F1 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying LIVE! Latest updates & news as Charles Leclerc dramatically takes pole

·17 min read
F1 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying LIVE! Latest updates & news as Charles Leclerc dramatically takes pole

F1 Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying - LIVE!

Formula One world championship leader Charles Leclerc put Ferrari on pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday with main rival Max Verstappen qualifying alongside on the front row for Red Bull.

Leclerc bounced from a spin to put his Ferrari on pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Championship leader Leclerc made a mistake on his first attempt in Q3 at a sweltering Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona to leave him sweating.

But the Monegasque kept his cool on his final run to deliver an impressive lap under pressure to beat rival Max Verstappen by three tenths.

Verstappen, who trails Leclerc by 19 points in the championship race, complained he had no power on his last attempt.

Carlos Sainz finished third in the other Ferrari with George Russell fourth for Mercedes, two places and almost two tenths ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Follow all of the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s dedicated coverage!

F1 Spanish Grand Prix latest news

  • Qualifying begins at 3pm BST

  • TV channel and live stream: Sky Sports

  • Q3 results

Matt Majendie in Barcelona

16:24 , Jonathan Gorrie

Slightly ominously for Sunday’s race, Carlos Sainz has said following other cars in Barcelona has been far tougher than any of the five preceding grands prix this season. He muses that the heat is the issue and suspects overtaking will be limited in the race.

Leclerc reacts

16:08 , Jonathan Gorrie

“I made a mistake early in Q3 and I only had one lap, but it went extremely well and I made it stick. The car was amazing”

16:05 , Jonathan Gorrie

16:04 , Jonathan Gorrie

16:04 , Jonathan Gorrie

Matt Majendie in Barcelona

16:02 , Jonathan Gorrie

Charles Leclerc has a 100% record at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend. He’s topped all three practice sessions and now qualifying. He’s the only man sub 1:19 around the track. Can he translate that into a third race win this season?

LATE DRAMA!

16:01 , Jonathan Gorrie

Leclerc takes pole, what a comeback!

He has!

16:00 , Jonathan Gorrie

It swings again!

Leclerc goes into 1:18.570

Verstappen misses out on pole! He complained he had no power and has been told to box.

2 minutes to go!

15:58 , Jonathan Gorrie

Can Leclerc make up for it?

Ouch

15:56 , Jonathan Gorrie

Drama!

15:54 , Jonathan Gorrie

Leclerc spins and slides, ruining his flying lap!

Q3 underway!

15:50 , Jonathan Gorrie

All ten cars out on track.

Out in Q2

15:46 , Jonathan Gorrie

11. Lando Norris (MacLaren)

12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

13. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)

14. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)

15. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)

Big day for Schumacher

15:44 , Jonathan Gorrie

His first ever points in F1!

Matt Majendie in Barcelona

15:43 , Jonathan Gorrie

First big roar of the session goes up as Carlos Sainz clocks the quickest time in Q3. He was purple in the third and final sector - the fastest man on track. Hamilton, Russell and Leclerc didn’t bother coming out for a second lap in Q2. But Lando Norris did and couldn’t make it through after his lap time was erased for exceeding track limits at turn 12. P11 and not into the final qualifying shoot-out.

Verstappen roars back!

15:41 , Jonathan Gorrie

1:19.219 from the Dutchman

Not for long!

15:40 , Jonathan Gorrie

Carlos Sainz goes 1:19.453.

Mr Saturday!

15:40 , Jonathan Gorrie

Who’s struggling in Q2?

15:39 , Jonathan Gorrie

11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

13. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)

14. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)

15. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)

Not quite as strong for Ferrari

15:35 , Jonathan Gorrie

More Hamilton problems

15:34 , Jonathan Gorrie

15:32 , Jonathan Gorrie

15:29 , Jonathan Gorrie

Matt Majendie from Barcelona

15:27 , Jonathan Gorrie

The sound in the grandstand has diminished a little since the surprise exit of Fernando Alonso from the opening qualifying session. He should have made it to Q2 at the very least. The stewards noted an incident involving Alonso and Lando Norris but the Briton has been cleared of impeding his rival. The home fans will be hoping for better from Carlos Sainz, second in Q1.

What went wrong for Alonso?

15:26 , Jonathan Gorrie

Q1 classification

15:26 , Jonathan Gorrie

Vettel to team radio

15:23 , Jonathan Gorrie

“You must be kidding?!” when told about finishing Q1 in 16th.

Heartbreak for homecoming hero Fernando Alonso

15:22 , Jonathan Gorrie

Out in Q1!

15:21 , Jonathan Gorrie

16) Vettel

17) Alonso

18) Stroll

19) Albon

20) Latifi

15:17 , Jonathan Gorrie

How do we look so far?

15:15 , Jonathan Gorrie

Verstappen running third, 0.23 seconds off of Leclerc.

15:14 , Jonathan Gorrie

Matt Majendie in Barcelona

15:14 , Jonathan Gorrie

So, the FIA stewards have said they plan to investigate the incident in which Lance Stroll was nearly released straight into the path of Lando Norris in the pitlane. Thankfully, the pair avoided a coming together.

