For the 100th time in his Formula 1 career, Lewis Hamilton will start from the front of the grid. The British driver secured pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix by just 0.036 seconds. Verstappen starts from P2, with Bottas in P3.
In Q3 Perez spun on turn 13 but yellow flags didn’t hamper his teammate or his rivals. The Mexican put himself under pressure for the last five minutes. Hamilton got ahead of Verstappen by just 0.036 seconds after run one in the final session of qualifying. In the second run, neither Hamilton or Verstappen managed to improve on their times.
Over the last two seasons, Hamilton has been rewriting the record books. So much so, that virtually only milestone numbers remain targets for the man who is attempting to become the first driver with eight world titles to his name. In perhaps what is going to be his most challenging season in recent memory, Hamilton continues to reach these milestone numbers.
Hamilton achieved his first pole position in the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix in just his sixth weekend in F1. Through his 15 seasons in the sport, Hamilton has gone on to get pole position every year. Performing the feat on 30 different circuits around the world. Hamilton has four of the last five pole positions in Spain.
The start of qualifying had a 10-minute delay because a barrier at turn nine needed repair work following a crash in the support race. Even on the first run, traffic at the final chicane on the circuit caused problems for Lando Norris. An incident that the stewards want to investigate after the session.
Following the first run, Lance Stroll found himself in the danger zone alongside Nicholas Latifi and the two Haas drivers. Norris dipped down into the elimination zone, but a 1:17.821 pushed him to the top of the timesheets. Stroll also jumped up to P8.
This pushed Yuki Tsunoda and Kimi Raikkonen down who didn’t improve enough second time around.
OUT – P16 – Tsunoda, P17 – Raikkonen, P18 – Schumacher, P19 – Latifi, P20 – Mazepin
For the first in 2021, medium tyres were not used in Q2 by Mercedes and Verstappen. The Red Bull driver went half-a-second clear of Bottas at the top of the timesheets, with Hamilton a further 0.200 seconds down in P3. The British driver was only 0.300 seconds in front of the drop zone with the midfield being so tight.
Meanwhile, Perez found himself down in the elimination zone. The Mexican was joined by Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel, Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell who waited in the garage for a quiet circuit. Russell couldn’t make this advantage pay.
Perez found improvements and lifted up to P5. Hamilton also improved to close the gap to 0.244 seconds between his rival. Perhaps crucially, Hamilton ran the second lap on used tyres meaning his soft tyres will be more worn than Verstappen’s.
OUT – P11 – Stroll, P12 – Gasly, P13 – Vettel, P14 – Giovinazzi, P15 – Russell