Valtteri Bottas storms to his third consecutive pole position at the Circuit de Catalunya, ahead of Sunday’s Spanish GP.
Bottas took pole by over half a second with a 1:15.406, blitzing Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari’s to cement himself as a championship contender.
The Finn, who set a new track record in the process, spoke of his delight after qualifying:
“I really enjoyed that – the adrenaline rush. It’s started well the season and I feel better and better in the car.”
Hamilton was quick to congratulate Bottas on his amazing performance, who has consistently challenged him this season:
“Valtteri did a fantastic job. On my side, I didn’t put the laps together.”
“Ultimately, I didn’t do the job but it’s great for the team to have a 1-2, and if I can reverse it tomorrow I’ll be happy.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 11, 2019
After a really strong pre-season, this race was tainted as a must win for the Scuderia after their poor start to the season.
Unfortunately for the Maranello squad, they only managed to qualify in third and fifth position for tomorrow’s race.
Sebastian Vettel ended the session eight tenths off Bottas’s pole lap, with his team-mate Charles Leclerc a further four tenths behind.
“The car doesn’t feel bad but obviously we are not quick enough,” Vettel explained after qualifying.
“In balance I think we got it right. In these sort of corners you just need the grip, and I think we might be a bit down on that.”
The German added: “The last sector for us was a bit more tricky. I think we got everything out of the car. I’m happy, but not happy.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was able to split both Ferrari’s to take fourth with a 1:16:357, while Pierre Gasly will start the race in sixth place.
Haas performed well with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen taking up the fourth row on the grid.
Daniil Kvyat took ninth place for Toro Rosso ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Norris initially qualified eleventh, but moved up a position after Renault’s Daniel Riccardo recieved a three-place grid penalty.
Can Ferrari fight Mercedes? Will Red Bull or Haas get in the mix? Tune in for the Spanish Grand Prix tomorrow at 2:10 BST to find out!