F1 – Spanish GP – Qualifying
Hola, MiniFans! We’re in sunny Spain, in the very well-known Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya for one more thrilling weekend of racing. Mercedes has gotten closer, and the Red Bull and Ferrari rivalry is getting more exciting than ever.
The heat made it so that teams needed to be very careful when putting their cars out for a lap, and, as usual, the teams with the most troubles to get a quick lap were the first on track in Q1. However, they were soon joined by some of the top drivers, even if most of the grid wouldn’t get onto the track until halfway through the session.
The cars settled in the expected fashion, with Ferrari at the top, both drivers separated by a blink, and Verstappen following two tenths behind. The Mercedes upgrade seemed to be working at this time, as they were comfortably sitting behind the Red Bull. The home crowd couldn’t celebrate both of their heroes getting through, as Alonso found a lot of traffic in the last chicane and couldn’t put in one last timed lap. The drivers eliminated in Q1 were Vettel (P16), Alonso (P17), Stroll (P18), Albon (P19) and Latifi (P20)
In a different start to Q2, Mercedes were the first on track, perhaps emboldened by their seemingly great improvement, and Russel set an incredible time that no one could match, not even Hamilton. But it was the local hearo remaining, Carlos Sainz, in his Ferrari, who topped the timing sheets briefly, making his fans explode in joy right before Verstappen estroyed the time, going more than two tenths faster than everyone else.
Once he had gotten in, Norris’ time was deleted for exceeding track limits, with meant both Haas were through to Q3, joining the best teams in the fight for pole position and the best possible grid placement. The drivers eliminated in Q2 were Norris (P11), Ocon (P12), Tsunoda (P13), Gasly (P14) and Zhou (P15).
Q3 was expected to be a spectacular show of driving skills and fast cars fighting. The first one to pull a great time was the home hero, Sainz, at least until Verstappen bumped him down. On the other hand, the first mistake came courtesy of Leclerc, who spun in the last chicane and couldn’t finish his lap. Then, the circuit went silent, waiting for the final attempts.
Leclerc was the first one back out, as he couldn’t risk not having a lap, but everyone else soon followed the Monegasque, except for Ricciardo, who remained in the garage. The Ferrari driver didn’t disappoint, and he scored a time three tenths faster than Verstappen, whose lost power and didn’t give him a chance to even fight. Sainz couldn’t beat their times and was relegated to third place.
The fact that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is extremely well known by drivers is seen by a bad thing by many fans, but it also means that differences might tighten, and the smallest mistakes make you lose many places. Leclerc put himself back together quickly, showing why he’s leading the championship. The home heroes couldn’t deliver all they wanted, but they still haven’t said their last word.