Lando Norris pips Max Verstappen to F1 Spanish GP pole with 'perfect lap'

Lando Norris beats Max Verstappen to pole position for the F1 Spanish Grand Prix.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates his pole position in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10,
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates his pole position in qualifying parc…

Lando Norris edged out Max Verstappen to claim pole position in a thrilling qualifying at the F1 Spanish Grand Prix. 

Verstappen appeared to be on course to claim his eighth pole in 10 races after setting a searing pace in the first runs of Q3, but Norris snatched it at the very end with a brilliant lap to pip the reigning world champion by just 0.020s.

It marks the 24-year-old Briton’s second career F1 pole, and he will be aiming to convert it into his second victory following his maiden triumph in Miami.

"It was pretty much a perfect lap," Norris said in parc ferme. "You know when you are on a good lap and you are getting excited. 

"But the whole thing went perfectly in the end. Close still but super happy.

"I would say my best pole position. I have not had many but of the ones I have had my best.

"It has been close all weekend but really it was about a perfect lap and that is what I did today." 

The top three in qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing, second; Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren,
The top three in qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red…

Lewis Hamilton claimed his best qualifying result of 2024 so far in third, 0.320s adrift of Norris, as he out qualified Mercedes teammate George Russell for only the second time this season.

Charles Leclerc pipped home hero and Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz to fifth on the grid, by just 0.005s, while Pierre Gasly produced a fantastic lap to put his Alpine seventh on the grid.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez could only manage a time good enough for eighth, but the Mexican will drop three places for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, leaving him 11th on the grid.

Esteban Ocon was ninth in the other Alpine, while Oscar Piastri had to settle with 10th after the McLaren driver ruined his final lap of Q3 with a trip through the gravel.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso could not reach Q3 and ended up 11th-quickest, while Valtteri Bottas secured a strong 12th for Sauber.

Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg was 13th ahead of Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin and Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu, who was 15th.

Kevin Magnussen narrowly missed out on Q2 as he ended up 16th in his Haas, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo, who could only qualify 17th and 18th despite RB upgrading their car for this weekend.

The Williams pair of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant were slowest of all and will form the back row of the grid in 19th and 20th. 

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