F1 qualifying LIVE result: Spanish Grand Prix updates as Charles Leclerc beats Max Verstappen to pole

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·34-min read
F1 qualifying LIVE result: Spanish Grand Prix updates as Charles Leclerc beats Max Verstappen to pole
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Charles Leclerc bounced back from a spin to put his Ferrari on pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Championship leader Leclerc lost control of his Ferrari through the chicane on his first attempt in Q3 at a sweltering Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona to leave him sweating.

But the Monegasque kept his cool with his last effort to deliver an impressive lap under pressure and beat rival Max Verstappen by three tenths.

Verstappen, who trails Leclerc by 19 points, complained he had no power on his last attempt.

Carlos Sainz finished third in the other Ferrari, with George Russell fourth for Mercedes - two places and just over a tenth ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Relive all the action, below:

Spanish Grand Prix qualifying results

  • Leclerc takes pole ahead of Verstappen

  • Russell fourth ahead of teammate Hamilton in sixth

  • Schumacher makes top 10 for first time

Hamilton ‘a little bit gutted’ to be behind Russell

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:50 , Dan Austin

Lewis Hamilton remains pleased with the progress Mercedes have made this weekend, and believes his team can match Ferrari for race pace on Sunday, but says he is “a little bit gutted” to have qualified behind team-mate George Russell.

“The team have done such a great job, so big big thank you to everyone at both factories,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We don’t have bouncing in a straight line, which is a huge improvement for us, and the car has generally been nicer this weekend. We do have some bouncing through the high speed corners like Turn 3 and Turn 9, so we just need to keep working away at that and gain a little bit more downforce. I’m a little bit gutted because I want to be a little bit further ahead, and George has been able to, but I’ll keep pushing.

“Yesterday was our best race pace that we’ve had [in the practice sessions.] If we can start racing the Ferraris that would be amazing. The Red Bulls look like they might be quickest but if we can compete with Ferrari tomorrow that’s a big step for us.”

Wolff says Mercedes fully ‘understand’ porpoising and have taken ‘solid step’ forward

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:41 , Dan Austin

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says that his team ‘fully’ understands its porpoising issue and has resolved it.

The Silver Arrows had been suffering from intense bouncing on the straights with its W13 car, but the problem has been dramatically decreased this weekend.

“We have done a solid step,” he told Sky Sports F1. “Where we slotted in today is the best we could have expected. My belief is that we have a race car more than a qualifying car, but Red Bull also have the tendency of being stronger in the race. Lewis says that the car finally drivers like a Formula 1 car, and this is the best feedback you can get from a driver.

“We know how to unlock more performance and we’re not yet there, the other teams have been able to develop their car while we have been in a pause to understand the bouncing. We understand the bouncing now, it’s all an aerodynamic effect created from the floor swinging. The team have discovered [the solution] and that’s great.”

“We were [still] six tenths to Leclerc. This is miles away still in qualifying terms. As the regulations stay the same for next year, at some point you have to ask what is good on the car and what is not. Before you can decide that you need to [fully] understand [the whole car].”

Wolff also praised driver George Russell, who qualified two spots higher than Lewis Hamilton.

“You can see the next generation coming up, and the way George [Russell] has integrated in the team and is learning from Lewis [Hamilton] is great. I couldn’t hope for a better driver pairing and the pace is there.”

Russell thinks Mercedes still have pace left to come

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:33 , Dan Austin

George Russell wil start fourth for the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, but believes that Mercedes could have qualified higher up had they managed their tyres better in Barcelona.

“It wasn’t our most perfect qualifying session,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We didn’t quite have the tyres in the perfect window, and there was still a lot of laptime on the board. We should be able to compete with ferrari tomorrow but Red Bull and particularly Max are still a bit far away.

“I don’t feel quite as fatigued compared to what I’m used to [without the porpoising]. So chill out tonight, relax, and go for it tomorrow.”

Horner expecting ‘fascinating’ race in Spain tomorrow

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:25 , Dan Austin

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he is expecting a ‘very close’ Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday between his team and Ferrari.

