Back in Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix and after qualifying it sets up the race to be interesting. Historically it has been a track that has been difficult to overtake on, but with these 2022 cars that make following easier, it will be an interesting watch.
Zhou Guanyu starts Q1 off by setting the pace, Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly go just behind. Tsunoda had his lap deleted for track limits violation.
Red Bull sent their drivers out early, Sergio Perez went fastest, only to be topped by Max Verstappen soon after. Ferrari then topped Red Bull and went 1-2 with Carlos Sainz then Charles Leclerc. Lando Norris went just behind Perez in fifth.
Valtteri Bottas with a good lap went fourth, ahead of Perez. The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell then went fourth and fifth respectively, just ahead of Bottas.
Zhou then sets another lap and goes eighth ahead of Norris. The rest that was ahead of the elimination zone were Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso. Then Tsunoda, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Gasly, Alex Albon, Lance Stroll, Mick Schumacher, and Nicholas Latifi were all in the elimination zone.
Last runs saw Haas drivers Schumacher and Magnussen go into eighth and fifth respectively. Stroll stayed down in the bottom five, Gasly up to eleventh, Ricciardo goes tenth. Alonso was not able to improve and was eliminated.
Drivers that ended up being eliminated were Vettel, Alonso, Stroll, Albon, and Latifi.
On to Q2 and Mercedes set the pace with Russell and Hamilton. Schumacher goes behind the Mercedes but in front of both Alpha Tauri’s.
Ocon went just behind Schumacher, Norris then splits them, Magnussen then beat them all going third just before Perez took third from him.
Zhou goes into ninth, then 10th with Bottas going fourth, Sainz slotting into fifth, Leclerc then going fourth and Verstappen only just behind Bottas in sixth.
Last runs in Q2 all except Leclerc, Hamilton and Russell went out for final runs of the session.
Sainz goes fastest, Schumacher with no improvement left him on the cusp of elimination.
Gasly only got to thirteenth, Tsunoda went twelfth, Zhou stayed fifteenth. Ricciardo up to ninth, Norris went seventh, however the time did not stick because of a track limits violation, his time was deleted, this meant he was put down to eleventh and Schumacher was promoted up to tenth making it through to Q3.
Drivers eliminated were Norris, Ocon, Tsunoda, Gasly and Zhou.
The beginning of Q3 had both Haas cars set their times on used tyres, then Hamilton set the pace. Russell, Verstappen, Sainz and Perez all beat his time.
Leclerc had his lap ruined as he spun at the penultimate corner, Bottas and Ricciardo went sixth and seventh.
Final runs came and Leclerc got a lap done and went quickest, Verstappen cited power loss on his lap meaning he did not finish his lap and lost out on a potential pole.
Russell had a good lap that put him up to fourth, Sainz got himself up to third, Perez went fifth, Hamilton sixth. Followed by Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo and Schumacher.
In a qualifying session that mixed up the top six, it could be an interesting result, especially after practice where Ferrari seemingly were slower on their race runs than Red Bull and Mercedes. So maybe during the race Mercedes could be fighting Red Bull this time around. But historically third place on the grid has an advantage with the slipstream down to turn 1, so could we see Sainz in the lead out of turn 1 at his home race? Nevertheless, could be an interesting watch.
Spanish GP Qualifying Results
1 – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 2 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 3 – Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 4 – George Russell (Mercedes) 5 – Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 6 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 7 – Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 8 – Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 9 – Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 10 – Mick Schumacher (Haas) 11 – Lando Norris (McLaren) 12 – Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 13 – Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) 14 – Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) 15 – Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) 16 – Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) 17 – Fernando Alonso (Alpine) 18 – Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) 19 – Alex Albon (Williams) 20 – Nicholas Latifi (Williams)