F1 – Spanish GP – Qualifying
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosts the 5th round of the 2019 FIA F1 World Championship this weekend with Mercedes looking to continue their 100% race win record this season. Did you know that the circuit is in the municipality of Montmeló, a tiny region which only has a recorded population of under 9,000 people!
In Q1, the two Williams predictably found themselves at the back of the grid with George Russell ahead of Robert Kubica by a huge 1.182 seconds. George was only 0.408s off Antonio Giovinazzi (18th), which is as close as a Williams has been all season. Lance Stroll qualified in 17th and the shock of the session was Nico Hulkenberg who dropped out in 16th. Nico actually went off track during the session, and nerfed the barriers too, but he was able to drive back to the pits for a front wing replacement, and he did complete the session.
Q2 passed without major incident, although a number of drivers were struggling for grip and many slides were seen as a result. Eliminated from the session were Sergio Perez (15th), Kimi Raikkonen (14th), Carlos Sainz (13th), Alexander Albon (12th) and Lando Norris (11th). The traditional top six make it through to Q3 along with both Haas drivers, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo.
In Q3, Valtteri Bottas would make good on yesterday’s form to take his third consecutive pole position by a huge 0.634 seconds from Lewis Hamilton. That’s quite a statement, and there’s no denying the the momentum lies completely with the Finnish driver at the moment. Sebastian Vettel would qualify 3rd, with Max Verstappen splitting the Ferrari’s by qualifying ahead of Charles Leclerc. Pierre Gasly would round out the top six for Red Bull. All weekend so far, Haas have looked like “best of the rest” and they cemented that position with 7th & 8th in qualifying. Daniil Kvyat qualified 9th for Toro Rosso ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault.
It’s looking quite likely that it will be yet another Mercedes 1-2 finish this weekend, but, in what order? Do you think Valtteri Bottas will leave Spain with the championship lead? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to join us tomorrow after the race!