Leclerc, Verstappen and Sainz set for another three-way

Leclerc, Verstappen and Sainz set for another three-way battle at the Circuit

The FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022 has now drawn up its starting grid, with a new battle between Ferrari and Red Bull being witnessed by a total of 95,163 fans.

Formula 1

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya did not want to leave aside the dynamics of this start of the Formula 1 World Championship season. Thus, the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022 has begun with the promise of another epic three-way battle: Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz; or in other words, the tireless rivalry between Ferrari and Red Bull. Moreover, 95,163 people wanted to watch this spectacle live at the Circuit.

They were already in the betting when arriving in Barcelona, but today many predictions have been confirmed. Charles Leclerc took his second consecutive pole position, his fourth of the year, stopping the clock at 1:18.750. This time, however, is a long way off last year’s best time, the 1:16.741 set by Lewis Hamilton on the new configuration of the track after the modification of turn 10. Nevertheless, the Monegasque managed a lap that gave him a three tenths of a second advantage over Max Verstappen, the driver with whom he will share the front row of the grid tomorrow. Q3, however, was not without its scares for Leclerc, who went out on a limb after a spin on his first attempt to set a lap time.

Leclerc will be followed tomorrow by one of the home drivers, Carlos Sainz. With a place on the good side of the grid, the Spaniard himself recognised the importance of the start to begin his particular path to victory. “Tomorrow there will be two key aspects, one is the start and the other is tyre management. I’m ready to push, so everything is possible for tomorrow,” said Sainz as he stepped out of his car. The Ferrari driver can dream, as he has been on the podium in every race he has finished. Max Verstappen doesn’t feel the same way as Sainz, with the Dutchman proving that the start is not so crucial with his own experience. “In 2016 I started fourth and won, whereas last year I started first and failed to claim victory,” said the World Champion.

With the mystery of the start still to be solved, it also remains to be seen how the cars behave over 66 laps in such high temperatures. The FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022 will be one of the hottest ever held, which opens the window for race strategies with tyres. Fourth-placed George Russell and fifth-placed Checo Pérez will have to pull clear of Leclerc, Verstappen and Sainz for a podium finish on a track where overtaking is not so easy. Lewis Hamilton will start sixth, followed by his former team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher took the last three positions in Q3. Particularly surprising was the pace of Haas, who for the first time this season had both cars in the top 10. Just as unexpected was Fernando Alonso’s qualifying performance. The Spaniard dropped out of Q1 to everyone’s surprise after being caught up in traffic. However, the Spaniard is positive about his home GP and the fans will help him to pick up extra tenths. Alonso, moreover, is a great expert at making stunning starts and putting on a truly talented display.

Lando Norris just missed out on Q3, with good pace and a best lap that was disregarded for infringing the track limits. The McLaren driver will start 11th, followed by Esteban Ocon’s Alpine. Yuki Tsunoda will start 13th, with Pierre Gasly 14th and Guanyu Zhou 15th.

F2®: Felipe Drugovich takes the victory

The intermediate category of the World Championship had a Brazilian accent today. Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) won in a close race that also rewarded Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS) and Logan Sargeant (Carlin). Jack Doohan (Virtuosi Racing), the driver who set the fastest lap yesterday, was a long way back on the grid today due to the first 11 positions being reversed. Even so, he still managed a sixth place which puts him on the radar of the young talents. Theo Pourchaire, the championship leader, took the chequered flag just ahead of Doohan.

F3®: Vidales wins at home

David Vidales has scored his first win of the year at home. The celebration was twofold, as the young driver gave his home team Campos Racing the pole position. With an inverted grid to 11th place, Vidales started first. The Spaniard was able to maintain that position despite a titanic fight with Jak Crawford (PREMA Racing), who finished second. Caio Collet (MP Motorsport) completed a podium that was decided on the last lap, with Arthur Leclerc close behind. Pepe Martí, the other home representative, was 13th.

W Series: Jamie Chadwick gives a stroke of authority

The current W Series champion continues to prove that her talent has no limits. Yesterday’s pole position has materialized today in a great victory in Catalan territory. Jamie Chadwick (Jenner Racing) was under pressure from Abbi Pulling (Racing X), who finally settled for second place. Behind them, Alice Powell (Click2Drive Bristol Street Motors), following closely on their heels. The home representatives played a great role, with Marta García sixth, Belén García seventh and Nerea Martí eighth.

Sunday Programme

Tomorrow, the on-track activity will start at 10.05 a.m. with the F3® race. At 11.35 a.m. it will be the turn of F2®, which will complete the second race of the weekend. At 15.00 a.m. the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022 race will start.

Access to the Circuit

All the gates of the Circuit will open tomorrow from 7 a.m., as well as all ticket offices. It is recommended to arrive at the facilities by public transport in order to avoid crowds of vehicles. It is worth remembering that this year there will be no physical sale of parking tickets upon arrival at the Circuit, but only those users who have previously bought their tickets at the Circuit website will be able to access.

A sustainable management of the Grand Prix

The Circuit will promote a wide range of actions within the framework of its 3C management philosophy (conscience, commitment and coherence) in sustainability, integrating the social, economic and environmental aspects. Under the slogan “Driving for a better future”, it works to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UNEP Agenda 2030. These include the use of 100% renewable energy, the donation of food, the use of 0 km gastronomic products, waste management, sustainable forestry care of the Circuit environment or the use of circular economy to fund it with other sustainable actions.

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