Hamilton seals pole, Verstappen shines again


Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole ahead of Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes one-two at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, as Daniel Ricciardo edged his impressive new Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen to take third.

Spanish Grand Prix

Spanish Grand Prix

Reigning Formula One world champion Hamilton recovered from an error early in Q3, when he locked up and ran wide at Turn 10, to claim first place on the grid for Sunday's race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a time of one minute 22 seconds.

Rosberg, who leads the drivers' championship standings after winning all four races so far in 2016, had to settle for second, 0.280secs behind the Englishman.

It was a day to remember for Red Bull, who were rewarded for their decision to replace the erratic Daniil Kvyat with Verstappen.

It took a superb effort from Ricciardo (1:22.680) to prevent the 18-year-old from claiming third on his first appearance for the senior team following his promotion from Toro Rosso.

Verstappen was still rewarded with fourth place after a time of 1:23.087 and had the distinction of qualifying ahead of Ferrari, who struggled to match their practice pace.

Kimi Raikkonen (1:23.113) fared the better of the Italian team's two drivers, taking fifth ahead of Sebastian Vettel (1:23.334).

Asked what went wrong for them in Spain on Saturday, Vettel told Sky F1: "Don't know yet. [It was] not as good as it was all weekend. We need to understand [why]. I was struggling throughout."

As for the technical alterations Ferrari made between practice and qualifying, the German added: "I'm responsible for the changes. We thought we were doing the right thing. Barcelona is very sensitive [to] changes. We were just too slow."

Williams' Valtteri Bottas took seventh on the grid, his team-mate Felipe Massa having been surprisingly eliminated in Q1, while McLaren made it through to Q3 for the first time since renewing their partnership with Honda.

Provisional classification:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:22.000
2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:22.280
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:22.680
4 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:23.087
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:23.113
6 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:23.334
7 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:23.522
8 Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso) 1:23.643
9 Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:23.782
10 Fernando Alonso (McLaren) 1:23.981