“It wasn’t power in the end, it was the DRS that didn’t open,” Horner explained on Sky Sports F1. “I don’t think we had enough today to beat that lap by Charles, but it was unfortunate not to have the right to reply. I’m still pleased with a front row start. The margins are so fine, that first lap of Max’s looked very strong.

“In these temperatures it’s all going to be about tyre management, so it’s going to be a fascinating race. This morning Ferrari had a long run with both of their cars and it didn’t look too bad, so I think we’re very evenly matched and it’s going to be very close tomorrow.”

Sainz aiming to pass Verstappen into Turn 1 on Sunday

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:20 , Dan Austin

Carlos Sainz says he is aiming to overtake Red Bull’s Max Versttapen off the start in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix so that he and team-mate Charles Leclerc can defend a Ferrari 1-2.

“It’s been a tough weekend so far, the conditions haven’t been the best with the heat and the wind,” the 27-year-old told Sky Sports F1. “We’ll see if we can get a strong start tomorrow. Everything is possible, we’re definitely gonna try our best to get ahead at the start and lead from there. It wasn’t the perfect qualifying, but anything can happen [in the race].”

Verstappen explains reason for aborting final run in Spanish GP qualifying

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:15 , Dan Austin

Max Verstappen ahs explained why he had to abort his final run in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Dutchman was first after the first set of runs in Q3, but didn’t set a second laptime after eporting a loss of power over the radio.

“I couldn’t do my final run, either DRS didn’t open or I lost power,” Verstappen explained to Sky Sports F1. “It’s a bit of a shame but being on the front row is a good achgievement. I would have liked to go for that final run. Last two races we seemed pretty decent on the tyres. Tomrorrow will be very hot and as this track it’s very hard to pass, but hopefully again our car will be a bit kinder on the tyres.”

Leclerc revels in ‘very good lap’ after ‘very difficult’ qualifying

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:09 , Dan Austin

Championship leader Charles Leclers says he knew he had delivered a ‘very good lap’ at the end of qualifying tro secure pole position.

“It was a very very difficult session,” he told Sky Sports F1. “I made a mistake and only had one lap, but it went extremely well. It was a very good lap and the car was great too, so very happy. I am in a strong position to start the race but we have been struggling with tyres compared to Red Bull. Max is second so we need to manage the tyres well and keep him behind us.”

Full top ten grid order as Leclerc takes pole for Spanish Grand Prix

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:03 , Dan Austin

Charles Leclerc has taken pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, and you can see how the whole of the top ten will line up below:

1 Charles LECLERC 1:18.750

2 Max VERSTAPPEN +0.323

3 Carlos SAINZ +0.416

4 George RUSSELL +0.643

5 Sergio PEREZ +0.670

6 Lewis HAMILTON +0.762

7 Valtteri BOTTAS +0.858

8 Kevin MAGNUSSEN +0.932

9 Daniel RICCIARDO +1.547

10 Mick SCHUMACHER +1.618

Leclerc qualifies on pole for Spanish Grand Prix!

Saturday 21 May 2022 16:02 , Dan Austin

Charles Leclerc has delievered an absolutely superb lap to secure pole position!

The Monegasque recovered from the spin he suffered on his first run to beat Max Verstappen’s time by over three-tenths-of-a-second.

The Dutchman reported a loss of power over the radio on his second run and was told to return to the pits by his Red Bull team.

Verstappen leads after first runs in Q3

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:56 , Dan Austin

All drivers have no completed their first run in Q3, and Max Verstappen has a very healthy lead indeed for Red Bull.

The Dutchman is 0.35s ahead of home favourite Carlos Sainz for Ferrari, with Sergio Perez in third, George Russell fourth and Lewis Hamilton fifth.

Valtteri Bottas occupies sixth for Alfa Romeo, with Daniel Ricciardo seventh ahead of the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher.

Charles Leclerc is the only driver without a time on the board after his spin.

Leclerc spins on first run in Q3!

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:54 , Dan Austin

Charles Leclerc has spun on entry to the final chicane on his first run in Q3!

The championship leader lost the rear of the car as his tyre temperatures soard at the end of the lap, and he has lost his first shot at pole position.

