Formula 1

Verstappen Takes Spanish Grand Prix Pole, Norris Impresses

3 Mins read
Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen took pole position ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. with an incredible lap which saw him finish over four tenths ahead of the Spaniard. Lando Norris impressed and managed to put his car on the second row in third alongside Pierre Gasly.

It was an action-packed qualifying session, with multiple shock exits along the way, which will make it an interesting race tomorrow afternoon.

Q1 – Hamilton Quickest, Leclerc Shock Exit

Q1 saw an action-packed 18 minutes, with the threat of rain looming over the track and constant running from the drivers. The session got going with a few teams looking to get out quickly, some got laps in but within a few minutes there was a red flag due to gravel on the track after Alexander Albon, Nyck de Vries, Yuki Tsunoda and Guanyu Zhou all went off track.

Logan Sargeant will start twentieth on the grid tomorrow, after struggling with the conditions. His Williams Racing team-mate Albon was also knocked out and will start directly ahead of him on the grid in eighteenth.

The biggest shock of the session was the struggles of Charles Leclerc. The Scuderia Ferrari driver struggled for the whole session to improve his lap times and the final running of the session saw him fall all the way down to nineteenth, where he will start tomorrow’s race.

Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas were also knocked out and will start seventeenth and sixteenth respectively. Sergio Pérez just scraped through in fifteenth too, with the Mexican driver really struggling with the conditions.

Pierre Gasly impeded two drivers in the session and will be investigated no doubt for both incidents and will likely serve a penalty as Leclerc did in Monaco.

Q2 – Russell and Pérez Out!

Q2 saw another action-packed session without the threat of rain but the track was constantly improving and all fifteen drivers were seeking an opportunity to get through into Q3.

The Scuderia AlphaTauri pair of Tsunoda and de Vries will start in fifteenth and fourteenth, but the whole weekend has marked an improvement for de Vries, who has shown some good pace. Zhou was the lone driver for Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake after Bottas was knocked out in Q1, but could only put in a lap good enough for thirteenth.

There was another shock in the session, George Russell was once again struggling to hook the car up and fell short and will now start twelfth on the grid in tomorrow’s race. To add to that, he collided with his team-mate at the start of his final push lap too.

Pérez was also knocked out for Oracle Red Bull Racing after leaving it late and going into the gravel, ruining his new soft tyres and later impacting his final push attempt. That means both Pérez and Russell will be starting eleventh and twelfth on the grid tomorrow.

Norris was on some real form for McLaren F1 Team finishing behind Verstappen, while Oscar Piastri also got through to Q3.

Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Q3 – Verstappen On Pole, Sainz and Norris Behind

Verstappen took pole position with an incredible lap at the start of Q3, which ended up almost half a second ahead of Sainz in second. Norris put his car in an impressive third position, giving him a real chance at big points in tomorrow’s grand prix.

Gasly qualified in fourth with a good lap, but will worry about a potential penalty for impeding both Verstappen and Leclerc. Hamilton really should have been on the front row based on his pace throughout the session but fell short on his final run and will start in fifth tomorrow.

Lance Stroll out-qualified his teammate for the first time this season and will start sixth, while Fernando Alonso will start in ninth after having some issues with his car. Esteban Ocon and Nico Hülkenberg will start in seventh and eighth while Piastri will be hoping to score a points finish after qualifying in tenth.

The race tomorrow will be an important one for multiple drivers and with Leclerc, Russell and Pérez coming from lowly positions, it has all the ingredients for an exciting and interesting race.

1Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:13.6151:12.7601:12.27220
2Carlos SainzFERRARI1:13.4111:12.7901:12.73422
3Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:13.2951:12.7761:12.79222
4Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:13.4711:13.1861:12.81621
5Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:12.9371:12.9991:12.81823
6Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:13.7661:13.0821:12.99423
7Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:13.4331:13.0011:13.08321
8Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:13.4201:13.2831:13.22918
9Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:13.7471:13.0981:13.50718
10Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:13.6911:13.0591:13.68220
11Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:13.8741:13.33417
12George RussellMERCEDES1:13.3261:13.44718
13Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:13.6771:13.52116
14Nyck De VriesALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT1:13.5811:14.08316
15Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT1:13.8621:14.47719
16Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:13.97710
17Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:14.0429
18Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:14.0638
19Charles LeclercFERRARI1:14.07910
20Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:14.6996
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