Spanish Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton looks to extend his Championship lead over Red Bull rival Max Verstappen after claiming 100th career pole in Spain
- Lewis Hamilton will look to extend his Championship lead over Max Verstappen
- The Brit claimed the 100th pole position of his career on Saturday in Spain
- Hamilton beat his Red Bull rival by just 0.036s in qualifying to claim pole
- Lewis Hamilton claimed victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix last week
- Latest Formula One news, including race fixtures and results
Lewis Hamilton will hope to extend his early season lead over Red Bull rival Max Verstappen in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Brit went fastest around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Saturday’s qualifying session to claim the 100th pole position of his F1 career, narrowly beating Verstappen by just 0.036seconds. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third.
The seven-time World Champion, who is eyeing up overtaking F1 legend Michael Schumacher for the most titles of any driver in the history of the sport, is looking to build on his Portuguese Grand Prix victory last week.
Follow Sportsmail’s Ieuan Ivett for live Formula One coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix, including build-up, race updates and result.
Pierre Gasly takes his five-second time penalty inside the pits and comes back out dead last. He is out on the mediums now.
Maybe scrap that soft tyre comment…
Lewis Hamilton’s right rear is looking pretty severely blistered. And he has just come on the radio to say his grip is starting to drop.
Verstappen’s look in slightly better condition but also look worn.
Lewis Hamilton has now edged himself into DRS range from Max Verstappen in first. The front two will likely stay out longer on their soft compound tyres than the rest of the oack.
Further back, Nicolas Latifi completes a great takeover on Mick Schumacher in the Haas. Both Williams are looking faster than the Haas and are chasing down Kimi Raikkonen in 14th.
And the Charles LeClerc effect is occuring once again. The Ferrari driver has held third, meaning the gap between the front two and the rest of the of the field is growing quickly.
Valtteri Bottas is still stuck behind in fourth.
In the race for the lead, Verstappen appears to be lapping a little quicker than Hamilton. Both are putting up some very fast lap times.
And now DRS is back in play at Spain. Hamilton is just within DRS distance so Max Verstappen might have to get some defending in soon.
Max Verstappen has held his lead and Lewis Hamilton remains second.
Further back, a wonderful move from Lance Stroll through sector 1 to make it up to tenth past Fernando Alonso.
Gasly has a five second penalty for his race start.
And we are back racing as the safety car has ended. Max needs another fast start!
A nightmare pit stop for Antonio Giovanazzi as his pit team mess up the tyres as they found a puncture on one of the fresh tyres. Due to the puncture, they had to swap all four for the Italian which made it a much longer stop.
George Russell and Nicolas Latifi have also pitted.
And we have yellow flags after AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda stops dead after his engine failed on him. A safety car is deployed. That will make Bottas and the trailing pack happy.
Weather report: the slight chance of rain has now gone according to Sky Sports and the wind has died down.
Early predictions would suggest we have a two-horse race here. Charles LeClerc in third is driving much slower than the top two, creating a massive gap between them and the rest.
Valtteri Bottas is paying for this big time. He is losing over a second a lap behind the Ferrari.
Hamilton is slowly closing the gap to Verstappen in the lead to just over one second. With DRS available, this could be a tasty fight once he closes the gap a little more.
Here is the order further down. LeClerc is defending from third as Bottas looks to reclaim his starting position. Daniel Ricciardo fifth, Sergio Perez sixth, Esteban Ocon seventh, Carlos Sainz eighth, Lando Norris ninth, Fernando Alonso tenth.
Pierre Gasly also under investigation for starting out of position. Will be a slam dunk penalty.
Watching replays, it looks like Verstappen’s reaction were faster as the lights went out and that gave him the advantage down the opening straight. It was SO close to them making contact, and well played to Hamilton for moving out of the way.
Max Verstappen is flying around Barcelona. He has built up over a two second lead over Hamilton as the drivers now create some sort of formation down the grid.
What a move from the Red Bull! He took Hamilton’s stream, then took the inside on Turn 1 and muscled his way past the Mercedes.
Elsewhere, Charles LeClerc sits third ahead of Bottas and Esteban Ocon lost a couple of places to Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez.
And the drivers are out on their formation lap ahead of light’s out in just a matter of moments. Lewis Hamilton starts from pole but it’s a very long straight down to Turn 1, and Verstappen and Bottas will want to catch his stream down the straight.
After reports suggesting that Mercedes may replace him mid season, Valtteri Bottas has been given a vote of confidence from team principle Toto Wolff.
But the pressure remains on the Finn, who has struggled to keep the pace with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on race day.
It’s tough to overtake at Barcelona, but starting from P3 he is going to have to pull something out of the bag.
Duo Charles LeClerc and Carlos Sainz – who is racing in his home Grand Prix – squeezed everything they could out of the Ferrari to record an impressive fourth and sixth in Q3 yesterday.
Their main rivals for third, McLaren, couldn’t quite find the speed as Daniel Ricciardo starts from seventh and Lando Norris from ninth.
Should be an interesting battle this afternoon.
The Formula One 2021 season continues on Sunday with the Spanish Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton currently leading the standings. Sportsmail takes you through the race details.
Jonathan McEvoy: Lewis Hamilton has cracked it in the wet, in the dry, in the dark. On Saturday, in suitably approving Spanish sunshine, he recorded the 100th pole position of his career.
And welcome to Sportsmail’s coverage of the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix. Stay tuned for build-up, race action and the result.
Source: Read Full Article