Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has secured pole position for Sunday’s Spanish grand prix.
The one hour qualifying session got underway under bright Spanish skies and in front of an excited crowd. The biggest casualty in the first part of qualifying was Williams driver Felipe Massa who will start 18th on the grid.
It was good news for McLaren as Fernando Alonso was able to advance to the top ten shoot-out for the first time since Honda has returned to the sport.
The first minutes of the top ten shoot-out belonged to newly promoted Red Bull driver Max Verstappen as he ended the first round of laps in second position overall. However, it was never his to maintain as the two Mercedes duked it out for pole position. Lewis Hamilton got the better of teammate Nico Rosberg with a quali lap of 1:22:000, 0.280s faster than the German.
Daniel Ricciardo, in the other Red Bull, left himself one shot at a final quail run and delivered. The Aussie will line up third with his teenaged teammate, Verstappen, in fourth.
Despite showing well in the morning’s third practice session Ferrari failed to deliver. Kimi Raikkonen managed the fifth quickest time ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel in 6th. Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was quoted as saying, about the pace, “we have to check.”
Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (7th), Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz (8th), Force India’s Sergio Perez (9th), and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (10th) round out the top ten.