He keeps it on the road and suffers no damage, but that could prove crucial for the Monegasque.

Q3 begins in Spain

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:51 , Dan Austin

The final part of qualifying is now underway as all ten drivers duke it out for pole position.

All six drivers from the Ferrari, red Bull and Mercedes teams seem capable of mounting a serious challenge to top the leaderboard at the end of this situation, with Charles Leclerc still the favourite going into these final ten minutes.

Kevin Magnussen made it up to fifth in Q2, so could he disturb the order in the top six? Let’s find out.

Verstappen goes fastest in Q2

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:45 , Dan Austin

For the first time this weekend a session has ended without Charles Leclerc topping the timesheets.

Right at the end of Q2 Max Verstappen but in a fast lap to go over two tenths clear of Carlos Sainz in second, with George Russell third and Lewis Hamilton fourth.

The very impressive Kevin Magnussen was fifth for Haas, with Sergio Perez sixth and Leclerc only seventh.

Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher rounded out the top ten.

Q2 ends with Norris out and Schumacher through

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:43 , Dan Austin

Q2 has come to an end and Lando Norris has been knocked out for McLaren!

The 22-year-old seemed to have safely made it through hut had his laptime deleted for exceeding track limits, which means he will start in P11 in tomorrow’s race.

Esteban Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly and Guanyu Zhou have also been knocked out, but Mich Schumacher is through to Q3 for the first time in his career.

Russell comfortably ahead of Hamilton in Q2

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:34 , Dan Austin

Drivers are just beginning to set their first lap times in Q2, and George Russell will be very pleased after his opening run.

The 23-year-old is over three-tenths-of-a-second faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with the latter sliding through the final corner after suffering from oversteer.

The Mercedes drivers lead, with Sergio Perez third, Charles Leclerc fourth, Valtteri Bottas fifth and Max Verstappen sixth. Those Red Bull and Ferrari times have been set on used tyres, though.

Binotto expecting ‘tight’ race for pole position in Spain

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:27 , Dan Austin

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says he is expecting a tight race for pole position in Spain.

His drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished Q1 in first and secomnd place, and will be looking to take the pace up a notch in Q2, which has just begun.

“Q1 is always more imlortant for the drivers to understand the track changes and how the car feels,” he told Sky Sports F1. “It will be very tight and we know how key the starting position is here. It’s down to the drivers to push harder and harder.”

Q1 ends with Vettel and Alonso knocked out

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:22 , Dan Austin

That’s the end of Qualifying 1, and the big story is that Fernando Alonso has been knocked out for Alpine.

The home favourite simply didn’t have enough pace in his car, with team-mate Esteban Ocon squeaking through in 15th.

Both Aston Martin drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll are also out despite the team’s controversial new upgrades, along with Williams pair Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi.

Albon, Stroll and Gasly in bottom three after first runs

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:14 , Dan Austin

Most cars are now back in the pits after posting their first competitive runs, with the current running order giving us an idea of who is struggling out there in the Spanish heat.

Alex Albon, Lance Stroll, Pierre Gasly, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi are the men who desperately need to improve, as they are currently in the bottom five and set to be knocked out.

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel are only just outside the drop zone and will be concerned. Four minutes remain in Q1.

Frontrunners set Q1 times and Leclerc leads

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:11 , Dan Austin

The Ferrari and Red Bull drivers have set their first competitive times of this Q1 session, and once again Charles Leclerc heads the field.

The Monegasque heads team-mate Carlos Sainz by just three-hundredths-of-a-second, with Max Verstappen a further two-tenths behind.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are fourth and fifth, with Valtteri Bottas sixth and Sergio Perez a lowly seventh.

Gasly sets time in smoking AlphaTauri

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:06 , Dan Austin

A faulty heat shield cost Pierre Gasly big in FP3 earlier today, as he missed out on the majority of the session due to smoke billowing from the back of his AlphaTauri.

The Frenchman has just set his first time of the Q1 session, but is over a second off the pace of Guanyu Zhou in the Alfa Romeo and smoke was pouring from the rear of his career as he rounded the final chicane.

