Red Bull driver Max Verstappen took his first pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Lando Norris in Saturday’s qualifying session at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya.
Verstappen, who won the event in 2016 and 2022 but has never started it from the front of the grid, converted his practice to P1 for Sunday’s race with a commanding performance in the deciding hour of the grid.
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Verstappen allowed himself the luxury of falling back during his second attempt and still finished almost half a second clear of Sainz and Norris, who emerged as his closest rivals in an action-packed session.
Verstappen secures another pole
That included Charles Leclerc pulling out of Q1 amid complaints about the car, Sergio Pérez’s other Red Bull crashing at the second qualifying hurdle after a gravel trip, and George Russell also exiting in Q2 after a strange incident with his teammate Lewis Hamilton. .
Pierre Gasly took fourth in another strong performance for Alpine, albeit with a stewards investigation hanging over him after he got in the way of rival cars, while Hamilton and Lance Stroll rounded out the top six.
Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Pérez only managed to qualify 11th.
Leclerc’s first Q1 start since Monaco 2019 left him 19th on the grid, between Williams pairing Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, the latter unable to make a good impression after mechanics worked hard to repair the car he damaged during a final practice accident.
After qualifying, Verstappen said that he felt good in the car.
“The car was really good, qualifying started a bit tricky with the weather, but in Q3 the car was on the rails.