Charles Leclerc seals Spanish GP pole ahead of Max Verstappen

Charles Leclerc on pole in Spain

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc will start the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen on the front row, as the Monegasque looks to seize the momentum back from the Red Bull man in the Drivers’ championship.

The Dutchman has been strong in the last couple of races, with him winning both the Imola and Miami Grands Prix, whilst he also has the Sprint victory at Imola under his belt in recent races too.

Indeed, that has meant that Verstappen has been able to close the points gap down in the standings over the last couple of events, and Leclerc naturally has wanted to strike back.

Certainly, he has arrived this weekend clearly motivated, and so far has proven unbeatable with him topping all three practice sessions and now taking P1 for the race – a formidable run in the blistering Barcelona heat.

The points are handed out on a Sunday, though, and he’ll know that he now needs to convert his form here at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend into a race victory, especially with Red Bull showing strong race pace the last couple of times out.

Behind the rather familiar front row, Carlos Sainz will start third in front of his home crowd alongside George Russell, with the British driver seeing his Mercedes continue to show progress – team-mate Lewis Hamilton will start in P6, alongisde Sergio Perez in P5.

Merc, then, may well be starting to threaten joining the party out in front, whilst the midfield battle is looking as intense as ever, with three different constructors in the final four places inside the top 10.

Valtteri Bottas will line up in P7 alongside Kevin Magnussen, whilst Daniel Ricciardo is in P9 with Mick Schumacher in the other Haas rounding out the top 10.

Haas, of course, are the only team without upgrades here this weekend in Spain, but you wouldn’t have known it with another strong showing from the rejuvenated outfit.

Outside the top 10, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon line up in 11th and 12th ahead of the two AlphaTauris of Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly, whilst Zhou Guanyu is in 15th.

Yuki Tsunoda drives in Spain
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 21: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT03 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 21, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel lines up 16th, with Aston evidently still getting to grips with their new upgrades, ahead of Fernando Alonso in 17th and Lance Stroll, whilst the back row comprises the two Williams cars of Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi.

It’s set to be another scorching day in Barcelona for the race, meanwhile, and who keeps cool under the pressure most of all will surely take the spoils.

Lights out is at 2pm UK time.

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