- Valtteri Bottas took the ninth pole position of his Formula 1 career on Saturday in Spain after topping qualifying for Mercedes, setting three laps good enough for P1.

- His best effort of 1m15.406s comfortably marks a new track record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, beating last year’s benchmark set by Lewis Hamilton in qualifying (1m16.173s).

- It is the first time in Bottas’ F1 career that he has scored three consecutive pole positions, and also the first time he has beaten Hamilton in qualifying at three races in a row during their time together as teammates.

- Hamilton had a battery charge issue at the end of Q2 which compromised his first Q3 run, before being told to back off during his final lap of the session due to track conditions worsening.

- Both Bottas and Hamilton said they were surprised by the gap to Ferrari in qualifying as Sebastian Vettel finished eight-tenths of a second off the pole time. As the car update arms race rages on between the two front-running teams, it seems the pecking order has remained unchanged.

- Max Verstappen was content with P4 on the grid for Red Bull as he split the Ferrari drivers, but felt Mercedes was out of reach at the front of the pack. Asked about his hopes for the race on Sunday, he said fighting for a podium would be the aim.

- Teammate Pierre Gasly will start the race sixth on the grid, and took heart from a clean weekend up to now – something he has not entirely enjoyed so far this year. Gasly also said he felt the minor updates on the RB15 car were helping him grow more comfortable with the car after a tricky start to the year.

- Charles Leclerc could only manage a single run in Q3 after damaging the underside of his car when running wide on a lap in Q2. While Ferrari repaired the car so he got out at the end of Q3, the Monegasque could only qualify fifth.

- Haas comfortably finished as the leading midfield team on Saturday with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen locking out the fourth row of the grid, half a second clear of Daniil Kvyat in P9. The team will be aiming to bounce back from a three-race run out of the points that has seen tyre woes blight its race pace.

- Kvyat said he thought his Q2 lap was one of the best single laps of his F1 career. The effort got him through to Q3 where he finished ninth, lapping three-tenths of a second slower than his overall best effort.

- Daniel Ricciardo made good on his hopes of getting into Q3 as he qualified P10 for Renault. He will drop to 13th on the grid as a result of a penalty for the collision with Kvyat in Azerbaijan.

- Teammate Nico Hulkenberg dropped out in Q1 after a lock up sent him into the wall during his first run, damaging the front wing on his Renault. While Hulkenberg did get back out again after having a new front wing fitted, damage to the bargeboards limited him to P16 for the team.

- Renault’s fast-tracked power unit update led to element changes for its drivers ahead of FP3. Hulkenberg took a new engine, turbocharger and MGU-H, matching Ricciardo’s changes from yesterday, while McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz updated the same parts on their customer engines.

- Red Bull opted to change Pierre Gasly’s chassis ahead of FP3 on Saturday morning in order for the new parts to be fitted after the Frenchman did not run them during practice. The car re-passed scrutineering after checks by the stewards prior to the session.

- George Russell was handed a five-place grid penalty as a result of a gearbox change following his FP3 crash, dropping him from P19 to P20 on the grid tomorrow behind teammate Robert Kubica.



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