Lewis Hamilton proved the fastest man of qualifying today for the Spanish Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas was an extremely close second to make it a perfect session for Mercedes. Both Ferrari drivers will start from the second row.
The first runs in Q1 predictably saw most teams run the super soft tyres. McLaren though opted to send out their drivers for the first runs on medium tyres while Force India sent its cars out on softs. All four cars however later rejoined the track on super soft, even though for Alonso that wasn't strictly necessary as he had been fast enough in his first run to make it through.
Among the top, Vettel was fastest in the early stages, topping Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo. The two Mercedes were 5th and 6th fastest.
As the session drew to a close, both Force India drivers just made it through, along with Vandoorne who improved just before Stroll ended up in the gravel trap to end Q1 early. This leaves Williams in 18th and 19th position, ahead only of Hartley who did not set a time as mechanics were still working on his Toro Rosso to repair damage incurred in a crash late in FP3.
Q2 was kicked off by both Haas cars, followed by Hamilton and Bottas. The others weren't waiting much and soon the track was again flourishing with action.
Yet again, it was Ferrari that turned out quickest, this time ahead of Mercedes. Verstappen ended up 5th fastest, ahead of Magnussen, Ricciardo and Grosjean. The only two positions in danger of progressing through were 9th and 10th, but there were not enough improvements at the end of the session, making Sainz and Alonso being those that qualified for the top 10 shoot-out.
There, Ricciardo was the first man out on track, going quick, but still beaten by Verstappen by 0.042s and Hamilton by 3 tenths. Bottas ended up behind the Red Bulls after his first run, with both Ferrari disappointing to 5th and 7th. Thanks to an error by Raikkonen, this enabled Alonso to position himself in 6th, 1.5s down on the pace setting Mercedes.
While everybody sat in their cockpits to prepare for a final run on super softs, Ricciardo exited early and on soft tyres. Raikkonen and Vettel curiously opted for the same soft tyres a bit later when all others also went out.
Raikkonen became the first to complete a quick lap, properly erasing his earlier mistake and moving up into second. He later dropped back to 4th after Bottas improved into second and Vettel to third.
Home racer Alonso dropped to 8th as Magnussen eventually got the better of him. Sainz, the second Spanish home racer is set to start from 9th on the grid.
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:17.411||1:17.266||1:16.816||15|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:17.623||1:17.638||1:16.818||19|
|7||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:18.169||1:17.618||1:17.676||27|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:18.276||1:18.100||1:17.721||21|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:18.305||1:17.699||1:17.835||26|
|11||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:18.885||1:18.323||-||18|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:18.550||1:18.463||-||16|
|13||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:18.813||1:18.696||-||18|
|14||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:18.661||1:18.910||-||15|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:18.740||1:19.098||-||18|
|17||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:19.493||-||-||9|
|18||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:19.695||-||-||10|
|19||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:20.225||-||-||9|