F1: Leclerc wins pole for Spanish GP

After spinning his Ferrari on his first run, Charles Leclerc won his 4th pole of the 2022 F1 season with a lap of 1m18.750s for the Spanish GP in Barcelona.

Max Verstappen, fastest after the first runs, lost power in his Red Bull on his 2nd run and was unable to improve and had to settle for the outside of the front row, 0.323s behind.

“I feel good! It was a very, very difficult session, especially Q3 as I did a mistake and then only had one lap,” said Leclerc. “Very, very happy with pole, it was a good lap and the car was amazing. I am in a strong position, but we have been struggling with tires and if we don’t manage the tires well, we will lose the win.”

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during for the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

“I mean it’s always difficult to tell, but I couldn’t do my final run, but to be on the front row, looking at the whole weekend for us, it’s good, but obviously, I would have wanted to go for pole,” said Verstappen.

“It will be hot, this track will be tough to pass, but our car should be kinder to its tires.”

“It was actually a DRS issue [for Verstappen]. I don’t think we had enough today to beat that lap of Charles,” said Christian Horner.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was third, 0.416s behind his Ferrari teammate. “It’s been a tough weekend so far, conditions with the heat, with the wind. We can fight from there tomorrow. See if we can get a good start and go from there. I think everything is possible tomorrow.”

George Russell was 4th quick for Mercedes, again beating his overrated teammate Lewis Hamilton, who has nothing for his younger teammate.

Sergio Perez rounded out the top-5 for Red Bull, 0.670s behind.

Lewis Hamilton will start 7th, 0.762s behind.

If you look back at the history of this race, getting a starting slot on the front row has been absolutely crucial. And that’s exactly what the obvious two title contenders have done, despite spins, despite issues. Leclerc starts ahead of Verstappen – but will that order stay the same come tomorrow?

Those two have given us some barnstorming racing so far this season, plenty of elbows out stuff, but could tomorrow be decided by tyre wear? Leclerc sounded worried when asked yesterday – and it is something that is still clearly on his mind. The RB18 has been kinder to its tyres of late than the Ferrari, and if that is the case tomorrow… He could have a tough afternoon keeping his rival behind.

Qualifying Results

1 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:19.861 1:19.969 1:18.750 +0.000 12
2 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:20.091 1:19.219 1:19.073 +0.323 16
3 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. FERRARI 1:19.892 1:19.453 1:19.166 +0.416 16
4 63 George Russell MERCEDES 1:20.218 1:19.470 1:19.393 +0.643 14
5 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:20.447 1:19.830 1:19.420 +0.670 17
6 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:20.252 1:19.794 1:19.512 +0.762 15
7 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:20.355 1:20.053 1:19.608 +0.858 18
8 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:20.227 1:19.810 1:19.682 +0.932 18
9 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:20.549 1:20.287 1:20.297 +1.547 15
10 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:20.683 1:20.436 1:20.368 +1.618 18
11 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:20.838 1:20.471 12
12 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:20.880 1:20.638 9
13 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:20.707 1:20.639 15
14 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:20.719 1:20.861 15
15 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:20.476 1:21.094 15
16 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:20.954 6
17 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:21.043 5
18 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:21.418 6
19 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:21.645 6
20 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:21.915 9


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