Formula 1

New Track Record Secures Pole In Spain For Bottas

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Spanish Grand Prix - Valtteri Bottas
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas secured his third pole position of 2019 as he beat Mercedes-AMG Motorsport team-mate Lewis Hamilton by six tenths of a second.

The Finn set a new track record on his way to his ninth pole position of his career.

Hamilton completed a Mercedes front row with Sebastian Vettel in third place.

Max Verstappen was able to split the two Scuderia Ferrari’s and will start fourth for tomorrow’s race with Charles Leclerc in fifth.

Pierre Gasly starts sixth as he held of the challenge of the two Haas F1 Team with Romain Grosjean ahead of Kevin Magnussen.

The Scuderia Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat secured ninth with Daniel Ricciardo in the Renault F1 Team tenth but will drop down the field due to a grid penalty following his collision with the Russian in Baku.

The opening part of qualifying started with drama early on as Nico Hülkenberg ran wide and hit the wall at turn four. The German was able to limp back to the pits while George Russell went for a spin in the final sector. The two Mercedes were late to the Q1 party and Verstappen was able to split the two of them with Bottas the faster of the two silver arrows. The two ROKiT Williams Racing cars were slowest and were joined in the bottom five with Antonio Giovinazzi, Lance Stroll once again and Hülkenberg who was able to get a lap on the board despite his earlier incident.

The second part of qualifying was as tight as usual as another five drivers were eliminated from qualifying. Leclerc made a mistake on his opening lap and he was forced to run again but secured his place in the pole position shoot out. Bottas set a new track record while the bottom five continued to change throughout the final minute. Lando Norris just missed out along Alexander Albon. Home favourite Carlos Sainz Jr. could only secure thirteenth with Kimi Räikkönen and Sergio Pérez the other two drivers knocked out.

On the first runs in the final part of qualifying saw Bottas set another new lap record as he went six tenths quicker than team-mate Hamilton with Vettel a couple of tenths further back. Leclerc was on a different run plan after being forced to use an extra set of tyres earlier in qualifying and used the clear track to go fifth, behind Verstappen. The second and final runs in the final part of qualifying saw Bottas go first but he couldn’t improve and neither could anyone else as Bottas secured a second consecutive pole position in 2019.

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