Leclerc fastest so far

15:10 , Jonathan Gorrie

1:19.861!

Calros Sainz just behind.

Not for long!

15:08 , Jonathan Gorrie

Vertappen goes 1:20.091

Perez in command

15:07 , Jonathan Gorrie

Early stages of course but Sergio Perez has set a 1:20.447

15:03 , Jonathan Gorrie

Mick Schumacher and Pierre Gasly both in qualifying action despite their problems in practice.

We’re underway!

15:03 , Jonathan Gorrie

Q1 is green, here we go!

15:01 , Jonathan Gorrie

14:58 , Jonathan Gorrie

Matt Majendie in Barcelona

14:57 , Jonathan Gorrie

There’s a genuine excitement in the paddock for the Spanish Grand Prix that this could be the first qualifying session in which Mercedes get in the mix this season. All three practice sessions suggest the car is more controllable and, hence, quicker. They’re still a fraction behind Charles Leclerc while Max Verstappen should be in the mix too. But there’s certainly been a lot more smiles coming from the Mercedes hospitality suite at the Circuit de Catalunya this afternoon than at previous races.

Matt Majendie in Barcelona

14:55 , Jonathan Gorrie

The Spanish Grand Prix is not quite as hot a ticket as Miami was two weeks ago but there’s still no shortage of celebrities for what is only qualifying. Roger Federer’s here and has been talking at length with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is in relaxed mood a week ahead of the Champions League final in a week’s time. He’s been showing a keen interest in the Pirelli tyres with his wife and children.

Weather update

14:54 , Jonathan Gorrie

Air temp: 34.5C

Track temp: 47.5C.

A scorcher.

14:53 , Jonathan Gorrie

14:43 , Jonathan Gorrie

14:31 , Jonathan Gorrie

Lewis Hamilton has been urged to accept Formula One’s ban on jewellery depsite initially fighting the plan to finally enforce a longstanding rule.

The Mercedes racer has hit back at race directors’ notes demanding he take off his piercings before getting in his car, with certain facial studs not easily removed by the seven-time world champion.

Amid a stand-off with F1 bosses, the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, Alex Wurz, has encouraged Hamilton to follow the ruling.

“It is a rule for the right reasons,” Wurz told Reuters. “I would have probably liked a slightly different approach of how to deliver the message.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

14:14 , Jonathan Gorrie

Ross Brawn interview

14:00 , Jonathan Gorrie

Simply looking at this season’s statistics, it would be easy to conclude that, at the age of 37, Lewis Hamilton’s pace is finally diminishing.

Only once in five race weekends in 2022 has he got the better of his new teammate George Russell leaving him nearly a full grand prix victory – an unthinkable goal at present for Mercedes – behind in the points standings.

But his former team boss Ross Brawn believes his approach this season has merely cemented his status as one of the sport’s all-time greats.

You can read our interview with Ross Brawn here.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Big praise for the championship leader

13:43 , Jonathan Gorrie

Final practice report

13:37 , Jonathan Gorrie

Charles Leclerc made it a clean sweep of all three practice sessions as he again topped the timesheets on the eve of the Spanish Grand Prix.

But the indicators were that both qualifying and the race could turn into a three-team battle for the first time this season as Mercedes backed up their strong showing from Friday.

While it was the same front two as it has been for much of the season – with Max Verstappen in second after the hour session – George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were in third and fourth respectively. And both were within a quarter of a second of the pacesetting Ferrari.

Mercedes have had some false dawns in the past but their upgrades have clearly made a notable improvement with their driver duo barely porpoising down the main straights as they have at high speed at any point this season.

You can read Matt Majendie’s full report here.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

P3 results in full

13:30 , Jonathan Gorrie

How to watch

13:21 , Jonathan Gorrie

TV channel: Sky Sports F1

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can watch via the Sky Go App

Stay tuned!

13:16 , Jonathan Gorrie

Don’t go anywhere, Standard Sport will be bringing you live coverage of today’s qualifying too.

Things get underway from 3pm BST.

We’re done!

13:03 , Jonathan Gorrie

Chequered flag!

13:03 , Jonathan Gorrie

Leclerc is pulled up for the third time in practice in Spain!

2 minutes to go!

12:59 , Jonathan Gorrie

Norris’ time of 1:20.403 isn’t enough to break into the top 5, meaning he has to settle for seventh spot.

12:53 , Jonathan Gorrie

12:51 , Jonathan Gorrie

Not for long!

12:51 , Jonathan Gorrie

Verstappen pips Russell in the final sector, +0072 to 1:19.772

Russell second

12:46 , Jonathan Gorrie

Hamilton sends a message

12:46 , Jonathan Gorrie

Hamilton ONLY wants to hear about fastest sectors and does not care for comparisions to Russell.

Magnussen, meanwhile, is putting in a good shift and goes fifth with 1:20.646.

12:39 , Jonathan Gorrie

12:38 , Jonathan Gorrie

Ferrari leading the way

12:37 , Jonathan Gorrie

Leclerc quickest again - 1:19.772 with Leclerc +0.357.

Hamilton out for a flying lap

12:36 , Jonathan Gorrie

George Russell is in fifth, Hamilton is just behind, 0.157 seconds between the Mercedes pair.

