The 564-metre run to the first curve will be key for Charles Leclerc as he leads Max Verstappen away from the first row for the Spanish Grand Prix. Track position has always been important at Barcelona, where following and overtaking are tough, and tyre management is especially important this year in the Catalan heat. Holding or stealing the lead at the start will determine the complexion of the race, but what happens after that is uncertain. Mercedes is likely to play a part in the podium battle for the first time this season, and after a clean sweep in the first two races, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing will have to keep an eye to become top in F1 Qualifying Results. He has to look front and behind them to avoid being caught off guard.
F1 Qualifying Results
The middle is as tough to predict, with fewer sure-fire scoring opportunities and at least one powerful hitter out of position. The customary opening to the European season is set to be a smashing success. After everything was said and done, Charles Leclerc sat on pole for the Spanish Grand Prix with Max Verstappen, the championship’s most frequent qualifying result.
But it was more than simply a predictable conclusion; it was a microcosm of the season so far. Charles Leclerc set a blistering speed but made a little but important error at the finish, spinning his Ferrari in the penultimate chicane on the first flying lap of the top-10 shootout and jeopardising his weekend.
Max Verstappen seemed to have a chance, but his RB18 had a mechanical failure, with his DRS refusing to open as he set out for his last pole attempt, forcing him to abandon the endeavour. Leclerc responded well, improving his Q2 time by 1.2 seconds to close the distance to 0.323 seconds. It was Leclerc’s hallmark, functioning at maximum assault regardless of the conditions. Read our complete Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying report here.
F1 Results Qualifying (Q3)
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:41.359
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull 0.282s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.347s
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 0.455s
5 George Russell Mercedes 1.353s
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1.486s
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.565s
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1.697s
9 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1.732s
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1.814s
On the initial runs, Sainz recorded the P1 time of 1m41.814s, 0.047s faster than Leclerc’s 1m41.861s – both Ferraris ahead of the Red Bulls, headed by Perez.
Sainz was much too ragged in the opening sector on the last laps and didn’t improve, so Leclerc took pole with 1m41.359s. Verstappen finished second in 1m41.706s, but Perez beat him to the front row by a tenth.
George Russell (Mercedes), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), and Fernando Alonso will start ahead of Sainz (Alpine).
Results Qualifying (Q2)
1 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:41.955
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.091s
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 0.133s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.272s
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1.174s
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.227s
7 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1.313s
8 George Russell Mercedes 1.326s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1.405s
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1.421s
11 Lando Norris McLaren 1.443s
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1.630s
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1.668s
14 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Racing 1.835s
15 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Racing 2.489s
Verstappen established the record at 1m42.227s, 0.031s faster than Perez. Sainz won in 1m42.088s, with Leclerc getting second in 0.073s following a massive slip at Turn 16.
Perez improved on his second push lap to grab the lead with 1m41.955s, while Leclerc finished second with a wall-brushing 1m42.046s. Vettel locked up and collided with the wall at Turn 15, but survived with the seventh-fastest time.
The McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon (Alpine), and Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas were all eliminated at this stage.
Results Qualifying (Q1)
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:42.722
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull 0.011s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.143s
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 0.235s
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 0.546s
6 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 0.557s
7 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 0.873s
8 George Russell Mercedes 1.032s
9 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Racing 1.055s
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1.181s
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.217s
12 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1.361s
13 Lando Norris McLaren 1.515s
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1.715s
15 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Racing 1.756s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1.921s
17 Alex Albon Williams 1.997s
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams 2.645s
19 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 2.649s
20 Mick Schumacher Haas 3.053s
Verstappen set the early speed at 1m42.938s, 0.26s faster than teammate Perez, before reducing it to 1m42.722s, with Perez closing to within 0.011s.
Lance Stroll wrecked his Aston Martin in Turn 2 with 2m30s on the clock, having previously locked up and nosed into the barrier at Turn 7 on the previous lap.
Kevin Magnussen (Haas), the Williamses of Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi, Stroll, and Mick Schumacher’s second Haas all fell at the first hurdle in a frenetic struggle to complete the last laps done.