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Spanish Grand Prix 2016 Qualifying: Saturday's F1 Results, Times, Final Grid

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2016

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 13: Nico Rosberg of Germany driving the (6) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track  during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 13, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton took pole position in emphatic fashion at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, as his lap of one minute, 22.000 seconds was enough to pip Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by three-tenths.

Max Verstappen came perilously close to being the youngest driver ever to take to the front row of a grand prix, but he was just edged out by fellow Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, who will start Sunday’s race in third.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s mission to claw back ground in the constructor’s charts took a dent, as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen could only come home fifth and sixth, respectively.

Here’s a look at the full standings after a thrilling qualifying session, via Formula 1:

Qualifying Recap

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 14: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during qualifying for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 14, 2016
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Rosberg led the pack at the end of Q1 by posting a lap time of 1:23.002, with Hamilton and Verstappen keeping him company at the top of the order.

Felipe Massa was eliminated at the first hurdle after encountering a bit of traffic on his first run, while Ferrari team-mates Vettel and Raikkonen were slightly off the pace in fifth and sixth.

The Mercedes duo changed roles in Q2, as Hamilton laid down a marker for the rest of the field.

The Englishman produced a stunning 1:22.159 and finally looked comfortable on the Barcelona track, via F1:

Formula 1 @F1

Hamilton lays down the gauntlet with a rapid 1:22.159 lap. Over to you Nico... #Q2 #Quali #SpanishGP https://t.co/cniOTFKUfI

Rosberg couldn’t quite match his team-mate the second time around, while Verstappen continued to produce the goods one second back of Hamilton.

The World Champion was feeling confident ahead of his first Q3 run, yet disaster struck on the 10th corner.

As F1 revealed, Hamilton’s car locked up in the middle of a very quick lap, and he failed to recover from there.

Formula 1 @F1

Agony for Hamilton as he locks up into turn 10 #Q2 #Quali #SpanishGP 🇪🇸 https://t.co/DGKKwTVK1I

Rosberg then crossed the line in 1:22.475, leaving Hamilton eight-tenths back and with it all to do in the final run.

However, he more than produced the goods, clocking an incredible 1:22:000 to take pole position for the first time since the Bahrain Grand Prix at the start of the season.

He learned from his earlier error on the 10th turn by braking a lot sooner, and the rest of the lap was equally intelligent.

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 14: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during final practice ahead of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Rosberg has looked to have had the better of his team-mate throughout the week, but there was nothing he could do against a determined Hamilton on Saturday.

The German, of course, has previous at the Spanish Grand Prix, having beaten the world champion in the event last year, and the race will undoubtedly be fiercely contested on Sunday.

But if Hamilton shows the kind of grit and determination he did in qualifying, then Rosberg’s healthy lead at the top of the driver standings could well be under threat.

FP3 Recap

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 14: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo goes off the track during final practice ahead of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalu
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Nico Rosberg maintained his momentum heading into Spanish Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday, as he topped the charts in the final practice session with a solid time of 1:23.078.

Yet it wasn’t all rosy for the German—on his second flying lap, he was forced to retreat to the garage with a sensor issue.

World champion Lewis Hamilton came home second fastest, one-tenth back of his Mercedes team-mate, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completed the top three.

Here’s a look at the full standings from FP3, via Formula 1:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION - END OF #FP3 Vettel closes up on Mercedes Verstappen leapfrogs Ricciardo #SpanishGP https://t.co/ej09MWoAHx

Vettel was the first of the big guns out of the garages on Saturday morning, and he quickly surged to the top of the leaderboard with a lap time of 1:24.186.

His joy was short-lived, though, as Rosberg came home on soft tyres with a 1:23.078 and set the fastest sector times in the process, via F1:

Formula 1 @F1

FASTEST SECTORS Your move, Lewis. #SpanishGP 🇪🇸 #FP3 https://t.co/uNPlkpZM0E

Then came the turn of Hamilton who—in fitting 2016 F1 season style—was narrowly behind his team-mate on softs at 1:23.485.

Rosberg did come back out on to the track on new supersoft tyres, but something was noticeably wrong as the car went into protective-limp-home mode after sensing a fault.

Mercedes AMG F1 confirmed that the issue was to do with the car’s sensors:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

To confirm, @nico_rosberg suffered a sensor problem. He's back out on track now. #SpanishGP #F1 #FP3

Rosberg’s time in the garage gave Hamilton the chance to capitalise, but he could only edge three-tenths closer to his team-mate the second time around.

The Englishman struggled for grip on longer turns in the second practice session on Friday, and while he fared better on Saturday, he ran wide on the first turn once again:

Formula 1 @F1

.@LewisHamilton runs wide at turn 1 #FP3 #SpanishGP https://t.co/lZkMTJX7vn

Vettel’s second run also saw him one-tenth back of Rosberg, and new Red Bull recruit Max Verstappen was a further five-tenths back after leapfrogging team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

While the times were good on Saturday, there’s a much faster time out there if the teams get their tyre selection right.

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