Lewis Hamilton qualifies first for Spanish GP, leaves everyone in his dust

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Lewis Hamilton (Alejandro Garcia / Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton (Alejandro Garcia / Getty Images)
Alejandro Garcia

• Lewis Hamilton qualifies first for the 2020 Spanish GP.

• He leads from Bottas and Verstappen.

• Charles Leclerc was the sole Ferrari in Q3.

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Lewis Hamilton took pole position for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was on top of his game and the conditions throughout the session, and qualified ahead of his team mate, Valtteri Bottas. Max Verstappen of Red Bull was the closest driver to the Mercedes duo, but could only best a third place.

The pole was the 92nd of Hamilton's career and his fourth of the season.

It took a few minutes before drivers took to the track. Williams was the first to flinch by sending out both its drivers. Nicholas Latifi set the first timed lap, but he quickly slid down the order as more times were added to the board.

Hamilton and Bottas quickly established benchmark times, but the Racing Points of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll forced themselves into the mix. As the session carried on, Perez slotted into second place; just 0.080sec behind Hamilton.

With a few minutes remaining, all the drivers, bar the Racing Points and Romain Grosjean (Haas) went out on track. In the end, a mere second separated Hamilton in first and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) in 15th place.



Q2

When the second part of qualifying got underway, drivers were quick to set a timed lap. And again it was Hamilton and Bottas leading the field. Alex Albon, Verstappen's team mate, put his name next to the third slot but was quickly kicked off his perch by several drivers, including Verstappen.

The surprise of the session was Raikkonen, who made it past Q1. Unfortunately, there was nothing the Finish driver could do to makean impact on the session. He ended it in the last place.

With three minutes remaining, the remaining drivers went out for a final run, except for Hamilton, Bottas, and Verstappen. Though Lando Norris (McLaren) made it into Q3 by just 0.002sec, Sebastian Vettel was not so lucky and could only muster 11th on the grid.


Q3

The third and final session saw the two Racing Points waiting at the end of the pit lane for lights to go green. The reason: go out on a clear track and not have drivers impede you. To an extent, it probably did work, because Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez qualified fourth and fifth, respectively. The first timed session was led by Hamilton, followed by Bottas and Verstappen.

Hamilton's first time of 1:15.584 was the fastest of the weekend.

As the session drew to a close, Hamilton failed to improve on his first timed lap, but, crucially, Bottas was unable to eliminate the 0.059sec-gap to Hamilton. Verstappen qualified third, while Charles Leclerc, the remaining Ferrari, could only manage ninth.

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