That problem could well be resurfacing, here.

Qualifying for 2022 Spanish Grand Prix is underway

Saturday 21 May 2022 15:01 , Dan Austin

The green light is on at the end of the pit lane and qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix has begun!

The first few cars are trickling out onto the circuit as they warm up their tyres on the outlap before attempting to set a competitive time.

23 out of last 31 F1 Grand Prix here have been won from pole position, so the importance of topping the timesheets cannot be underestimated.

Who is at risk in Q1 in Spain?

Saturday 21 May 2022 14:52 , Dan Austin

Under ten minutes now until the start of the first part of this afternoon’s qualifying session, so let’s take a look at who is at risk of not making it through to Q2.

William’s Nicholas Latifi has toiled all season long so far and is likely to occupy one of the lowest spots on the grid, and the car doesn’t seem to be going fast enough around the Barcelona circuit for Alex Albon to make it through.

AlphaTauri also seem to be struggling here, which could mean bad news for Yuki Tsunoda and/or Pierre Gasly, while Mick Schumacher’s Haas has only just be repaired after suffering a significant fire in FP3.

Ferrari fast over one lap, Red Bull better on long runs

Saturday 21 May 2022 14:41 , Dan Austin

Charles Leclerc goes into qualifying the heavy favourite to secure pole position, having finished fastest in every practice session this weekend.

But the data from Friday and Saturday’s running suggests that Red Bull will be significantly faster in the race, up to half a second per lap, which means they will likely have the advantage on Sunday.

Both Leclerc and rival Max Verstappen discusses their chances ahead of qualifying.

“On the short run we look strong, but the high fuel run looks very difficult for now,” Leclerc told Sky Sports F1. “We will have to work very hand and hopeffuly find quite a bit of pace.”

“We have quite a bit of work to do over one lap, but long runs look quite decent,” Verstappen explained. “I’m happy with that, we just have to find a middle way.”

Five teams competing for final places in Q3

Saturday 21 May 2022 14:35 , Dan Austin

With less than half-an-hour remaining until the start of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, five teams will be targeting the final few spots in Q3.

The top six places on the grid are likely to be taken up by the Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes drivers based on the evidence from the three practice sessions so far this weekend, but the final four positions inside the top ten are up for grabs.

Throughout running on Friday and Saturday, Alpine, Haas, McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin have all impressed at different points, and could all stake a claim for a top ten spot.

Only Williams and AlphaTauri look to be too far off the pace to make Q3.

Alonso blasts F1 race control and stewards as ‘incompetent’ and ‘not very professional'

Saturday 21 May 2022 14:22 , Dan Austin

Fernando Alonso has slammed Formula 1’s stewards and the FIA’s new race control setup, calling the officiating in the top tier of motorsport “incompetent” and “not very professional”.

Alonso, 40, is the most experienced driver on the F1 grid and is set to overtake former Ferrari and Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen’s record of 349 grand prix starts during the course of the 2022 campaign, but has been left unimpressed with the new structure put in place by FIA president Mohamed Ben Sulayem, who was elected to replace the outgoing Jean Todt last December.

“We saw a couple of things already that proves that [race control] still need to improve a lot,” he said. “You need to have some knowledge about racing before being a race director or trying to monitor a race. I don’t think that knowledge is in place at the moment. I know there is a new race director here. Freitas has a lot more experience with WEC and other categories at the top level and I think that will already improve things.”

You can read the full story here:

Fernando Alonso blasts F1 race control as ‘incompetent’ after Miami penalties

Stroll rejects suggestion Aston Martin copied Red Bull with new design

Saturday 21 May 2022 14:12 , Dan Austin

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll has defended Aston Martin’s revamped Formula 1 car design, which has been criticised for its striking resemblance to the Red Bull.

Having poached head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows from Red Bull, the team has brought a car to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix which looks identical to the Red Bull other than its green livery.

“I’ve heard some people say that [it is a copy of the Red Bull],” the Canadian explained. “We really did our job back at the factory, we designed it over the winter and we brought it to the track this weekend. It’s down the hard work of our guys to bring it here, it’s been flat out for the past few months to get it here. Hopefully a big improvement.”

