Mercedes dispelled any lingering doubts today at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Silver Arrows monopolized the first row of the starting grid, showing themselves unbeatable, especially Valtteri Bottas, who clocked the fastest lap of the FORMULA 1 EMIRATES GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2019. The Finnish driver clocked a stratospheric 1:15.406 which served him not only to take the pole, but also to break the record set last year by Lewis Hamilton.
The outstanding performance of Mercedes had been expected, but not the breathtaking pace of Valtteri Bottas. The leader of the championship took his third consecutive pole today, putting an end to the tyranny of Hamilton at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as he had clocked the fastest laps at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Bottas did not settle for the pole position, he stopped the clocks at a time that had never been witnessed before, 1:15.406, almost half a second ahead of the next driver on the timesheets, Lewis Hamilton. This stratospheric time broke the record set by Hamilton in 2018 (1:16.173). Bottas will be able to rest easy, considering that according to statistics, in 21 of the 28 previous editions of the event, the poleman ended-up finishing the race on the highest step of the podium.
As regards the team-mate battles Sebastian Vettel won over Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari driver clocked the third fastest time in Q3 with 1:16.272. Just like his biggest rivals, Vettel did also clock this time on soft tyres. The German driver will be joined tomorrow on the second row of the grid by Max Verstappen (1:16.357), who was eventually able to find his pace after a rather average free practice session.
The third row of the grid will have the same colours of the second: another Ferrari and another Red Bull, this time driven by Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly, respectively. Although Leclerc is already used to getting a place among the leading group, Gasly is enjoying new experiences. The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing rookie achieved his second Q3 participation of the season, the first one having been in China.
Both Haas machines will be starting from the fourth row, Romain Grosjean with 1:16.911 and Kevin Magnussen with 1:16.922. The team-mates clocked almost the same time; only 11 thousands of a seconds apart. The top 10 is completed by Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda) and Daniel Ricciardo (Renault F1 Team). The qualifying session was surely successful for Ricciardo, who managed to move on to Q3 for the second time this season. However, the Australian got a penalty of three grid positions in the morning, due to an incident in the race staged in Baku.
Carlos Sainz was less lucky today. The McLaren driver was not able to move on to Q3 and finished 13th fastest, meaning that due to Ricciardo’s penalty, he will be starting tomorrow from the 12th position of the grid. Although it is not the expected result, the local driver has always been able to score at the Circuit and he explained “we believe that the race pace tomorrow will be better than in qualifying”, so that anything may happen during the 66 laps.
Nicholas Latifi shines in F2
Since the first race of the season, Nicholas Latifi (DAMS) had not been back on the top spot of the FIA Formula 2 podium. But he did today, with a deserved victory at the Circuit. The Canadian made a step forward in the leadership of the world championship, which is becoming more and more obvious. The negative side of the first heat went to Luca Ghiotto, who did not manage to step onto the podium despite starting from the pole position. The second position went to a local team, Campos Racing, with their driver Jack Aitken, who is second in the overall classification as well. Third on the podium, behind the battle between Latifi and Aitken, was Guanyu Zhou (UNI-Virtuosi). More F2 to come tomorrow at 11.30h.
Robert Shwartzman wins in F3
The Prema Racing driver left little options to his companions. Starting from pole position, he kept the top position during the first race of the weekend. The truth is that today’s podium was a copy of the positions of the qualifying session, with Christian Lundgaard (ART Grand Prix) finishing second and Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Racing) on third. The only Spanish representative in FIA Formula 3, Sebastián Fernández, gave the 16th position to the local team Campos Racing. The series will stage its last race in this event tomorrow at 10.15h.
Julien Andlauer takes the pole at the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
The single-make cup awarded Julien Andlauer today as the fastest man of the qualifying session. He clocked a fastest lap of 1:47.869. The German driver was the only one to get down to 47 cannot take things too easy, as there are 7 drivers behind him in the same second. Ayhancan Güven (Martinet by Almeras) and Michael Ammermueller (BWT Lechner Racing) finished second and third respectively. At 12.45 h on Sunday the battle of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be decided.
A Festival of Fun
In addition to the sports competition, the Circuit will be providing for several proposals to enjoy the weekend. This afternoon xxxxx participants took part in the Run the Track race, running one lap around the track. The fun will not end tomorrow, with the continuous animation in the public areas: drummers, giants, human towers… And there will be activities for all ages at the Family Village (behind Grandstand N, in the area of the former heliport). The youngest will be able to enjoy face-painters, creative workshops, giant games, bigheads of the Pink Panther, Captain Hook, Minnie and Mickey, a pedal-car circuit for kids and a lot more. The youngsters, will enjoy the simulators, as well a stage with live music by DJs. Young and old will have a chill out area surrounded by gastronomy offers with the food trucks.