Lewis Hamilton takes pole for Spanish GP with track record

Doug Mendoza
May 13, 2018

Hamilton said: "Very close in qualifying but I'm very happy".

Most improved: Mercedes may have broken Ferrari's run of consecutive pole positions, but Alonso qualifying eighth is arguably the most obvious change from previous rounds.

With AP Photos.Lewis Hamilton set a track record to take pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

This meant that four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who trails Hamilton by four points after the opening four races of the season, was pushed down to fourth ahead of Bottas and fellow-Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari. Hamilton clocked 1 minute, 16.173 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

"I needed that pole", said a relieved Hamilton.

"Mercedes" for the first time in the season took all the first row in qualifying. "I didn't get a great feeling on that tyre so I made a decision to ask to go back and I think it was the right call".

"The race will be interesting". However, the gap to pole position was still over 1.6s, underlining the task facing McLaren to return to the very front.

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Ferrari, unexpectedly, were pushed back to fifth and seventh, 0.7 and 1.7 seconds adrift respectively with Ricciardo third for Red Bull before the final runs when Hamilton delivered his stunner.

"I was happy with the lap".

"In the end it's hard to say that it was enjoyable because our vehicle balance was very bad and it was very hard to drive, so it was hard to enjoy", Kubica said.

Kevin Magnussen capitalised on Haas' form by leading the midfield once more - albeit eight-tenths behind nearest rival Ricciardo.

Romain Grosjean, who crashed under the safety auto in Azerbaijan, was the first to face trouble in the afternoon session, losing control of his Haas and getting stuck on the gravel.

"The Red Bulls are obviously very close to my pace so I think it's going to be relatively close between the top three teams". The chassis survived, but it will need a new engine and gearbox for the race.

The Canadian qualified slowest in 19th place, just behind team-mate Sergey Sirotkin, on a dire weekend for Williams that underlined the major problems they have with their vehicle this year. His team-mate Brendon Hartley was not able to qualify as the team was unable to fix his vehicle in time following his crash in FP3. Stroll hit the wall at Turn 12 after a spin on his final lap of the session.

Other reports by GizPress

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