You can read the full story here:

Lance Stroll rejects suggestion Aston Martin copied Red Bull with new design

Red Bull chief claims evidence shows Aston Martin downloaded data in F1 car copy row

Saturday 21 May 2022 14:02 , Dan Austin

Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko claims evidence exists showing that Aston Martin have downloaded some of his team’s data to help them build a new Formula 1 car which bears an uncanny resemblance to Red Bull’s.

Aston Martin arrived in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this week with a completely revamped version of their AMR22, which made its on-track debut during practice on Friday. The re-designed halo, sidepods, and engine cover on the Aston Martin are all very similar to the parts Red Bull have been running all season long, with their RB18 car the frontrunner at the past two grands prix in Imola and Miami.

“There is evidence that data has been downloaded,” Marko said. “It’s just the question: copying is probably not prohibited to begin with, but can you copy without documents in such a way that you can get such a detailed copy of our car?”

Hamilton ‘super happy’ with Mercedes progress in Spain

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:52 , Dan Austin

Lewis Hamilton says he is “super happy” with the progress his Mercedes team appear to have made in the run up to the Spanish Grand Prix.

In the two practice sessions which took place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Friday, Mercedes seemed to take a significant step forward, ending the day second and third fastest behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with an enormous reduction in the intensity of porpoising. In saturday’s final practice sesion, George Russel was third fastest and Hamilton fourth.

“It is positive,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “I am super happy with the progress. We’re not the quickest yet but I think we’re on our way. It is the first time we have driven down the straight without bouncing. We still have some bouncing but it is way better and we are starting to eke into the potential of the car.

You can read the full story here:

Lewis Hamilton ‘super happy’ with Mercedes improvements ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

De Vries admits F1 dream after ‘nervous’ first outing with Williams

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:42 , Dan Austin

Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries says his goal is still to join Formula 1 in the near future, after enjoying a successful first practice runout with the Williams team in Barcelona ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The 27-year-old is one of the most highly-rated drivers in motorsport outside of F1, having won the 2019 Formula 2 championship before securing the Formula E crown at the end of 2021, and has served as a reserve and development driver for the Mercedes team alongside Stoffel Vandoorne since last season.

“I would be lying if I said Formula 1 isn’t my goal, it is the pinaccle of our sport. I’m enjoying what I’m doing in Formula E and the World Endurance Championship. Time will tell really, the most important thing is to do my job on track and earn my opportunities.”

You can read the full story here:

Nyck de Vries admits F1 dream after ‘nervous’ first outing with Williams

Russell fears ‘health consequences’ of porpoising in F1

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:32 , Dan Austin

George Russell fears Formula One drivers could be exposed to long-term head trauma if the sport’s ‘porpoising’ phenomenon is not resolved.

The British driver compared the new-for-2022 sensation - when the car violently bounces on its suspension at high speed - to football’s dementia problem.

“When you are travelling at 200mph on the straight, and you are smashing up and down on the ground, for sure you wouldn’t choose to have it that way,” said Russell, 24.

“The cars are extremely rigid and they are not meant to be a comfortable ride. You could compare it to the footballers of the 60s, 70s and 80s when they had the massively heavy footballs.

You can read the full story here:

George Russell fears ‘health consequences’ of F1’s porpoising problem

Mercedes confirm improved pace in FP3

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:22 , Dan Austin

Charles Leclerc once again stole the headlines in FP3, but the main take away from that practice session should be that Mercedes appear to have confimed their pace improvement with another solid running.

Both Silver Arrows cars have regularly been around a second off the pace in qualifying so far this season, but both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have been within touching distance of championship leader Leclerc in FP2 and FP3 after Mercedes brought a raft of upgrades to Spain.

Both men now seem capable of challenging for a front row start in Barcelona when qualifying begins at 3pm.

Haas confident Schumacher will make qualifying

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:14 , Dan Austin

Haas are confident that Mick Schumacher will be able to participate in this afternoon’s qualifying after he suffered a significant right rear brake fire in that practice session.

