Hamilton’s Mercedes pipped Max Verstappen in the Red Bull by just 0.036 seconds as the pair’s tight duel for the championship looks set to continue. Valtteri Bottas finished just a further 0.096s behind and he starts third on the grid, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in fourth and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in fifth. “I can’t believe we are at 100,” Hamilton said after qualifying yesterday. “It’s down to the men and women back at the factory who are just continuing to raise the bar and never giving up. It has been a dream to work with these guys. Who would have thought when I made the move at the end of 2012 that we would get to 100? I am ecstatic, like it’s my first.”
Hamilton leads Verstappen by eight points heading into the race after the Briton pulled off another superb drive to clinch victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix last weekend. If Hamilton is victorious today, he will equal Ayrton Senna’s famous Monaco record of five consecutive wins at the same venue. Follow the race live below:
Fans are back at a Formula 1 Grand Prix today, with 1,000 spectators in the stands in Barcelona.
That includes Barcelona and France forward Antoine Griezmann, here with Lewis Hamilton.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 13:49
Spanish Grand Prix – Starting grid
Here’s how they line up…
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
9. Lando Norris (McLaren)
10. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
11. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
12. Pierre Gasly ( AlphaTauri)
13. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo Racing)
15. George Russell (Williams)
16. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri )
17. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo Racing)
18. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
19. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 13:45
Drops of rain at the Spanish Grand Prix
It’s an overcast day in Barcelona with a light tailwind along the pit straight.
Lando Norris has reported some light rain on the track, but it should pass quite quickly.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 13:38
How to watch the Spanish Grand Prix online and on TV today
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 13:35
Hamilton eyes fifth consecutive win at Spanish Grand Prix
It’s been a one-sided story at the Spanish Grand Prix since that day in 2016, however, with Lewis Hamilton winning the past four races at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Another victory for the Briton today would see him equal Michael Schumacher’s tally of six Spanish Grand Prix victories, while also breaking the German’s record for the most victories in a row at this race. No other driver has won five consecutive races in Barcelona.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 13:29
Verstappen’s maiden F1 win – five years on
It was at this circuit five years ago that Verstappen became the youngest Grand Prix winner in Formula 1 history on his maiden drive with Red Bull.
At 18 years old, Verstappen replaced Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull hotseat and took advantage of a disastrous weekend for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided on the opening lap and both crashed out.
Five years on, Verstappen will make his 100th start for Red Bull today.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 13:20
Spanish Grand Prix – Verstappen hoping for fast start
Max Verstappen is eyeing up an early move on title rival Lewis Hamilton on the 600-metre run to Turn 1 at the Circuit de Catalunya.
After Hamilton’s dominant display at the Portuguese Grand Prix last weekend, Red Bull cannot afford the Mercedes to build up an early lead – but the Dutchman will be without the help of Sergio Perez, who lines up in eighth.
“It is a long run to Turn 1 and a good start is key,” said Verstappen, who trails Hamilton by eight points. “The pace is there, so I hope we can have a good race.
“We know they are hard to beat around here but to be that close, I can be happy with that.”
While Verstappen lines behind Hamilton on the front grid, his team-mate Sergio Perez struggled to eighth place in qualifying amid complaints of a shoulder injury.
“I didn’t felt 100 per cent with myself today,” Perez said. “I had a bit of an issue with my shoulder through qualifying and was feeling bad all the way through it.
“I’ve spoken to the team and we reviewed everything and we should be back to 100 percent tomorrow.”
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 13:11
Button warns Japanese rookie Tsunoda to watch his words
Jenson Button warned Yuki Tsunoda to watch his words after the rookie publicly criticised the performance of his AlphaTauri car in qualifying on Saturday.
The 20-year-old has already acquired a reputation for swearing over the team radio, and at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya he questioned his car’s setup compared to that of team mate Pierre Gasly.
“I just feel from my side the car is really slow,” he said. “It’s always different feedback compared to my team-mate, every time it’s the opposite.
“I have a little bit of a question mark if it’s the same car… Of course it’s the same car but the character of the car is too different… I don’t understand what’s happened, why I’m struggling this much.”
“I think he’s got to control his anger a little bit, teams don’t like it when you talk out like that,” Button said on Sky Sports.
“He needs to control that if he wants to stay in this sport. You can’t speak about the car like that or speak about the team like that.”
Gasly qualified 12th while Tsunoda starts 16th. The Japanese driver apologised for his comments on Sunday.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 12:59
Spanish Grand Prix – Hamilton on pole
Lewis Hamilton’s century of pole positions dominated the agenda at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Saturday, and there was plenty of praise for the Briton’s achievement.
“Lewis is just operating on this extreme, never-before seen level. The car wasn’t perfect and he just edged the other ones out,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said.
“He is clearly the outstanding driver and growing as a personality on and off the track. One hundred poles is incredible. If you put all his pole laps together in a video, it would last two hours so that just shows what he has achieved.”
1996 world champion Damon Hill added: “You do realise you are watching one of the most talented people to have ever walked the Earth, don’t you? He really is a phenomenon. I can only watch on in awe.”
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 12:53
HAMILTON STARTS ON POLE AT SPANISH GP
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage as Lewis Hamilton starts on pole for the 100th time in his career at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Jamie Braidwood9 May 2021 11:50