Verstappen takes first pole in Spanish GP

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 02: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 02, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202306030531 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen secured his first Spanish GP pole position in Formula 1. His initial lap in Q3 was plenty enough to be on pole. His teammate was out in Q2 with an uninspired effort running wide on his first attempt and not having enough to advance into Q3.

Spain had a hero but it wasn’t the one everyone thought they would have. Carlos Sainz was able to qualify in P2 ahead of Fernando Alonso who, in his defense, had a damaged underfloor that hobbled his effort. It was a good lap from Carlos while his teammate, Charles Leclerc, couldn’t get out of Q1.

Great qualifying results from Lando Norris’s McLaren in P3. Pierre Gasly had a terrific run but impeded twice during the session and was penalized for the effort. He will start in P10.

Also a great result for Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg in P6 and P8 respectively.

Qualifying Results:

1Max VerstappenRed Bull1m13.615s1m12.76s1m12.272s
2Carlos SainzFerrari1m13.411s1m12.79s1m12.734s
3Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m13.295s1m12.776s1m12.792s
4Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1m13.471s1m13.186s1m12.816s
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m12.937s1m12.999s1m12.818s
6Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m13.766s1m13.082s1m12.994s
7Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m13.433s1m13.001s1m13.083s
8Nico HülkenbergHaas-Ferrari1m13.42s1m13.283s1m13.229s
9Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1m13.747s1m13.098s1m13.507s
10Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1m13.691s1m13.059s1m13.682s
11Sergio PérezRed Bull1m13.874s1m13.334s
12George RussellMercedes1m13.326s1m13.447s
13Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m13.677s1m13.521s
14Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m13.581s1m14.083s
15Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m13.862s1m14.477s
16Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m13.977s
17Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1m14.042s
18Alex AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1m14.063s
19Charles LeclercFerrari1m14.079s
20Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1m14.699s
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I was impressed to see Red Bull let Verstappin fall down the ratings in Q2 to save soft tires. It paid off and just shows how good Red Bull and Verstappin is this year.