Mercedes is looking for a perfect weekend in Spain. After leading all three practice sessions, they snagged the top two spots on the grid in qualifying.
Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, will be leading from the front for the second consecutive race of the season when the FIA Formula One 2014 Spanish Grand Prix takes place tomorrow.
Hamilton was the man of the moment in qualifying today and in the lead up to the session following his unstoppable performance in practice. The 2008 World Champion has now achieved his 35th career pole position to date and pipped his team mate, Nico Rosberg to the ultimate spot on the grid. Rosberg qualified in second place to secure the second front row lock out for the team of the season.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, was the sole driver flying the flag for the reigning World Championship winning team as Q3 came to a close. Ricciardo’s team mate, Sebastian Vettel stopped at the side of the track in the early part of the final shootout and reported via the team radio that he had no drive. Vettel’s incident also led to a short red flag situation before it got the green light again. Ricciardo went on to complete the top three line up for the race start tomorrow and Vettel had to settle for 10th place on the grid.
Williams’ driver, Valtteri Bottas appears to be continuing his good form into another race weekend. The Finnish driver secured a place in Q3 and completed the session in fourth place ahead of the race.
Lotus Renault’s Romain Grosjean seemed to quietly progress through qualifying and gradually climb his way up the grid. The French man ended Q3 in fifth place and will accompany Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on the third row of the grid as the Finnish driver qualified in sixth place.
Grosjean’s team mate, Pastor Maldonado did not have much luck in qualifying though. The Venezuelan driver led Q1 to a standstill momentarily, when he went off the track at the exit of Turn three. The first part of the session was red flagged to allow the stewards to move Maldonado’s car to safety and he appeared to escape the incident unscathed.
Maldonado failed to take any further part in qualifying as a result and will line up at the back of the grid tomorrow. Maldonado will be joined by Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, who was issued with a 10 place grid penalty, after the right rear wheel was not secured properly on his car by the team in second practice and inevitably came off. The French man lined up 16th place in the final qualifying classification list.
Raikkonen’s team mate, Fernando Alonso will be racing on home turf this weekend and may have his sights set on his second consecutive victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to reward his fans cheering him on. The Spaniard will have a bit of work to do when the race gets underway after he finished Q3 in seventh place.
McLaren’s Jenson Button is the sole car for the team featuring in one of the top 10 positions ahead of the race. The 2009 World Champion made it through to the all important Q3 session and qualified in eighth place. Button’s team mate, Kevin Magnussen bowed out at the end of Q2 and it was reported that there was a power unit issue on his car. The Danish driver found himself in 15th place after Q2 came to a close and he will begin the race from there tomorrow.
Vettel made up the top 10 by taking the final spot at the end of Q3, but the German driver will be accompanied by Bottas’ team mate, Felipe Massa who finished the final part of qualifying in ninth place.
Following the conclusion of today’s qualifying session for tomorrow’s Grand Prix, Hamilton has proved to be the best of the rest so far this weekend. However, it remains to be seen whether the Englishman will achieve his fourth consecutive race victory of the season when the chequered flag is waved at the end of the 66 lap marathon tomorrow. Hamilton will have local hero, Alonso to contend with on the track and the rest of the field to battle against before he can taste the smell of success once again this season.
Note: Sebastian Vettel has been handed a five place grid penalty due to a gearbox change - he drops to 15th.