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Spanish F1 Grand Prix 2019 Qualifying: Saturday's Results, Times, Final Grid

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 11: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 11, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Charles Coates/Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas continued his excellent 2019 season on Saturday, as he led a Mercedes front-row lockout in qualifying at the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes were dominant throughout the day, and Bottas secured pole with a stunning time of one minute, 15.406 seconds. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton will join him at the front of the grid, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel will begin in third.

Earlier in the day, Hamilton topped final practice, with Bottas leading the way in both sessions on Friday.

Here is a recap of Saturday's action, including the key details from qualifying ahead of Sunday's race in Barcelona.

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Qualifying Recap

Formula 1 @F1

🏁END OF QUALIFYING 🏁 TOP 10 BOT πŸ“ΈπŸ’ͺ HAM VET VER LEC GAS GRO MAG KVY RIC #SpanishGP πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ #F1 https://t.co/ijCG079o8r

Formula 1 @F1

Q2 CLASSIFICATION: Danny Ric squeezes into the top 10 shootout πŸ’ͺ #SpanishGP πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ #F1 https://t.co/ivEj09UNHq

Formula 1 @F1

BOTTAS: "I really enjoyed that - the adrenaline rush. It's started well the season and I feel better and better in the car" #SpanishGP πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ #F1 https://t.co/ebFNGU2TCG

With all the main names negotiating their way through Q1, the big story early on was the continued struggles of Renault.

While Daniel Ricciardo was able to squeeze through into the next phase, Nico Hulkenberg had a session to forget. His front wing got stuck under his car after a collision with the barriers, prompting mid-session repairs and then an eventual elimination.

F1 journalist Philip Duncan commented on what has been a challenging 2019 for the team so far:

Philip Duncan @PhilDuncanF1

Lots of unhappy faces in the Renault garage. Nico Hulkenberg out at Q1. Daniel Ricciardo just through to Q2. A very disappointing season so far. #SpanishGP #F1

One of the biggest surprises in Q1 was the performance of McLaren's Lando Norris. He produced a fine lap to stay well clear of any cutoff and finished the session in a lofty sixth position.

In the second stanza, the power of the Mercedes was again there for all to see, as Hamilton posted a time of 1:16.038 to break the circuit record; it felt inevitable he would go quicker again in the final session, too:

Formula 1 @F1

✨✨ NEW TRACK RECORD ✨✨ It's Lewis with a 1:16.038s πŸš€ #SpanishGP πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ #F1 https://t.co/CGZzpqcTPP

Elsewhere, the scrap to get into the top-10 shootout was intriguing, as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc found himself in the red zone as the clock ticked down to zero. He eventually did enough to get through on his final lap, while Bottas pipped Hamilton to top spot at the end of the session.

The Ferrari mechanics had some work to do before Q3:

Formula 1 @F1

πŸ”Ž Repairs to @Charles_Leclerc's floor after he runs over the kerbs #SpanishGP πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ #F1 https://t.co/rYcH3xsuDO

In the race for pole, Mercedes were always going to be tough to beat, and the two Silver Arrows were first to set a time. Once again, Bottas had the edge, posting a blistering marker of 1:15.406, more than sixth-tenths of a second quicker than Hamilton in second.

In the second runs, neither of the front two were able to improve their times, while Vettel did enough to finish as the best of the rest.

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FP3 Recap

Formula 1 @F1

FP3 CLASSIFICATION: A big statement from @LewisHamilton ahead of qualifying #SpanishGP πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ #F1 https://t.co/7g98AThKhK

At a track the drivers are so familiar with, it was strange to see a number of big names making errors in the early stages on Saturday.

First it was Vettel, who spun at the chicane. A day earlier, the German had been unhappy with the lack of grip in his rear tyres and didn't appear totally at ease in Barcelona, limping to the fourth-fastest time.

The same could be said for Bottas to begin with. Having looked flawless on Friday, the Finn's mistake left his Mercedes in the gravel and temporarily brought the session to a standstill:

Formula 1 @F1

🚩RED FLAG 🚩 Bottas has beached his car at Turn 5 πŸ“» "I ******* stuck" #SpanishGP πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ #F1 https://t.co/leoGt553x0

His team's Twitter account were quick to note this was out of character for a driver who is usually so dependable:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

Whoops! 🀭 An uncharacteristic spin from Valtteri and his W10 is backwards in the gravel at Turn 5! No damage, but the car is beached... #SpanishGP #F1 https://t.co/RJ5W7iA6SK

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

Cold porridge. Hot coffee. β˜•οΈπŸ˜„ @ValtteriBottas is back in the garage after that early spin! πŸ‘Š #SpanishGP #VB77 https://t.co/LBL2yrMdy2

Meanwhile, the battle for top spot in the standings didn't ignite until late on, when the leaders decided to give the soft tyres a go.

Leclerc initially went quickest, although he was blown away by Hamilton, who reinforced just how difficult the Mercedes is going to be to beat in qualifying and on Sunday. The Briton was a massive 0.531 seconds ahead of the Ferrari, with Bottas eventually recovering to take third spot.

The session was brought to a premature end when George Russell lost control of his Williams and spun into a wall with five minutes remaining.