Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were separated by just five hundredths of a second, after the Mercedes driver just managed to claim pole for tomorrows Spanish Grand Prix.
Vettel was lucky to get out in the session after his mechanics were tasked with changing his engine in between practice three earlier and qualifying hour. When he did make his way out on track when Q1 started the team told him to park his car, to which a reluctant Vettel responded with “are you sure” before being told to continue, promptly setting the quickest time a lap later.
In the final part of qualifying Hamilton was on provisional pole with a 1m19.149s, not improving on his final run while Vettel improved to second having found five tenths. Valtteri Bottas will start from third on the grid alongside Kimi Raikkonen, while Max Verstappen is best of the rest ahead of team mate Daniel Ricciardo.
The surprise appearance in Q3 was from homeboy Fernando Alonso, who after missing much of yesterday because his McHonda broke down managed to go seventh quickest in an impressive run that puts him ahead of both Force India’s and Felipe Massa on the grid.
Further down the order Carlos Sainz will start from 12th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who after showing promising pace in practice was unable to translate that into a lap good enough for the top ten.
Romain Grosjean also had a tough qualifying session, spinning at Turn 13 on one of his runs and just generally struggling for grip which means he starts from 14th on the grid.
Pascal Wehrlein out-qualifying Marcus Ericsson for the third time in a row, although both start ahead of Jolyon Palmer, Lance Stroll, Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniil Kvyat who just couldn’t seem to go quicker and will start from last on the grid.