The German’s car was engulfed in flames after catching fire on entry to the high speed Turn 9, and mechanics were covering the heavily damaged rear in damp rags after extinguishing the blaze, which caused the carbon fibre on the wheel rim to melt.

The team is changing Schumacher’s gearbox as a precuation, but is confident that he will compete in qualifying, which begins at 3pm.

Full Saturday practice leaderboard as Charles Leclerc leads again

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:09 , Dan Austin

Charles Leclerc has been fastest in all three practice sessions ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, and you can see just how far every other driver was behind him at the end of FP3 here:

1 Charles LECLERC 1:19.772

2 Max VERSTAPPEN +0.072

3 George RUSSELL +0.148

4 Lewis HAMILTON +0.230

5 Carlos SAINZ +0.357

6 Sergio PEREZ +0.488

7 Lando NORRIS +0.631

8 Kevin MAGNUSSEN +0.874

9 Valtteri BOTTAS +1.009

10 Esteban OCON +1.110

11 Daniel RICCIARDO +1.138

12 Sebastian VETTEL +1.172

13 Fernando ALONSO +1.209

14 GuanyuZHOU +1.429

15 Yuki TSUNODA +1.677

16 Lance STROLL +1.748

17 Alexander ALBON +1.800

18 Nicholas LATIFI +2.647

19 Mick SCHUMACHER +5.695

20 Pierre GASLY N/A

Saturday practice session ends with Charles Leclerc fastest again for Ferrari

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:03 , Dan Austin

The chequered flag is out and Saturday’s practice session has come to an end, with Charles Leclerc completing a hat-trick for Ferrari as he finishes top of the leaderboard once again, just as he did in both runs on Friday.

The championship leader has an advantage of just under a tenth-of-a-second to current champion Max Verstappen, who is then followed by Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in third and fourth.

Behind Hamilton is Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz in front of his home crowd, with Sergio Perez in sixth.

Lando Norris, Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon round out the top 10.

Half a second splitting top three teams

Saturday 21 May 2022 13:00 , Dan Austin

FP3 will be drawing to a close in a matter of moments, and half a second is seperating the top six drivers from three different teams.

Charles Leclerc tops the standings, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez just under five tenths down on the Ferrari in sixth.

The Mexican made an error in the final sector on his first lap on fresh soft tyres, meaning the gap should theoretically be smaller in qualifying.

We could have a very close battle indeed for pole position between all six of the Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes drivers here.

Schumacher looks unlikely to make qualifying

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:51 , Dan Austin

Haas mechanics are still working away on Mick Schumacher’s stricken car, which suffered a heavy right rear brake fire earlier in the session.

Damp rags are being placed all over the detached rear portions of the car, and it would be a surprise if the 23-year-old was able to take part in this afternoon’s qualifying as it stands, to be honest.

Russell edges closer to Leclerc

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:45 , Dan Austin

George Russell has just put in a very impressive time which has taken him up to second in the standings.

The 23-year-old is just a tenth-and-a-half behind leader Charles Leclerc, which implies Mercedes could genuinley compete at the front in qualifying later today.

Lewis Hamilton is lower down the order in eighth, currently splitting the two Alfa Romeos.

Verstappen bemoans ‘terrible’ Red Bull

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:37 , Dan Austin

He may have been driving the winning car at the two most recent races in Imola and Miami, but Max Verstappen is not happy with the performance of the Red Bull so far in this session.

The world champion has been on the team radio to complain that the front of the car is difficult to position on entry to corners in Spain.

“The car just doesn’t turn it at low speed,” he reported. “It’s terrible at Turn , the last chicane as well.”

Ferrari not expecting Mercedes to challenge for pole position

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:33 , Dan Austin

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says he is not expecting Mercedes to be able to challenge for pole position this afternoon, despite their step forward this weekend.

The Italian squad have been fastest in every session so far in Spain but Binotto expects tyre degredation to play into Red Bull’s hands.

“Tyre degredation is a worry for all teams,” Binotto explained. “Yesterday we suffered more than out competitiors, so today we came with a different approach. Mercedes has done a step forward, no doubt, but Red Bull is at the max.”

