F1 Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying: Bottas Lands Third-Straight Pole as Ferrari Flounder

f1chronicle-2019 Spanish Grand Prix, Saturday - Steve Etherington


Robert Kubica was first out on track, no doubt keen to ensure his new gearbox was race ready. His time of 1.21.860 was somewhat irrelevant in the scheme of things with a grid penalty awaiting.

Lance Stroll soon knocked 2.7 seconds of the Williams driver’s time while Nico Hulkenberg had a brush with the barriers drawing a yellow flag. He headed back to the pits with bits of his car not where they should be as the action resumed, Leclerc going quickest, two tenths ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen was next to strike, taking the top spot by half a second as the track temperatures soared in the afternoon sun. Bottas soon bettered the Dutchman’s time by a fraction before Leclerc improved on his first time but not enough to bother the front row.

Hulkenberg finally reappeared as the cars made their final runs. Hamilton went third fastest as Norris and Perez put in strong last laps to leave Hulkenberg, Stroll, Giovinazzi, Russell and Kubica in the drop zone.


After the early runs in Q2, Mercedes looked a level above the Ferraris and that’s the way it stayed throughout the session with Bottas topping the times ahead of Hamilton.

The Ferraris lagged well behind in third and fourth ahead of Max Verstappen who had briefly spilt the Prancing Horses.

Pierre Gasly was last to set a time but finished the session fifth fastest ahead of Grosjean, Kyvat, Magnussen and Renault’s Ricciardo, who was happy to make Q3. Ahead of the final runs, Leclerc briefly dropped into the elimination zone but rallied to claim fourth place, albeit with an uninspiring time. Norris, Albon, Sainz, Raikkonen and Perez all missed out on Q3.


Lewis Hamilton was the first of the main contenders to attempt a hot lap, setting a time of 1.16.040. But that was soon overshadowed by Bottas who smashed his teammate’s time by more than half a second.

Vettel went third fastest but appeared to be closing the gap to Hamilton. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen clocked within a tenth of a second of the Ferrari driver.

Hamilton went searching for something extra but over-cooked it and dipped into the gravel. Things just weren’t going right for the Brit who was desperate to halt Bottas’ run of pole positions.

Leclerc’s hot lap left him behind Verstappen hinting Red Bull could be a real threat to the Ferraris this weekend.

Hamilton had another go but could not overcome Bottas leaving Vettel and Leclerc as the only drivers with a chance of stopping the Finn. But neither could improve on their positions leaving Bottas on top for the third race running.

“This feels really good. In every run in Qualifying I found room for improvement, little bits here and there, and I managed to get everything together in Q3 and had a very strong first lap. I think the package we have brought to Barcelona is working very well and the car was very strong, especially in Sector 3. All the credit for that goes to the team, thank you to everyone back in Brackley and Brixworth. Our long run pace looked good on Friday, but a lot can happen on a Sunday. The start and Turn 1 will be particularly important. Tomorrow, Lewis and I both want to win, so I’m looking forward to a hard and fair fight,” added the pole-sitter.

Final Classification

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recommended For You

2021 Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday - Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton ‘I Love This Battle We’re Having’

It was an incredible race weekend for Lewis Hamilton, who ...
2021 Spanish Grand Prix Tyre Performance Analysis

2021 Spanish Grand Prix Tyre Performance Analysis

2021 Spanish Grand Prix Tyre Performance Analysis: Mercedes driver Lewis ...
Formula 1 Podcast | Grid Talk ep 104 | 2021 Spanish Grand Prix Review

Formula 1 Grid Talk Episode 104: 2021 Spanish Grand Prix Review

Welcome to Episode 104 of our Formula 1 podcast, Grid ...

2021 Spanish Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis

The 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix is likely to be a ...

More in News

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202110240073 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen Snatches Dramatic USA GP Pole

In the dying moments, Max Verstappen snatched pole position for ...
2021 United States Grand Prix, Saturday - Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Pipped To Pole In Texas

Lewis Hamilton will start the United States Grand Prix from ...
Pole Man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, With His Pirelli Pole Position Award

2021 United States Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis

2021 United States Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis - With ...
AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda of The Americas on October 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202110221235 // Usage for editorial use only //

Sergio Perez Fastest On Day 1 At COTA

Red Bull's Sergio Perez has topped the timesheets on the ...
Lando Norris, Mclaren, With A Special Helmet Design

Lando Norris Off To Fast Start In Austin

McLaren driver Lando Norris is off to a fast start ...

Trending on F1 Chronicle