scheduled for 14:05 local time this afternoon.