Bottas beats Hamilton to Spanish pole position

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Valtteri Bottas is on a high, and has proved to be by beating his team mate by a massive 6 tenths to take pole for the Spanish Grand Prix. Behind another Mercedes front row, Vettel and Verstappen we start from third and fourth.

Valtteri Bottas set the early pace and further increased his advantage when he recorded another improvement in a second flying lap. Verstappen just did one flyer to go second fastest, ahead of Hamilton and the Ferrari duo.

McLaren were initially out of the top 10, but by going out again, both drivers improved to be certain of a place in Q2.

The factory Renault team, who actually have an upgraded power unit contrary to McLaren's Renault power unit had a much less positive first part of qualifying. In fact, Hulkenberg already lost control of his car on his very first lap and ended up in the barriers at Turn 4. He managed to reverse and get back to the pits, but the subsequent performance wasn't anything special, resulting in a 16th fastest time, far from what the team had expected. In fact, that was just 6 tenths quicker than the fastest Williams from Russell.

Robert Kubica did have a very difficult session for Williams, and got outpaced by his teammate by more than a full second.

The second part saw Hamilton set a new lap record, going round in 1m16.038. Vettel and Verstappen followed at 6 tenths and everybody else initially more than a full second behind. That also meant it was tight for getting through to Q3 with 5th to 10th covered by less than three tenths.

Almost everybody went out for another run, and it was Bottas who set another lap record in 1m15.924 to go fastest. Norris was the first to improve and moved up into 7th, but in the end it proved insufficient, and improvements from Kvyat, the Haas drivers and Ricciardo meant he ended Q2 in 11th place.

Albon and Sainz also lost out, but they didn't even get close due to mistakes on their flying laps.

The times tumbled even further in Q3 as Bottas's first lap was another 5 tenths quicker, now down to 1m15.406. Hamilton meanwhile was a bit too aggressive in Turn 7 and lost 6 tenths to his teammate, but even that was good enough for second as Vettel and Verstappen were another 3 tenths down after their first laps.

Charles Leclerc opted for a single lap in Q3 and hence used the track when everyone was back in the pits to change tyres. It didn't seem to help him a whole lot as he ended up 1.2s down on Bottas.

Similarly, the second runs were disappointing for everyone as nobody managed to move up at all.

This means Bottas secures an impressive pole position, beating Lewis Hamilton by a massive 6 tenths with another front row lockout for Mercedes AMG F1.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarQ1Q2Q3Laps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:16.9791:15.9241:15.40618
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:17.2921:16.0381:16.04017
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:17.4251:16.6671:16.27218
433Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:17.2441:16.7261:16.35712
516Charles LeclercFerrari1:17.3881:16.7141:16.58819
610Pierre GaslyRed Bull Racing Honda1:17.8621:16.9321:16.70817
78Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:18.0421:17.0661:16.91116
820Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:17.6691:17.2721:16.92215
926Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:17.9141:17.2431:17.57320
103Daniel RicciardoRenault1:18.3851:17.2991:18.10619
114Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault1:17.6111:17.338-14
1223Alexander AlbonScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:17.7961:17.445-14
1355Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault1:17.7601:17.599-12
147Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:18.1321:17.788-14
1511Sergio PerezRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:18.2861:17.886-12
1627Nico HulkenbergRenault1:18.404--7
1718Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:18.471--9
1899Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:18.664--8
1963George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:19.072--8
2088Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:20.254--9

Q1 107% time - 1:22.367

Note - Ricciardo drops 3 grid places as penalty for causing a collision at the previous round. Russell drops 5 grid places for an unscheduled gearbox change.