Lewis Hamilton has stormed to pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, edging ahead of Nico Rosberg. Australian Daniel Ricciardo got the better of his new Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen as the pair qualified in third and fourth position respectively.

The Mercedes pair traded punches throughout the entire qualifying session, as both drivers took turns occupying provisional pole.

The result seemed bleak for Hamilton at the beginning of Q3, when he locked his front tyres, costing him around eight-tenths of a second. This gave the advantage to Rosberg who capitalised on the Englishman’s mistake, snatching provisional pole ahead of a thrilling Verstappen.

However, on Hamilton’s final lap he pulled the cat out of the bag, registering a 1:22.000 to secure his third pole position this season.

Verstappen was threatening Ricciardo by outpacing the Australian in the first two sessions of qualifying, however it was Ricciardo who called on experience to put in a stonking lap to qualify in third position on his second run.

While Red Bull Racing was fighting with Mercedes, Ferrari seemed to get lost as both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen qualified over a second off the pace, having been within arm’s reach during the practice sessions.

Räikkönen qualified fifth fastest, 1.1 seconds off Hamilton’s benchmark, while Vettel was a further 0.2 seconds behind his teammate in sixth.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas beat Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso to seventh position by one-tenth of a second, while Force India’s Sergio Pérez was two-tenths faster than crowd favourite Fernando Alonso, was ninth-fastest.

Alonso made history at his home Grand Prix as he put his McLaren-Honda into Q3 for the first time since Honda’s return to Formula 1. His teammate Jenson Button was on course to also make the cut until he was edged out in the final moments of Q2.

Daniil Kvyat failed to join his teammate Sainz in the top-ten shootout. He will line up behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button, who locked out the sixth row of the grid.

Williams left it late in the session to join the action on the track in Q1, which proved costly for Felipe Massa as he failed to make it to Q2 after aborting his final flying lap due to the team misjudging the time to send him out to the track. This sees the Brazilian lining up behind Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, who was just pipped at the end of Q1 by Button, in eighteenth position.

Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean finished in fourteenth ahead of Kevin Magnussen and his teammate Esteban Gutiérrez as the American team continues to search for a solution to their handling issues.

  Q3 Qualifiers   Team / Entry Result Gap
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:22.000  
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:22.280 + 0.280
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 1:22.680 + 0.680
4. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 1:23.087 + 1.087
5. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H 1:23.113 + 1.113
6. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H 1:23.334 + 1.334
7. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 1:23.522 + 1.522
8. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 1:23.643 + 1.643
9. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 1:23.782 + 1.782
10. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MP4-31 1:23.981 + 1.981
  Q2 Qualifiers   Team / Entry Result Gap**
11. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 1:24.203 + 2.044
12. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 1:24.348 + 2.189
13. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 1:24.445 + 2.286
14. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 1:24.480 + 2.321
15. Kevin Magnussen dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 1:24.625 + 2.466
16. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 1:24.778 + 2.619
  Q1 Qualifiers   Team / Entry Result Gap*
17. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 1:24.903 + 1.901
18. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 1:24.941 + 1.939
19. Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 1:25.202 + 2.200
20. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 1:25.579 + 2.577
21. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 1:25.745 + 2.743
22. Rio Haryanto id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 1:25.939 + 2.937

* Denotes gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:23.002 posted by Nico Rosberg
** Denotes gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:22.159 posted by Lewis Hamilton

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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