As he has been all weekend so far in Barcelona, Verstappen was untouchable in qualifying as he claimed his fourth pole of the season by 0.462s ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. 

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McLaren’s Lando Norris was a surprise third thanks to a stunning lap that put him ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton, who survived a collision with Mercedes teammate George Russell to claim fifth. 

Lance Stroll was sixth-fastest for Aston Martin ahead of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg. 

Home hero Fernando Alonso could only manage a time good enough for ninth on the grid in his Aston Martin, while Oscar Piastri completed the top-10 to round out a great day for McLaren. 

For the second weekend in a row, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez endured a miserable qualifying and was dumped out of Q2 in 11th. 

Russell also had a difficult day that ended in a dramatic coming together with his teammate, leaving him only 12th on the grid. 

It was a nightmare qualifying for last year’s pole-sitter Leclerc, who suffered a shock Q1 elimination. 

The Monegasque had been complaining about the rear-end of his upgraded Ferrari throughout the opening session and ended up with the second-slowest time in 19th. 

Leclerc will join Williams’ Logan Sargeant on the back row of the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.