Middle sector giving Ferrari advantage

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:30 , Dan Austin

Every driver except for the stricken Pierre Gasly has now set a time in this session, and once again Charles Leclerc sits at the top of the leaderboard as things stand.

The Monegasque has an advantage of just under two tenths of a second over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second.

So far, the Ferrari is significantly quicker in the second sector, which is giving the advantage in one-lap pace.

Hamilton forced to pit for DRS issue

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:24 , Dan Austin

Lewis Hamilton has ventured out on track but is immediately forced straight back into the pits.

His race engineer Peter Bonnington is on the radio to tell him “box, box” afte the DRS failed to open after the activation zone on entry to Turn 9.

DRS gives cars a speed boost in a straight line.

Schumacher’s car suffers heavy damage in fire

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:19 , Dan Austin

The fire on Mick Schumacher’s car has now been put out, and the car is back in the Haas garage.

The extent of the damage is becoming clear, with the carbon fibre on the right rear wheel rim completely melted and scorch marks covering the white livery.

This will be a big job for Haas to fix before the start of qualifying at 3pm.

Schumacher suffers brake fire

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:15 , Dan Austin

Now Mick Schumacher’s Haas is also on fire!

The temperatures are through the roof out in Spain this afternoon, and that this is the second set of flames we’ve seen in just under 15 minutes of running so far this afternoon.

The German’s right rear brakes caught ablaze after he entered Turn 9, and now the whole of the right rear corner of the car is now on fire too. This is some significant damage for the team to repair.

Quiet start to Saturday session

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:12 , Dan Austin

It has been a very quiet opening ten minutes for this Saturday practice session in Spain.

Valtteri Bottas currently tops the timesheets for Alfa Romeo, 1.5s ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the Haas. Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, and Michael Schumacher are the only others drivers to have set a time.

Tsunoda has just run very heavily over the kerb at the final chicane, which will worry the AlphaTauri mechanics who are already busy working on Gasly’s car.

Gasly’s car on fire

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:06 , Dan Austin

Pierre Gasly was just about to head out onto the track in Barcelona, but is immediately taken back into the garage by the AlphaTauri team with the rear of his car smoking heavily.

The fire extinguisher is out, and the problem seems to be coming from below the engine cover. Gasly’s Honda engine previously caught fire during the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

FP3 begins in Spain

Saturday 21 May 2022 12:01 , Dan Austin

Saturday’s pratice session is now underway out in Barcelona.

Ferrari have been fastest in both sessions so far this weekend, with Charles Leclerc topping the timesheets in FP1 and FP2. But Red Bull’s long run pace has looked better by about half a second per lap, so keeping an eye on the data in this session will be worthwhile.

Mercedes seemed to have taken a significant step forward on Friday, but can they maintain that pace this afternoon?

Cars are being to make their way out onto the circuit.

Red Bull chief claims evidence shows Aston Martin downloaded data in F1 car copy row

Saturday 21 May 2022 11:54 , Dan Austin

Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko claims evidence exists showing that Aston Martin have downloaded some of his team’s data to help them build a new Formula 1 car which bears an uncanny resemblance to Red Bull’s.

Aston Martin arrived in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this week with a completely revamped version of their AMR22, which made its on-track debut during practice on Friday. The re-designed halo, sidepods, and engine cover on the Aston Martin are all very similar to the parts Red Bull have been running all season long, with their RB18 car the frontrunner at the past two grands prix in Imola and Miami.

Now Marko, who overseees Red Bull’s young driver programme and attends race weekends, says evidence suggests that Aston Martin’s redesign has come about via the downloading of confidential Red Bull data by staff members who have switched between the teams.

“There is evidence that data has been downloaded,” Marko claimed. “It’s just the question: copying is probably not prohibited to begin with, but can you copy without documents in such a way that you can get such a detailed copy of our car?”

Red Bull chief claims evidence shows Aston Martin downloaded data in F1 car copy row

Hamilton ‘super happy’ with Mercedes improvements ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

Saturday 21 May 2022 11:44 , Dan Austin

Lewis Hamilton says he is “super happy” with the progress his Mercedes team appear to have made in the run up to the Spanish Grand Prix.