12:35 , Jonathan Gorrie

Max Verstappen: Turning is “terrible"

12:34 , Jonathan Gorrie

Verstappen told his team radio that he was finidng it “terrible” on the turn.

Gasly out

12:31 , Jonathan Gorrie

Verstappen goes second!

12:29 , Jonathan Gorrie

Impressive stuff in the first sector with Verstappen now +0.197 off Leclerc’s 1:20.278

Problems for Lewis Hamilton

12:27 , Jonathan Gorrie

In sixth as it stands, Hamilton had looked happy in the paddock but is already suffering some issues.

He’s headed back to Mercedes after a problem with DRS.

Soft tyres leading the way

12:23 , Jonathan Gorrie

All five of the leaders on soft tyres in Spain.

Leclcerc, Sainz, Russell, Bottas and Ocon.

12:20 , Jonathan Gorrie

12:19 , Jonathan Gorrie

Leclerc up!

12:18 , Jonathan Gorrie

1:20.279 from Leclerc with teammate Sainz two-tenths of a second behind.

A look at the problems

12:17 , Jonathan Gorrie

Fire marshals on sight

12:15 , Jonathan Gorrie

Every fire marshal around has raced down to Haas, looking to help out.

Schumacher problem

12:14 , Jonathan Gorrie

Mick Schumacher having some problems, with his brakes catching fire on turn 9.

Tsunoda lifts off

12:13 , Jonathan Gorrie

Yuki Tsunoda launches his Alpha Tauri over the kerb.

Not ideal.

Bottas up

12:11 , Jonathan Gorrie

Valtteri Bottas goes quickest with a 1:21:326.

Only he and Norris have times on the board thus far.

12:09 , Jonathan Gorrie

Bad luck for Gasly

12:08 , Jonathan Gorrie

The Alpha Tauri gets pulled into the garage after his race engineer spots an issue.

First time up

12:06 , Jonathan Gorrie

1:23.641 for Norris.

12:04 , Jonathan Gorrie

Medium tyres for Norris at the moment, desperately trying to get the kind of grip that eluded so many yesterday.

12:03 , Jonathan Gorrie

Track temp is 42.8°C with Lando Norris now going around turn 7, looking to improve on Friday’s performance.

Green light!

12:02 , Jonathan Gorrie

Away go!

12:00 , Jonathan Gorrie

11:57 , Jonathan Gorrie

11:54 , Jonathan Gorrie

11:48 , Jonathan Gorrie

What a reception

11:36 , Jonathan Gorrie

The latest from the Red Bull camp

11:28 , Jonathan Gorrie

Red Bull have revealed they asked motorsport governing body the FIA to investigate claims that Aston Martin had copied their car for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Aston Martin have turned heads in Barcelona with a heavily upgraded car, which has echoes of the front-running Red Bull.

But Aston Martin insist there is no foul play on their part and that the modified car had been given the all clear to compete this weekend.

A number of key Red Bull personnel were snapped up by Aston Martin in recent months, most notably Dan Fellows, head of aerodynamics at Red Bull and now technical director with the backmarkers.

And Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “Copying is the biggest form of flattery. It is quite a thing to instruct your team to come up with a very close-looking clone of our car and, of course, a few people have moved over the winter period, and what you can’t ctonrol is what they take in their heads.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Fernando Alonso accuses FIA race stewards of “incompetence"

11:15 , Jonathan Gorrie

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has accused the FIA’s race stewards at the Miami Grand Prix of “incompetence”.

Alonso was given a post-race time penalty for cutting the tight chicane and passing Mick Schumacher at the inaugural running of the race two weekends ago.

The Spaniard, who had received a previous five-second penalty for his coming together with Pierre Gasly, ended up dropping out of the points-finishing places as a result of the double punishment.

“We believe that it was very unfair and it was just incompetence from the stewards,” said Alonso ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend. “They were not very professional in Miami.

“I missed one corner and then gave back the time on the lap. They took the decision without asking for any proof.

“So, we arrived after the race with all the proof and [showing] all the time back that we gave and they were just packing up. They were not even in the room. We came there, we showed them all the data. So, they said ‘give us five minutes’.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

11:06 , Jonathan Gorrie

P2 results in full

10:52 , Jonathan Gorrie

1) Charles Leclerc - 1:19.670

2) George Russell - +0.117s

3) Lewis Hamilton - +0.204s

4) Carlos Sainz - +0.320s

5) Max Verstappen - 0.336s

A Friday recap

10:43 , Jonathan Gorrie

Weather update

10:29 , Jonathan Gorrie

Given the current heat wave in Spain, it’s hardly surprising to hear it will be sunny all afternoon and dry all day long, with only a light southerly breeze.

How to watch

10:19 , Jonathan Gorrie

Follow all of the updates on Sky Sports F1 with coverage beginning at 11:45am BST.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Welcome

09:55 , Jonathan Gorrie

Good morning and welcome to Standard Sport’s coverage of the final practice sessions before qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix later today.

Charles Leclerc leads the way so far and the final session begins at 12pm BST before qualifying at 3pm.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
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