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
|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|
|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|
|11||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:24.463||1:24.203||13|
|13||26||DANIIL KVYAT||TORO ROSSO||1:24.696||1:24.445||11|