Formula 1

Hamilton Claims His One-Hundreth Career Pole

4 Mins read
Credit: LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton took his one-hundredth career pole with a spectacular display in the Spanish Grand Prix qualifying. It looked as if Max Verstappen would spoil his weekend but missed by the skin of his teeth.

The start of qualifying was delayed by 10 minutes due to damaged sustained to a tyre barrier during the earlier Formula 3 race.

Q1 – Tsunoda Falls Early

Nicholas Latifi led the way as the lights turned green, followed by the two Uralkali Haas F1 Team cars following ahead of George Russell.

Valtteri Bottas set the early pace ahead of Max Verstappen and Hamilton; Pierre Gasly made it into the top three whilst Daniel Ricciardo looked like he was finally settling in to the McLaren.

As the clock counted down a traffic jam ensued, with Kimi Räikkönen, Lance Stroll, Latifi and Nikita Mazepin in danger of dropping out of the session with Antonio Giovinazzi and Sebastien Vettel struggling.

Lando Norris faced a post-qualifying investigation after getting caught out in traffic at Turn 14, this didn’t slow him down as he rocketed to first place in the closing minutes.

Yuki Tsunoda was the surprise omission at the end of Q1. The Japanese driver missed out on Q2 by the smallest of margins, being just 0.007s off of Antonio Giovinazzi who finished Q1 in fifteenth. Tsunoda will be starting sixteenth. Kimi Räikkönen couldn’t repeat his fine form from the morning’s practice qualified seventeenth.

Mick Schumacher out-qualified his teammate for the fourth time this year. He will start in eighteenth with teammate Nikita Mazepin starting twentieth. 

Nicholas Latifi sustained damage to his wing mirror after going over the kerbs during his lap. He will be starting the race in nineteenth. 

Q2 – Aston Martin Duo Out

As the second part of qualifying got underway George Russell was heard on the radio explaining that the weather had changed and the wind was stronger, affecting the handling of the car, making it harder to drive.

Mercedes were quick to get both drivers out on track, with Hamilton setting the bar before teammate Bottas managed to go two-tenths of a second quicker.

With the Silver Arrow duo stating their intentions early, it wasn’t long before Verstappen came along to ruin the party, setting a time that was half a second faster.

After teams had set banker laps, Russell headed out to set a time that was only good enough for fourteenth place, but with a time that was slower than his Q1 time, the Williams seemingly struggling with the blustery conditions.

Both Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team drivers were knocked out during Q2. The team have struggled this year and don’t see any signs of improving any time soon. Lance Stroll will start eleventh after being knocked out by Ricciardo in the closing moments of the session. Teammate Sebastian Vettel finished the day in thirteenth place.

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda showed so much promise in the practice session but haven’t been able to repeat the pace in qualifying. Pierre Gasly will be starting in twelfth. 

Giovinazzi managed to go one better than his teammate in getting into Q2 but couldn’t get any further. He will be starting fourteenth. ‘Mr Saturday’ George Russell couldn’t make it through to Q3 and had to settle for fifteenth.

Q3 – One-Hundred Not Out For Hamilton

Norris was first out on track on a set of used soft tyres, followed by the two Ferrari’s. The McLaren driver set a time of 1:18010 to go fastest briefly before Leclerc improved in the final sector to lap three-tenths faster.

Sergio Pérez spun while on his first out lap, dropping his wheel onto the kerb, coming into contact with the gravel. Hamilton was past the incident before the yellow flags went out, setting a time of 1:16.741 to go fastest, followed by Verstappen who was 0.036 seconds slower.

Bottas was in the fight for the front row, just a tenth behind Verstappen, an impressive performance by Esteban Ocon put him in fourth place ahead of Sainz, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Norris and Alonso; By this point Pérez was still yet to set a time after returning to the pits after his earlier spin.

Despite a late surge of track action Hamilton took pole position over Verstappen with neither drivers improving on their earlier times.

Valtteri Bottas was left to settle for third place alongside Charles Leclerc who goes from strength to strength each week, claiming his highest starting position of the season. 

Esteban Ocon had a spectacular qualifying, and will start from fifth place, while Sainz will be starting alongside in sixth place. 

Daniel Ricciardo out-qualified McLaren F1 Team teammate Norris for the third time this year. Ricciardo will be starting in seventh with Norris in ninth.

Pérez managed to set a time good enough for eight place after his earlier spin while Fernando Alonso rounded out the top ten at his home race.

Qualifying Results

PosNODriverNat.TeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:18.2451:17.1661:16.74119
233Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda1:18.0901:16.9221:16.77714
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:18.0051:17.1421:16.87316
416Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:18.0411:17.7171:17.51018
531Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:18.2811:17.7431:17.58015
655Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:18.2051:17.6561:17.62015
73Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:18.2641:17.7191:17.62214
811Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing Honda1:18.2031:17.6691:17.70117
94Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:17.8211:17.6961:18.01017
1014Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:18.2811:17.9661:18.14717
1118Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:18.2411:17.97412
1210Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:18.1901:17.9829
135Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:18.2891:18.07912
1499Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1:18.5491:18.35612
1563George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:18.4451:19.15411
1622Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:18.5566
177Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1:18.9176
1847Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:19.1179
196Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:19.2199
209Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:19.8079

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