The F1 starting grid has been provisionally decided following qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on Saturday.
A wet-dry session saw the drivers take to a greasy track surface in Q1, with an early red flag coming out for gravel on the track after several drivers went off in the early knockings.
The big headline news from that session was that Charles Leclerc, who took pole in Barcelona last year, went out, unable to get out of Q1 on pace and will start from the pit lane as Ferrari took the opportunity to change Leclerc’s gearbox. He was only due to start from P19 anyway.
And Q2 saw two further big names fall as Perez dropped out, failing to recover from going off on his previous flying lap at Turn 5 and only managing 11th.
The Mercedes drivers both touched on the start/finish straight and George Russell was unable to improve sufficiently to get through to Q3 himself, with Lewis Hamilton calling their contact “really dangerous”.
But onwards to Q3 and Max Verstappen never looked troubled at the front of the field, taking pole position by almost half a second from home hero Carlos Sainz on the front row, with Lando Norris popping up to take an unlikely third place for McLaren, with Pierre Gasly and Hamilton rounding out the top five.
Gasly will not start from P4 though as post-session he was hit with a pair of three-place grid drops, having been judged to have impeded Sainz and Verstappen.
Lance Stroll out-qualified Fernando Alonso for the first time this season for Aston Martin, with Nico Hulkenberg also performing strongly for Haas on Saturday to take a place on the fourth row.
F1 starting grid: 2023 Spanish Grand Prix
1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull
2 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari
3 Lando NORRIS McLaren
4 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes
5 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
6 Esteban OCON Alpine
7 Nico Hulkenberg Haas
8 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
9 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren
10 Pierre GASLY Alpine
11 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull
12 George RUSSELL Mercedes
13 ZHOU Guanyu Alfa Romeo
14 Nyck DE VRIES AlphaTauri
15 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri
16 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas
18 Alexander ALBON Williams
20 Logan SARGEANT Williams
Pit-lane Charles LECLERC Ferrari
The article F1 starting grid: What is the starting order for the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix? appeared first on Planetf1.com.