As expected, the qualifying became another tale of Mercedes’ dominance. The Brackley team slotted their two single seaters in first row for the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA EMIRATES 2018, the Spanish Grand Prix, in a record-breaking timed session. Lewis Hamilton conquered his second pole this year (after the Australian GP) and pushed his list of Barcelona pole positions to 4, leveling with Ayrton Senna’s historic performance.
The reigning World Champion will have an edge in tomorrow’s race. If statistics are to be relied upon, Hamilton has everything going for him: in the previous 27 Spanish Grand Prix, 20 polesitters went on to climb the top step of the podium, so he has an amazing 74% of chances.
After a fresh pole position record was set in FP3, the odds were high for a new all-time track record in qualifying. Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Ferrari) beat the record he himself set in the winter tests earlier this season, and not only once but twice, in Q1 and later in Q2. Shortly after, Hamilton followed suit and shaved it off twice, clocking a stratospheric 1m16.173s lap. As his team mate, Valtteri Bottas established his personal benchmark on supersofts and fell short of the pole by the skin of his teeth. His 1m16.213s lap was just 40 hundredths off Hamilton.
Ferrari hedged their bets using both the supersoft and soft tyres, and clocked their best laps on the soft ones: 1m16.305s for Vettel and 1m16.612s for Kimi Räikkönen. The two will feature an all-red second row.
The third row was conquered by the Aston Martin Red Bull team: Max Verstappen (1m16.816s) pipped his team mate to fifth running on supersofts, and Daniel Ricciardo came in two thousandths of a second behind on softs.
Kevin Magnussen finished seventh for Hass, and the team’s second car will take the start from tenth place with Romain Grosjean at the wheel. Splitting them will be the two Spanish drivers in the championship.
Fernando Alonso hauled his McLaren into Q3 for the first time this season and will start an outstanding 1m18.276s result, as the team’s recent updates begin bearing fruit. Alonso’s satisfaction was no bigger than Carlos Sainz’s, who conquered 9th place for Renault on a 1m18.480s. Sainz suffered with issues on a tricky car on Friday, but problems were obviously solved today and he will pushing hard in the race. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg, however, was dumped to Q1 with a fuel pressure pump problem.
Brendon Hartley (Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda) did not take part in qualifying after he massively damaged the car after crashing out in the dying minutes of FP3. He will start from the back of the grid.
Activities for the entire family
Besides motorsports competition, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be hosting an extensive program for people of all ages. The Family Village is located at the former heliport and forested are, will offer animation and activities from 10am to 5pm, including clowns, crafts, a ball pool and a concert of the mythic children’s series Fraggle Rock. A chill out area, food tracks and DJ shows will entice elder members of the family. As in previous years, the Kids Zone will offer free baby sitting and child minding services for up to one hour, and supervised bouncy castles, slot cars, games, make-up artists, and a lot more.
Popular culture will also be part of the celebration, with batucada drummers, human towers (“castellers”) and traditional folk costumed figures known as Giants, added to the over 1,000 entertainers who will provide non-stop animation. Besides, urban art will provide a different point of view, with 4 graffiti artists performing their artwork live. Altogether, a multi-faceted celebration matching the grand show of Formula One. Don’t miss out on this unique experience. Tickets are still available on www.circuitcat.com or at box offices number 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 at the racetrack. The circuit’s doors and box offices will open tomorrow at 8am.
Full coverage of Formula 1 FP3, FIA F2 and GP3 races and Porsche Mobile 1 Supercup qualifying session is available on the circuit’s website, www.circuitcat.com/en.