Lewis Hamilton takes F1 pole position for Spanish Grand Prix — High Velocity Sport

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Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix, pipping Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to top spot by four-hundredths of a second.

Hamilton was fastest after the first runs in the Q3 top 10 shootout, and like team-mate Bottas opted for another set of supersoft Pirellis for his second run.

He banged in a lap of 1m16.173s to shave just over three-tenths off his earlier time to secure top spot.

Bottas was a shade faster than Hamilton in the first and third sectors, but Hamilton’s mighty pace in the second sector meant the Finn ended up second best.

With some of Mercedes’ rivals struggling to get the best out of the supersofts, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen used softs to fill the second row for Ferrari.

That put them ahead of the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who were separated by just two thousandths of a second in fifth and sixth.

This was despite the Red Bull drivers splitting their tyre choice, with Verstappen setting his time on supersofts and Ricciardo on softs.

Kevin Magnussen was best of the rest for Haas, ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

Carlos Sainz Jr was ninth for Renault, ahead of Romain Grosjean in the second Haas.

Nine of the top 10 drivers used the soft Pirellis to set their Q2 times, meaning all except Alonso, who used supersofts, will start on that compound.

Stoffel Vandoorne lapped 0.223s slower than team-mate Alonso in Q2 using soft Pirellis, ending up in 11th place and fastest of the five drivers eliminated at that stage.

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly was 12th, just ahead of the Force India of Esteban Ocon.

Sauber driver Charles Leclerc managed to split the Force Indias with a lap of 1m18.910s, almost two-tenths faster than 15th-placed Sergio Perez.

Nico Hulkenberg was the fastest driver to be eliminated in Q1 in 16th place after Vandoorne made a late improvement.

The Renault driver was unable to set a time on his first run owing to what the team described as a “fuel pressure issue” that held him back throughout Q1, and only had time for a single attempt on his second run – ending up 0.038 slower than Vandoorne.

Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson was 17th, over half-a-second behind Hulkenberg, with Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin, who must serve a three-place grid penalty thanks to hitting Sergio Perez on the first lap of the last race in Baku, 18th.

Lance Stroll was 19th in the second Williams , crashing exiting the Turn 12 right-hander on his final flier after running wide then losing it on the throttle at the exit as he ran into the gravel.

He spun, glancing the wall, and ended up coming to rest at the entry of Turn 13.

Brendon Hartley did not participate in qualifying after spinning at the high-speed Campsa right-hander at the end of the third free practice session and backing heavily into the barriers.

His Toro Rosso team could not get the car repaired during the two-hour gap before qualifying.

Spanish GP grid

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.173s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m16.213s 0.040s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m16.305s 0.132s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m16.612s 0.439s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m16.816s 0.643s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m16.818s 0.645s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m17.676s 1.503s
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m17.721s 1.548s
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m17.790s 1.617s
10 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m17.835s 1.662s
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m18.323s 2.150s
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m18.463s 2.290s
13 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m18.696s 2.523s
14 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m18.910s 2.737s
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m19.098s 2.925s
16 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m18.923s 2.750s
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m19.493s 3.320s
18 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m20.225s 4.052s
19 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m19.695s 3.522s
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda

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May 12, 2018 at 07:21AM

via Lewis Hamilton takes F1 pole position for Spanish Grand Prix — High Velocity Sport

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Williams’s Rowland to make GT debut at Silverstone Blancpain round

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Williams Formula 1 young driver Oliver Rowland will make his GT racing debut at the Silverstone Blancpain GT Series round this month with the Strakka Mercedes team.

The 25-year-old has been brought in to drive one of the British team’s factory-supported Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the Endurance Cup round of the BGTS on May 20 in place of Christian Vietoris, who is unavailable through illness.

Rowland will race one of two pro class Strakka Mercs together with former Mercedes DTM driver Adrien Tambay and marque stalwart Thomas Jager.

The race will be Rowland’s first in a sportscar, following the withdrawal of the Manor LMP1 squad for which he is due to compete in the World Endurance Championship from last weekend’s season opener at Spa.

Rowland said: “I’m excited to be joining Strakka at Silverstone and look forward to get to know the Mercedes-AMG GT3 car.

“I’ll be pushing hard to achieve some great results for the team.”

Strakka’s racing director Jay Davenport added: “We are delighted for Oliver to be joining us at our home race at Silverstone.

“His proven talent and experience on F1 circuits will be a great addition to our line-up, giving us a strong chance of running at the front.”

Rowland had looked set to race for the R-Motorsport Aston Martin squad run by Jota and Arden in the Endurance Cup prior to landing his deal with Williams, which will encompass testing at Barcelona next week.

Mercedes DTM reserve driver Vietoris was announced as part of Strakka’s line-up for the BGTS enduros last month, but was unable to take part in the opening round at Monza after contracting glandular fever.

He was replaced in the car for the Italian race at the end of April by Mercedes DTM driver Lucas Auer.

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