Spanish Grand Prix: F1 – live!
- Lap-by-lap updates, with race starting at 2.10pm BST
- Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas to pole for Spanish Grand Prix
- Feel free to drop Rob an email or tweet: @robbleaney
It’s a big day for Max Verstappen, who triumphed here in 2016 on his Red Bull debut. Then, ages 18 years and 228 days, he became the youngest driver in F1 history to win a grand prix. Two years on his star has fallen a little in a blaze of error-induced crashes. He and his team-mate Ricciardo have been read the riot act by Red Bull after taking each other out in Baku but the Dutchman is still smiling. Our man in Catalonia, Giles Richards, has the lowdown on where Mad Max is at …
Sean Bratches, F1’s commercial chief, is talking about taking F1 to Miami, but says it is no threat to Silverstone’s place in the race calendar. “Celebrity, glamour and fashion” are just some of the reasons Miami and Fi1 are the perfect fit, he says. He then goes into over drive with the corporate speak. Miami is “good brand alignment” he states. “We we are trying to make F1 a media and entertainment brand,” he goes on, “a fan focused entity”. Explanations on a postcard please
The commentators seem to think Hamilton will re-sign with Mercedes, and for another three years. The world champion has been coy on his future recently, leading to speculation that he will leave the sport to pursue music and fashion interests, but would he really throw in the towel just yet?
It’s not warm in Catalonia for today’s race, about 15 degrees at present, and that may favour the Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas. Toto Wolff joked yesterday that Mercedes were trying to fix the weather to make it “arctic”. Rain is forecast though, so that could throw a spanner in the works. Wolff has just spoken trackside to say he thinks most teams will make two pit stops in the race.
The head of Formula One’s governing body has responded to criticism from drivers about rule changes by saying they had every opportunity to contribute but often failed to attend meetings. The FIA president, Jean Todt, hit back after Hamilton and Vettel said new aerodynamic regulations for 2019 that would slow the cars by around 1.5 seconds a lap had come as a surprise. “I do respect them and know how busy they can be and all that. But they have access,” said Todt. “Unfortunately very often there is a meeting and they don’t come to the meeting. I have always tried to hear what the drivers were saying. The drivers are invited to participate, to do something.” Todt pointed out also that he had appointed a number of former racers to FIA commissions. Four-times world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had said on Saturday that new aerodynamic regulations for 2019 that would slow the cars by around 1.5 seconds a lap had come as a surprise.
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes,
2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari
5 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull
6 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull
7 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas
8 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren
9 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault
10 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas
11 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren
12 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso
13 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India
14 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Sauber-Ferrari
15 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India
16 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault
17 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari
18 Sergey Sirotkin (Rus) Williams
19 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams
20 Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Scuderia Toro Rosso
After the madness of Azerbaijan we’re in Spain for the start of the European leg of what is shaping up to be a thrilling F1 season. Lewis Hamilton emerged from the Red Bull chaos in Baku to record his first victory of the season in its fourth race. He holds a four point lead in the drivers’ standings from Sebastian Vettel, who won the first two grands prix of the season before Daniel Ricciardo’s masterclass in China. Hamilton will be on pole at the Circuit de Catalunya, despite saying before this weekend that he had ‘zero comfortability’ with his car.
The British world champion won from pole here last year, and will be difficult to beat at a track where overtaking can be tricky, but he was only four-hundredths of a second faster than his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying. The Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Raikonnen make up the second row, with those dastardly Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen ready to rumble from fifth and sixth on the grid. The start could be quite something.
Source: Formula 1