Hamilton nips onto pole position in Barcelona

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Hamilton emerged on pole position after an intense final battle for the top spot. He marginally pipped Vettel by 0.051. Bottas who throughout qualifying looked to be a contender for the pole, had to settle for third, in front of Raikkonen.

Qualifying started out in sunny, warm conditions. Vettel had just started his flying lap when he encountered issues. Although being asked first to park the car, he managed to keep his car going, first just trying to get back to the pits, but eventually he started another flying lap after cycling through the defaults, taking momentarily first place. Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean looses control over his car and spins over the kerb stones. Hamilton takes half way the session first place with 1:20.511. with the soft tyre having that much more pace than the next best tyre, nobody dared to run any other compound. At the end of the session, the drivers at the bottom half of the order made one last attempt to progress to Q2. Not making the cut were Kvyat, Vandoorne, Stroll, Palmer, Ericcson, Wehrlein.

The second part of qualifying kicks off with both Mercedes cars coming out early, swiftly followed by others. With track conditions being optimal, everybody wants to get their times in early. Hamilton puts his car on top with one of the fastest times so far of the weekend, but still slightly above 1:20.0. Both Vettel and Bottas come close to Hamilton, within a tenth, setting up a close battle for pole position later on the session. Excluding Raikkonen, everybody follows with atleast half a second deficit, putting Ferrari and Mercedes once again on their private island. Alonso meanwhile almost defies the laws of physics by sensationally putting his car in a Q3 position at the end of the session for his delighted home crowd, hinging on to tenth. Hulkenberg failed for the first time this year to reach Q3, along with Magnussen, Sainz, Grosjean and Wehrlein.

The final session starts out with the 2 protagonist teams coming out together. Times now finally dropped by a big chunk below 1:20.00. Bottas sets the first time, but lost time with an oversteer moment in the final corner. Still it was enough for second place behind Hamilton, who posted a 1:19.10. Ferrari failed to show the potential of Q2 for the first clash in Q3, with Vettel having further electronic issues. With the last attempt at the end of the session, Ferrari crept up much closer. Bottas failed to improve sufficiently to stay ahead of Vettel. Hamilton also failed to put in a better lap, but his first time was good enough to stay on pole. Raikkonen slots in at 4th.


144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:20.5111:20.2101:19.14912
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1:20.9391:20.2951:19.20016
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1:20.9911:20.3001:19.37315
47Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:20.7421:20.6211:19.43914
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:21.4301:20.7221:19.70612
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:21.7041:20.8551:20.17512
714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:22.0151:21.2511:21.04815
811Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:21.9981:21.2391:21.07014
919Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:22.1381:21.2221:21.23215
1031Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:21.9011:21.1481:21.27217
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:21.9451:21.329-13
1255Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:21.9411:21.371-12
1327Nico HulkenbergRenault1:22.0911:21.397-12
148Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:21.8221:21.517-13
1594Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari1:22.3271:21.803-15
169Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:22.332--9
1730Jolyon PalmerRenault1:22.401--6
1818Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:22.411--7
192Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda1:22.532--9
2026Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:22.746--6