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Qualifying report
Formula 1 Spanish GP

F1 Spanish GP: Norris beats Verstappen to pole by 0.020s

McLaren driver sets fastest time in qualifying to start alongside Max Verstappen on the front row of the grid at Formula 1's Barcelona round

Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team, celebrates in Parc Ferme after securing pole

Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Team, celebrates in Parc Ferme after securing pole

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris snatched pole position from championship leader Max Verstappen late on in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying, finding just 0.02s on his final flying lap to secure his second F1 pole.

Verstappen looked set for his eighth pole of 2024 after setting a 1m11.673s on his first tour to make a statement and subsequently upped the ante with a 1m11.403s on his last effort thanks to a tow from team-mate Sergio Perez.

His first effort had already proved unbeatable for the respective Ferrari and Mercedes duos, as qualifying was closely contested, but Norris delivered at the last moment to beat Verstappen's intimidating benchmark.

"It was pretty much a perfect lap. It was so close, still, but I'm super happy. One of my best pole positions, not that I've had many! But it was just about getting a perfect lap, and that's what we did," said Norris.

"We've been quick the last two months, since Miami we've been strong. We've probably missed out on pole just by not having the perfect lap, but we did it today.

"[Winning] is our target, but it's going to be tough against Max, against Lewis. But we're here to win now."

The two Mercedes locked out the second row, as Lewis Hamilton outqualified George Russell by just 0.002s to claim third, displacing the two Ferraris.

Charles Leclerc claimed the fifth-fastest time by 0.005s over Carlos Sainz, while Pierre Gasly took a surprise seventh on the grid in a weekend Alpine expected to struggle.

Perez took eighth, which becomes 11th with the application of a grid penalty collected in Montreal, as Esteban Ocon and Oscar Piastri completed the top 10.

The Australian was stranded in 10th as he failed to set a time in Q3, aborting his sole lap after understeering out of Turn 13 and clipping the gravel on the exit.

Fernando Alonso could not break into Q3 at his home race, despite improving on his final lap; the Spaniard was mired in 14th before he crossed the line, but this only lifted him up to 11th.

Alonso thus starts Sunday's race against Valtteri Bottas, who had a glimpse of life outside of the drop zone after his final lap but this was not enough to stave off a late-session fall down the order into 12th.

Nico Hulkenberg also fell into the bottom five late on in Q2, joining Lance Stroll and Zhou Guanyu as the remainder of the drivers who failed to progress into the top 10 shootout.

Kevin Magnussen was pushed into the drop zone at the end of Q1 by Haas team-mate Hulkenberg, as the German improved late on into the session to break into the next phase of qualifying.

The Dane had managed to get free of the bottom five on his own final flying lap, but a series of late improvements ensured that he started to tumble down the order once more; he came to rest in 16th, just under a tenth of safety.

The RBs of Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo were both knocked out despite bearing a series of new upgrades, becoming victims of a tightly compressed field as they fell under a second shy of Hamilton's Q1 benchmark.

Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant locked out the back row of the grid for Williams, as Albon attempted to run off-peak with his second Q1 effort and got up to 12th, but slipped back as others improved.

   
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1
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2
   
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Time km/h
1 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes

1'11.383

234.862
2 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull

+0.020

1'11.403

234.796
3 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes

+0.318

1'11.701

233.821
4 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes

+0.320

1'11.703

233.814
5 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari

+0.348

1'11.731

233.723
6 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari

+0.353

1'11.736

233.706
7 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault

+0.474

1'11.857

233.313
8 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault

+0.742

1'12.125

232.446
9 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes

 

 
10 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes

+0.745

1'12.128

232.436
11 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull

+0.678

1'12.061

232.652
12 Finland V. Bottas Sauber 77 Sauber Ferrari

+0.844

1'12.227

232.118
13 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari

+0.927

1'12.310

231.851
14 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes

+0.989

1'12.372

231.653
15 China Z. Guanyu Sauber 24 Sauber Ferrari

+1.355

1'12.738

230.487
16 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari

+1.554

1'12.937

229.858
17 Japan Y. Tsunoda RB 22 RB Red Bull

+1.602

1'12.985

229.707
18 Australia D. Ricciardo RB 3 RB Red Bull

+1.692

1'13.075

229.424
19 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes

+1.770

1'13.153

229.179
20 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes

+2.126

1'13.509

228.070

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