In the two practice sessions which took place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Friday, Mercedes seemed to take a significant step forward, ending the day second and third fastest behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with an enormous reduction in the intensity of porpoising.

“It is positive,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “I am super happy with the progress. We’re not the quickest yet but I think we’re on our way. It is the first time we have driven down the straight without bouncing. We still have some bouncing but it is way better and we are starting to eke into the potential of the car.

You can read the full story here:

Lewis Hamilton ‘super happy’ with Mercedes improvements ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

Schumacher could be replaced by ‘queue’ of potential F1 drivers at Haas, warns Steiner

Saturday 21 May 2022 11:34 , Dan Austin

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner says “a queue of drivers” could potentially replace Mick Schumacher if the German’s Formula 1 performances don’t improve.

The 23-year-old Schumacher, son of seven-time world champion Michael, is one of only two full-time drivers who have failed to score at least one point in the opening rounds of the 2022 season, alongside Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

“You don’t have forever in Formula 1,” Steiner told Sport Bild in Germany. “There is a queue of drivers who want to drive in your place. I am sure that Mick is aware that no one will wait for him. He’s working very hard at it, but it’s very difficult. Formula 1 is not an easy business but I do see Mick going in the right direction.”

You can read the full story here:

Mick Schumacher could be replaced by ‘queue’ of drivers, warns Gunther Steiner

Alonso blasts F1 race control and stewards as ‘incompetent’ after Miami penalties

Saturday 21 May 2022 11:24 , Dan Austin

Fernando Alonso has slammed Formula 1’s stewards and the FIA’s new race control setup, calling the officiating in the top tier of motorsport “incompetent” and “not very professional”.

Alonso, 40, is the most experienced driver on the F1 grid and is set to overtake former Ferrari and Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen’s record of 349 grand prix starts during the course of the 2022 campaign, but has been left unimpressed with the new structure put in place by FIA president Mohamed Ben Sulayem, who was elected to replace the outgoing Jean Todt last December.

“We saw a couple of things already that proves that [race control] still need to improve a lot,” he said. “You need to have some knowledge about racing before being a race director or trying to monitor a race. I don’t think that knowledge is in place at the moment. I know there is a new race director here. Freitas has a lot more experience with WEC and other categories at the top level and I think that will already improve things.”

You can read the full story here:

Fernando Alonso blasts F1 race control as ‘incompetent’ after Miami penalties

Leclerc setting pace in Barcelona so far this weekend

Saturday 21 May 2022 11:13 , Dan Austin

Charles Leclerc was fastest in both FP1 and FP2 out in Barcelona yesterday afternoon, and you can see how far behind him each driver was in the second session below:

1 Charles LECLERC 1:19.670

2 George RUSSELL +0.117

3 Lewis HAMILTON +0.204

4 Carlos SAINZ +0.320

5 Max VERSTAPPEN +0.336

6 Fernando ALONSO +0.533

7 Sergio PEREZ +0.962

8 Sebastian VETTEL +1.033

9 Esteban OCON +1.075

10 Mick SCHUMACHER +1.087

11 Pierre GASLY +1.247

12 Kevin MAGNUSSEN +1.343

13 Lance STROLL +1.579

14 Yuki TSUNODA +1.615

15 Daniel RICCIARDO +1.715

16 Valtteri BOTTAS +2.158

17 GuanyuZHOU +2.196

18 Alexander ALBON +2.649

19 Nicholas LATIFI +3.527

20 Lando NORRIS +3.718

Welcome to coverage of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix

Saturday 21 May 2022 11:11 , Dan Austin

Good morning, and welcome to live coverage of qualifying for the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari head into today’s action as the pacesetters, with championship leader Charles Leclerc topping the timesheets in both of Friday’s practice sessions. Mercedes saw a significant improvement in their fortunes yesterday too, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finishing FP2 in second and third place respectively, and the W13 suffering from far less intense porpoising than previous race weekends.

We’ll bring you all of the action from the third practice sessions, which begins at 12pm, qualifying when it starts at 3pm, and all of the news updates throughout the day.

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