F1 Spanish Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc is thirteenth in his career

Charles Leclerc took the lead in the Spanish Grand Prix, after a big lap at the second attempt, with a time of 1:18.750 sec. The Monaco pilot blundered on his first attempt and failed to score the time, ending up with a rotating jersey. In the final stages of qualifying, Leclerc put Ferrari at the top of the starting list, which has not happened at Barcelona since 2008.
Max Verstappen finished second on the grid. The Dutchman had a provisional pole at the end of the first few laps, but had problems with the power on the RB18 on the last lap and had to thwart his attempt, making Leclerc a little more comfortable to take a first position.
Carlos Sainz was third fastest and will start alongside George Russell for tomorrow’s race, while Sergio Perez was no more than fifth fastest and finished with Lewis Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas was the best in “Group Two”, beating Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher.

Highlights:
Ferrari starts the race with a slight edge over Red Bull, but it looks like the battle for victory – under normal circumstances – would be between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen. The two riders were again the strongest and even with issues in the third quarter, they “booked” the first row of the starting grid in their name. They are one step ahead of everyone else.
That’s a bad sign for Carlos Sainz, who is determined to be Ferrari’s second driver. If you don’t want to get the title of second driver, you have to do more. He was strong in qualifying, and that wasn’t enough, as he beat his teammate by 0.416sec.
Mercedes has taken a step forward. It remains to be seen how they will be in the race, but it is clear that they are on a different path with the updates brought to Barcelona and they are in contention for the podium. George Russell was again faster than Lewis Hamilton and beat Sergio Perez. The Mexican still can’t match his teammate’s pace since the second free practice (Jüri Vips was behind the wheel of the RB18 in practice one) and will have to get past Russell so he can put pressure on Sainz and help Max Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton was optimistic by the end of yesterday, but he repeated his sixth place on the starting line in Miami. The pace is better, but the result was the same and Russell lost again this season.
Valtteri Bottas without problems or misfortunes is the driver of choice in “Package Two”. This time, with a faster Mercedes than in Miami, he beat Kevin Magnussen. The two drivers are faster than the other competitors and without AlphaTauri and McLaren without Lando Norris – the driver who did better – was more than half a second ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and rookie in the top ten, Mick Schumacher. Both Bottas and Magnussen have everything to fight for the best position in the “remainers”, without thinking about the Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes drivers. The sans Haas was only 0.9 inches from the pole position, which proves how good the car really is.
The biggest surprise in the second quarter was the death of Mick Schumacher and the elimination of Lando Norris. McLaren Bret seemed to have it all to easily get into the top ten, but he pushed the boundaries of the track and saw his best record erased. Schumacher put wrong in Q3 for the first time.
In the remaining positions, Fernando Alonso has fallen far short of expectations, as well as the AlphaTauri pilots, who still have some issues with the Italian singles seats to contend with.
More Aston Martin was expected after the “revolution” in the AMR22. Admittedly, Sebastian Vettel came very close to making it to the second quarter, but compared to the Haas VF-22 without any upgrades, Vettel and Stroll missed a lot. They need a good racing strategy and a good pace to get points.
Williams kept the natural tune and it was no surprise that Albon beat Latifi.

Qualifier session footage:

The first question, a surprise from Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso
Guanyu Zhou, Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly – who had to change gearboxes as a precaution after trouble in Free Practice 3 – were the first riders to hit the track in the first quarter.
Sergio Perez was the first rider to set a fast lap, still in .20 second, with a time of 1:20.44sec. The Mexican caught up with Max Verstappen in the final section and helped his teammate, who put himself in the air cone, to lead the Dutchman on the schedule with a time of 1:20.091 seconds.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter, Carlos Sainz beat Verstappen’s time and then watched his teammate move up the schedule with a time of 1:19.861.
The incident with the departure of Lance Stroll and Lando Norris from the penalty area at the end of the qualifying session will be investigated, but Canada’s Aston Martin is not expected to escape a penalty kick.
At the end of the first fast laps, Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll, Pierre Gasly, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi were in the elimination zone, while Leclerc topped the schedule, followed by Sainz and Verstappen.
With less than two minutes remaining in the first qualifying round, the drivers are back on the track. Schumacher exited the elimination zone, while Fernando Alonso caught traffic in his fast lap and failed to make it into the second quarter.
Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and Williams’ drivers were eliminated from the first quarter, with Alexander Albon ahead of Nicholas Latifi. Vettel was very close to going into Q2, but the gaps between the entire field were very short.

Q2, Lando Norris was disqualified for crossing track limits
The two Mercedes drivers were the first two drivers to score in qualifying round two, as George Russell beat Lewis Hamilton’s record with a time of 1:19.470. Ferrari and Max Verstappen drivers finished their laps much shorter than expected, but on used tyres. At the end of the first few attempts, it was Russell who topped the schedule, with Hamilton in 0.324 seconds, followed by Perez, Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas.
In the Q2 elimination zone were Daniel Ricciardo, who had some difficulties in Q1, Esteban Ocon, Guanyu Zhou, Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly.
On the last try in the second quarter, all 15 drivers brought in new soft tires to try to make it to the final qualifying round.
Carlos Sainz moved to the top of the timesheets (1:19.453sec), while the AlphaTauri drivers were unable to make it into Q3.
When Max Verstappen moved to the top of the timelines, Haas was able to move into the third quarter after passing Mick Schumacher opposite Lando Norris, with the fast lap time wiping out the track limits.
Lando Norris saw his lap time wiped out when he was in the top ten and thus eliminated in the second quarter. Along with Norris, Esteban Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly and Guanyu Zhou were eliminated.

Q3, Leclerc Summit and Verstappen problems
The qualifiers were Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher. It was Mick Schumacher’s first step into the third quarter, and an important step for the German still looking for the first points in his Formula 1 career.
Carlos Sainz was the first rider to lead the timelines, and when Charles Leclerc was faster than his teammate, he took off in the spin just before getting home, firing his first fast lap attempt and potentially temporary stop.
Whoever took advantage of the opportunity was Max Verstappen who was in the provisional pole position with a time of 1:19.073. Sainz, Perez, Russell and Hamilton followed suit. Valtteri Bottas finished sixth at the end of the first few attempts on the fast lap, and Ricciardo and Magnussen were in the next two. Mick Schumacher was ninth and Leclerc was tenth and didn’t score any time.
In his last attempt to win first place at the Spanish Grand Prix, Max Verstappen had problems with the car. After Charles Leclerc crossed the finish line and set the fastest lap time, with a cannon time of 1:18.750 seconds, Verstappen was unable to open the DRS and lost his last chance to fight for first place. He was beaten by his direct opponent, while Sainz beat Russell’s time.

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