(Motorsport-Total.com) – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) withstood the pressure after a round in the third quarter and took the lead in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Monaco benefited from a technical problem with their main rival Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who ended their latest attack with a radio message “No power!” had to cancel.
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Charles Leclerc scored four best times in four sessions in Barcelona
In the end, Leclerc had a lap time of 1:18.750 minutes for first place. “It was a good brood,” he said happily over the radio. Verstappen was down by 0.323 and teammate Carlos Sainz by 0.416 seconds.
George Russell (Mercedes) came fourth, followed by Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and Mick Schumacher (Haas).
Sebastian Vettel retired in the first quarter and finished 16th.
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Result of qualification
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How was it after the first round in the third quarter?
1-0 to Red Bull, Verstappen clocked a best time of 1:19.073 minutes and was 0.350 seconds ahead of Sainz. Leclerc was still ahead of Verstappen after two out of three sectors (mainly thanks to a strong second sector, Verstappen was faster in S1), but then he rolled before start and finish and was under a lot of pressure before the final break.
Since Leclerc had no lap time at the time and was provisionally 10th, he took no risks in the all-important race in Q3 and set out first on the track to get a free ride and not risk a lap, for example having to abort due to yellow flags.
What happened in the second round?
Leclerc put his best foot forward in Sector One and all-time best in Sector Two. It was already clear that it would be difficult for Verstappen to retain the top spot. Then the Dutchman said “No strength!” And take off the gas before the first split. Red Bull’s sigh of relief: Now it’s clear that it wasn’t an engine problem.
“The DRS has not been opened,” explains Helmut Marko, Red Bull motorsport advisor. “It was fine in terms of power, but because it didn’t work, he felt like something wasn’t right with the engine. Everything was fine with the engine. There was a mechanical defect in the rear wing. We should see what was going on. It’s To a shame, because Paul was there.”
Leclerc is happy with pole position: “It was a very good lap and our car is running really amazing. I am in a good starting position now. However, in the last few races we have always had a disadvantage compared to Red Bull in terms of tire wear. I hope we can Do it better in the race.”
“Sky” expert Timo Glock was impressed by “the strength of Leclerc’s nerve, the self-confidence he has in his group and in himself and in his car. To carry it out on this lap in a way that the other packs three-tenths on it: hats! It just shows the extra layer he has” .
Why was Mercedes initially in P1/2 in Q2?
The score was rigged after the first round in Q2. Mercedes and Perez put on new tires and surprisingly took the places from one to three. The Ferraris and Verstappen both completed their first attempt on the used tire set from Q1 and were therefore significantly slower – also in direct comparison to their Q1 laps.
In the end, as team boss Toto Wolff told “Sky”, you shouldn’t “be immodest after fourth and sixth place. In the second quarter, some might have dreamed that we were ahead. But I say where we came from is that a very good result.”
How did Mick Schumacher get into the top ten?
The German qualified in the top 10 for the first time in his career but needed a bit of luck to do so. Because he was actually 11th at the end of the second quarter – but then Lando Norris (McLaren)’s time was voided, so Schumacher went back to P10. 0.149sec behind Ricciardo, 0.035sec behind the unlucky Norris.
Schumacher didn’t particularly excel in the first and second quarters, at least when compared to his teammate. In Q1 it was 0.456sec slower than Magnussen, in Q2 it was 0.626sec. Also in the third quarter, he was 0.686secs behind Magnussen.
However, it was “really good qualifying,” the German believes, referring to the burnt rear brakes in the last practice session: “There was uncertainty in the setup, also because the weather conditions were a little different than yesterday. Still. Of course it’s good Let’s make it in the third quarter.”
In addition to Norris, Esteban Ocon (Albin), Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly (both Alfa Tauri) and Guanyu Zhuo (Alfa Romeo) also retired in the second quarter.
How well does Aston Martin’s ‘Green Red Bull’ do?
Apparently not as good as hoped. After some encouraging training performances, Sebastian Vettel was knocked out in 16th and Lance Stroll 18th in the first quarter. Vettel could not believe it when he heard the result on the radio: “Are you kidding?” It annoyed his race engineer.
Although Vettel was able to improve his last attempt to 1:20.954, he eventually missed the cut (Esteban Ocon in the Alpine) by 0.074sec. In the meantime, Stroll has to go to the FIA race hosts after qualifying due to an “unsafe launch” in the pit lane, where he nearly crashed into Norris.
“It’s a pity that it ended so early,” Vettel says. “I thought we could at least finish P11/12/13. If all goes well, P8/9/10. But I struggled a lot with the balance, I had a lot of exaggeration. The lap was clean. I had traffic, I didn’t commit Fatal error.”
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The two Astons weren’t the only notable casualties in the first quarter. Local champion Fernando Alonso (Alpine) also had to surrender early in the 17th place. Alonso wanted to get stuck in Norris McLaren’s slide at the start of his last lap, but he was in “dirty air” and eventually had to give up the attempt.
What time is the race in Barcelona?
The Spanish Grand Prix starts at 3:00 pm on Sunday. In Germany, Sky broadcasts live and exclusively. Pre-reporting starts at 1:30pm (show: all races live without commercial breaks – exclusively on Sky). In addition, host Kevin Schoren and editor-in-chief Christian Nimmervall analyze the race on Sunday night on Formel1.de YouTube channel (subscribe to the channel now and never miss a F1 live stream again).