You’d be hard pressed to watch any coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix qualifying session and not hear the name Max Verstappen numerous times but that’s for good reason. Red Bull’s driver swap seemingly has turned out for the best with the plucky teen Verstappen qualifying just behind his venerable teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, in P4 for Sunday’s race.

The Red Bull duo were certainly the talking point from qualifying but that’s not to overshadow the performance of Lewis Hamilton who looked untouchable setting a pole position time of 1:22:000 flat. The three-time champ needs to open his bank account in the title chase and Spain’s qualifying session looked like his first deposit.

Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg said he wasn’t keen about P2 during the session but admitted that Lewis was just quicker, simple as that. So too was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who best 40time champ Sebastian Vettel but both Ferrari’s were adrift of the Red Bull duo and with an already twitchy CEO in Sergio Marchionne, the pressure is sure to mount over the weekend.

Red Bull is said to be gaining an upgraded engine for the Canadian Grand Prix and if that’s the case, Ferrari may have a lot to worry about in the balance of the season.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso put on a show for the home crowd by making it into Q3 and his teammate Jenson Button said fair enough, Fernando has been quick all weekend. Nothing like a few thousand Spanish fans cheering ALONSO to map up your game.

Daniil Kvyat’s demotion to Toro Rosso hasn’t gone as well as Verstappen’s promotion to Red Bull as the Russian struggled to qualify in 13th and was quite a ways away from his teammate Carlos Sainz who qualified 8th.

The other oddity was Williams F1 and their veteran driver Felipe Massa who missed out on a final run in Q1 relegating the Brazilian to 18th on the grid for Sunday’s race.

For American team Haas F1, the team struggled all weekend with niggles, issues and front tire heat putting Romain Grosjean in 14th and his fruity language teammate, Esteban Gutierrez, in 16th.

Spanish GP Qualifying Results

1 44 LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES 1:23.214 1:22.159 1:22.000 13
2 6 NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES 1:23.002 1:22.759 1:22.280 12
3 3 DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL RACING 1:23.749 1:23.585 1:22.680 12
4 33 MAX VERSTAPPEN RED BULL RACING 1:23.578 1:23.178 1:23.087 12
5 7 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FERRARI 1:23.796 1:23.504 1:23.113 14
6 5 SEBASTIAN VETTEL FERRARI 1:24.124 1:23.688 1:23.334 12
7 77 VALTTERI BOTTAS WILLIAMS 1:24.251 1:24.023 1:23.522 12
8 55 CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO 1:24.496 1:24.077 1:23.643 12
9 11 SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA 1:24.698 1:24.003 1:23.782 16
10 14 FERNANDO ALONSO MCLAREN 1:24.578 1:24.192 1:23.981 12
11 27 NICO HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA 1:24.463 1:24.203 13
12 22 JENSON BUTTON MCLAREN 1:24.583 1:24.348 12
13 26 DANIIL KVYAT TORO ROSSO 1:24.696 1:24.445 11
14 8 ROMAIN GROSJEAN HAAS 1:24.716 1:24.480 12
15 20 KEVIN MAGNUSSEN RENAULT 1:24.669 1:24.625 12
16 21 ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ HAAS 1:24.406 1:24.778 12
17 30 JOLYON PALMER RENAULT 1:24.903 6
18 19 FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS 1:24.941 4
20 12 FELIPE NASR SAUBER 1:25.579 8
21 94 PASCAL WEHRLEIN MANOR 1:25.745 9
22 88 RIO HARYANTO MANOR 1:25.939 9

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Hey does anyone remember how exciting the elimination qualifying was?

Didn’t think so :)


According to the driver graphics on the screen, Massa left the pit lane with one minute twenty three seconds to go in Q1, I think someone needs to check the time displayed in the Williams garage.

The Captain
The Captain

Red Bull was quit the surprise, Ferrari must be pissed! And Ughh, We get it NBC ya’ll like Verstappen. A lot!

Oh And Leigh Diffy stop calling qualifying “Go fast day”, we’re not children and that’s a barely a step up from “Boogity boogity boogity”

jiji the cat
jiji the cat

It was interesting to hear Horner suggest Badger Boy was sand bagging. If he was then my level of respect for him has just gone up another notch. Let the mind games begin.


Oh my goodness … RBR really wanted Max to win this race. Pitting RIC for used Softs, then leaving him out there while they degraded for lap after lap? That’s not the strategy you use if you’re trying to win the race, especially on a track where overtaking is near impossible and position is everything.

They should really have put either Mediums or even Hards on his car & seen if he could go to the end keeping the rest of the field behind him.