Hamilton Takes Pole Position At The Spanish Grand Prix
The fifth race of the 2018 grand prix season is taking place tomorrow, and the starting grid has been decided.
Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel.
Before getting to the qualifying, we saw Brendon Hartley crash in practice, so he will not be able to take part in the qualifying session and will therefore sit at the bottom of the grid. He said the following to BBC 5 live:
"I'm fine, I had a bit of a headache earlier but I'll be fine to race tomorrow. The crash happened pretty quickly. I thought I might have slowed down more but the impact was pretty big."
Sirotkin also faces a three-place grid penalty.
It was an interesting qualifying with Stroll being the first to hit the track on super-soft tyres. Raikkonen and Hamilton also joined him on the super-softs, but Alonso headed out on Mediums. Alonso was one of only two drivers in Q1 who recorded a lap on Medium tyres.
All of the drivers faced issues throughout practice and qualifying due to high crosswind, tailwind and headwind.
Being first out, Stroll recorded a 1m20.6s lap, but this was soon overtaken by a 1m17s lap by Vettel.
Impressing in Q1; Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas and both Red Bulls all made it through to Q2. No real surprises around the drop zone, apart from Nico Hulkenberg who just missed out on a Q2 place after having gearbox issues during Q1.
Magnussen was the first out in Q2, leaving the pit lane in the same tyres from Q1. He was followed closely by Bottas in soft tyres. It wasn’t long before Hamilton put in his flying lap with a 1m17. This was soon beaten by Bottas, and Raikkonen. Just a second later, Vettel recorded a 1m16.8s lap, leading Q2.
All eyes were on Hamilton with just three minutes left of Q2, waiting to see whether he could rival Vettel with a fast lap. It was an interesting Q2. It’s important to note that whatever you record your fastest time with in Q2, is the tyre you must start the race with. Hamilton was looking as though he was putting in a fast lap, but pulled up in the last sector to make sure it didn’t outperform an earlier qualifying lap.
Perez, Gasly, Ocon, Vandoorne and Leclerc will not participate in Q3.
A green light for Q3, and it was all to race for. Hamilton had the fastest first sector and he was leading Q3 with a 1m16.4s lap. The pace was set, and one would think it was only a matter of time before challenges came from the rest of the pack but it didn’t.
Hamilton put in one more lap, and went even faster. It was Bottas who got close, just 0.04s behind his teammate.
It was an interesting strategy from Ricciardo as he was the only racer in Q3 on the soft tyres but it didn’t help him as he starts the race in sixth position.
As it currently stands, here are the grid positions for the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix.
#1: Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1m16.173s
#2: Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1m16.213s
#3: Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1m16.305s
#4: Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1m16.612s
#5: Max Verstappen - Red Bull/Renault - 1m16.816s
#6: Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull/Renault - 1m16.818s
#7: Kevin Magnussen - Haas/Ferrari - 1m17.676s
#8: Fernando Alonso - McLaren/Renault - 1m17.712s
#9: Carlos Sainz - Renault - 1m17.790s
#10: Romain Grosjean - Haas/Ferrari - 1m17.835s
#11: Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren/Renault - 1m18.323s
#12: Esteban Ocon - Force India/Mercedes - 1m18.696s
#13: Charles Leclerc - Sauber/Ferrari - 1m18.910s
#14: Sergio Perez - Force India/Mercedes - 1m19.098s
#15: Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso/Honda - 1m18.463ss
#16: Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - 1m18.923s
#17: Marcus Ericsson - Sauber/Ferrari - 1m19.493s
#18: Sergey Sirotkin - Williams/Mercedes - 1m19.695s
#19: Lance Stroll - Williams/Mercedes - 1m20.225s
#20: Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso/Honda - N/A
I will be watching on Sky Sports F1 from 2pm tomorrow.