Hamilton claims pole from Vettel in Barcelona
Lewis Hamilton will start the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position after edging the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel in a hotly contested qualifying at Barcelona.
The Mercedes driver posted a blistering 1:19.149s on his first effort in Q3 which proved to be just enough to hold off Vettel.
Despite undergoing an engine change before qualifying, Vettel impressed to punch in a time which was just 0.051s adrift of Hamilton as he split the Mercedes drivers.
“A big thank you to the team, because we had to change the engine last minute and the car was just about finished, so today is really for the mechanics – also from Kimi’s car that helped out, grazie,” said Vettel.
“Unbelievable, they did an engine change sub two hours. If you ever see the car stripped there’s a lot of bits and bobs that needs to be reconnected.
“It’s a miracle that they got me out.
“It would have been nice to get them the pole, but hopefully we can do well tomorrow.”
Valtteri Bottas had held second spot for much of Q3 before Vettel’s last gasp effort demoted the Finn to third.
The second row was completed by the sister Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Red Bull proved the best of the rest once again although Max Verstappen managed to out-qualify Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo by 0.4s for fifth.
“We didn’t expect to come here and get pole,” said Ricciardo.
“For me I’m still a second from pole. We have still got to find a bit as I was losing out in the final sector.”
However, the drive of the session belonged to Fernando Alonso, who managed to wrestle his under-powered McLaren to seventh in front of his home crowd.
The top 10 was rounded out by Force India’s Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa (Williams) and Esteban Ocon (Force India).
While Alonso delighted the home crowd, countryman Carlos Sainz was left disappointed with 12th in the Toro Rosso behind Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was unable to repeat his form in practice as he failed to progress from Q2 in 13th spot.
Romain Grosjean, who lost control of his Haas F1 on his final run at the chicane, was 14th ahead of Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein.
Marcus Ericsson was narrowly out-qualified by his team-mate as the Swede just missed out on processing to Q2.
He was joined by Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Lance Stroll (Williams), who failed to improve as the session progressed.
The final row of the grid will be filled by McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.
Result: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1:19.706s||0.557s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:20.175s||1.026s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:21.070s||1.921s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1:21.272s||2.123s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:21.371s||2.222s|
|20||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:22.746s||3.597s|