F1 Academy: Abbi Pulling sweeps Miami


MIAMI — At the moment, the title for the most dominant driver here at the Miami Grand Prix does not belong to Max Verstappen.

It belongs to Abbi Pulling.

The Alpine junior academy driver pulled off the double on Sunday, winning the second feature race in dominant fashion. Pulling started Sunday’s race on pole position, and led wire-to-wire for her second win of the weekend, and her third of the F1 Academy season. Pulling’s first win came at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and that came after the podium celebration, when Doriane Pin was hit with a post-race penalty that promoted Pulling to P1.

This weekend was much more convincing from Pulling.

She secured pole position for both races with a command performance during qualifying. Under F1 Academy rules each driver’s fastest lap during qualifying sets the grid for the first race, and their second-fastest lap sets the grid for the second race.

During qualifying, Pulling’s best lap was five tenths clear of Pin’s best time, as well as the best time from Red Bull Racing’s Hamda Al Qubai, who started the first race in P3. Pulling’s second-best lap was also good enough for pole position, but she had a different driver alongside her in the second race, McLaren’s Bianca Bustamante.

In Saturday’s first race, Pulling led every lap and never looked back, taking the checkered flag with a five-second advantage over second-placed Pin. Chloe Chambers, driving for Haas, scored a podium finish with her P3, the first podium result for Haas.

Sunday was more of the same in the second race, as Pulling held on at the start and slowly built an advantage over Bustamante. She finished comfortably in first, as Bustamante was able to fend off Pin for a P2.

Pulling now leaves Miami as she arrived, as the Championship leader. However, her dominant performance sees her with a 34-point lead over Pin in the F1 Academy standings.

Of course, Verstappen will get a chance to match Pulling’s weekend later today, as he takes to the grid for the Miami Grand Prix. But for the moment at least, the Alpine junior is the most dominant driver here in Miami.



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