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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc grabs Spanish GP pole as Verstappen suffers late drama

Charles Leclerc has secured pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix after winning out in a six-car battle between the Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers.

Leclerc Barcelona
To news overview © Ferrari

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc will start the Spanish Grand Prix from the front of the pack after claiming pole position during a hotly-contested qualifying session in Barcelona.

Max Verstappen was hit with what he described as power problems late in the session, robbing him of the chance to turn his provision spot at the front of the grid into P1. Red Bull confirmed after the session that it was, in fact, a DRS failure.

Leclerc started Q3 with a spin that piled on the pressure, but his second lap was the best of the day and fast enough to fend off fierce competition from drivers of three teams.

Despite his problems, Verstappen will start the race in second, ahead of Carlos Sainz (P3), George Russell (P4), Sergio Perez (P5) and Lewis Hamilton (P6), with Mercedes having entered the fight at the front.

Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher will round out the top 10 on the grid on race day.

Result Qualification - Spanish

# Driver Team Time Tyre
Results are being loaded...

Norris missed out on Q2 after stewards' decision

Mercedes raised eyebrows in Q2 when they entered into their final runs in P1 and P2, although it was not clear whether Red Bull and Ferrari were lapping on used Soft tyres as opposed to new Softs. Red Bull ended the session on top with a late Verstappen lap.

Bottas, Ricciardo and Magnussen impressed to graduate to Q3, while Schumacher, against the odds, joined them, despite his qualifying day starting with a brake fire and a rushed gearbox change.

Lando Norris fell from the session when his best lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits and will start Sunday's race in P11. Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly will start P13 and P14 respectively.

Esteban Ocon will line up in 12th, while rookie Zhou Guanyu will start down in 15th.

Alonso and Vettel both out in Q1

Fernando Alonso made a Q1 exit in a nightmare session for the home hero. The Spaniard was almost two-tenths behind his teammate, Ocon, when the chequered flag fell.

The stewards did take a moment to analyse an incident involving Alonso and Norris late on in the session, but no further action was required. Alonso will start the race in P17.

It was also a disastrous day for Sebastian Vettel (P16) as Aston Martin made the headlines for the wrong reasons once again.

The team have been accused of copying Red Bull's car design for this weekend, but Christian Horner need not fear that the Silverstone-based teams have a car as quick after both Vettel and Lance Stroll (P18) were unable to make Q2.

The two Williams drivers of Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi placed P19 and P20, with Latifi almost 0.3 seconds slower than any other driver on the grid.

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F1 2022 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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