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Spanish GP 2016

MAY 14, 2016

Qualifying Report - 52 P1s

Lewis Hamilton, Spanish GP 2016
© The Cahier Archive


By Dan Knutson in Barcelona

Lewis Hamilton was P1 for the 52nd time in Formula 1 as he won the pole for the Spanish Grand Prix in his Mercedes.

The ambient temperature at the start of qualifying was 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Centigrade.)

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen . Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Renault - Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Toro Rosso Ferrari - Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Manor Mercedes - Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.


Wehrlein and Haryanto were the first out for the 16-minute Q1 session. They were on Pirelli's soft compound tires. The hard and medium were the other compounds available during the weekend.

Hamilton was the first driver from the top teams to go out, and he was on the soft tires as he set a time of 1:23.214. Rosberg then beat that with a 1:23.002. Meanwhile many drivers remained in the garages until midway through the session.

Verstappen went into third place and Raikkonen to fourth. Then Ricciardo took away that fourth. All the drivers were on the soft tires.

With less than four minutes remaining, Hulkenberg was 16th while Palmer was 17th and in danger of missing the cut to make it into Q2.

In the final moments Grosjean and Button got into the top 16, so Palmer did not make the cut. Nor did Massa, Ericsson, Nasr, Wehrlein or Haryanto.

The fastest 16 drivers who moved on to Q2 were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Gutierrez, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Alonso, Button, Magnussen, Kvyat, Perez and Grosjean.


Next up was Q2 that lasted 15 minutes. Hamilton was the first out. Next came Rosberg. They had the track to themselves until Hulkenberg joined them.

Hamilton did a 1:22.159 and Rosberg a 1:22.759. After the first round of runs, Verstappen was third and Vettel fourth ahead of Ricciardo. Raikkonen had aborted his lap.

Grosjean, Perez and Gutierrez were ninth, tenth and 11th and on the bubble for making it into Q3, especially as Raikkonen had yet to put in a fast lap.

Raikkonen duly jumped up to fourth.

Eventually the six drivers who were eliminated at the end of FP2 were: Hulkenberg, Button, Kvyat, Grosjean, Magnussen and Gutierrez.

The fastest 10 drivers who moved on to Q3 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Vettel, Perez, Bottas, Sainz and Alonso.

This marked the first time the new McLaren Honda partnership had made the grade into Q3.


The 10 drivers had 12 minutes to determine the starting grid for the race. Once again the Mercedes duo was the first out on track.

Hamilton went quickest in all three sectors, but locked up his brakes in Turn 10, and he posted a 1:23.277. Rosberg easily beat that with a 1:22.475.

Then Verstappen split the Mercs and took second. Vettel was fourth and Raikkonen fifth. The rest had yet to go out.

With three minutes to go everybody was in the pits waiting for that one last gasp lap.

And when it was all over, Hamilton had won the 52nd pole of his career while Rosberg qualified second. Ricciardo beat out Verstappen to take third.

Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Sainz, Perez and Alonso rounded out the top 10.