Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix from pole position after edging out Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel in the final stage of qualifying in Barcelona.

After leading FP2 and FP3, Hamilton went into qualifying carrying plenty of momentum, and was able to convert this into his second pole position of the season following his success in Australia six weeks ago.

Cool track temperatures throughout qualifying left drivers struggling for grip, but Hamilton was able to turn in a new track record time of 1:16.173 on the Supersoft tyre with his final Q3 run, putting himself on provisional pole.



Teammate Bottas was just 0.04 seconds shy in P2 as Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid for the first time this year, with Ferrari being forced to settle for the second row.

The tyre struggles prompted Ferrari to complete Q3 on the Soft compound, but Vettel was still able take P3, just 0.132s back from Hamilton at the front. Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside his Ferrari teammate on the second row in fourth place.

Despite quick initial runs in Q3, Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo slipped to P5 and P6 respectively following Ferrari’s Soft tyre improvements, finishing six-tenths of a second back.

Kevin Magnussen led the midfield fight for Haas in P7, narrowly beating home favourite Fernando Alonso, who reached Q3 for the first time this season in eighth place for McLaren. Compatriot Carlos Sainz Jr. secured ninth for Renault, with Romain Grosjean completing the top 10 in the second Haas car.

While Alonso was able to lead McLaren through to the top 10, his progression came at the expense of teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished two-tenths of a second back in P11.

Pierre Gasly followed for Toro Rosso in 12th ahead of the Force India duo of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez in 13th and 15th respectively, the pair being split by Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.

Nico Hulkenberg suffered his first Q1 elimination of the season for Renault after a suspected fuel issue emerged on his car, leaving him with just a single flying lap at the end of the session. Improvements from Ocon and Vandoorne meant Hulkenberg was shuffled down to 16th, qualifying just ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

Williams’ qualifying struggles continued as Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll qualified 18th and 19th respectively, with the latter crashing out on his final flying lap. Coming through Turn 13, Stroll dipped his front-left tyre into the gravel before spinning into the wall as he kept his foot in, ending his hopes of making it through to the next stage of qualifying.

Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley propped up the timesheets in Q1 after failing to take to the track as a result of his crash in practice, meaning he will start P20 tomorrow.

The Spanish Grand Prix gets underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya at 2:10pm BST on Sunday.


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