Formula 1 Commentary

F1 Spanish GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Live commentary and updates from F1 Saturday practice and qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

F1 Spanish GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 & Qualifying

By: James Newbold, Tom Howard, Haydn Cobb


  • Hamilton takes 100th career pole from Verstappen, Bottas, Leclerc and Ocon.
  • Stroll, Gasly, Vettel, Giovinazzi, Russell knocked out in Q2 as Verstappen goes two tenths quicker than Bottas and Hamilton.
  • Tsunoda, Raikkonen, Schumacher, Latifi and Mazepin knocked out in Q1, Giovinazzi survives on the bubble in P15.
  • Five different constructors in the top five positions in Q1 as McLaren (Norris) head Mercedes (Bottas), Ferrari (Leclerc), Red Bull (Verstappen) and AlphaTauri (Gasly).
1. Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Verstappen, Red Bull
3. Bottas, Mercedes
4. Leclerc, Ferrari
5. Ocon, Alpine
6. Sainz, Ferrari
7. Ricciardo, McLaren
8. Perez, Red Bull
9. Norris, McLaren
10. Alonso, Alpine
Status: Stopped

While we digest Spanish GP qualifying, it is time to sign off for this live text commentary. Be sure to return tomorrow for the main event, with the race starting at 2:00pm UK time. Bye for now!

Hamilton signs his mini Pirelli tyre F1 pole position award before underlining and ticking the '100' to, literally, highlight his achievement. Incredible feat, that.

Here's the full report on Spanish GP qualifying and Hamilton's 100th F1 pole position:

Bottas on qualifying third for the Spanish GP: "That was close, the first runs in Q3 were faster and I lost a bit at Turn 10 with the wind but that's how it goes."

Hamilton: "I feel very humbled and grateful to make it to 100. It feels like my first!"

Hamilton gives it a "heeeeey Pedro" to top three interviewer Pedro de la Rosa. Naturally he is bouncing after recording his 100th career F1 pole.

Verstappen on P2: "In Q3 both laps were pretty decent, the second lap a little bit worse, it was a little windy. But to be this close [to pole] I can be happy with that."

Ocon impresses again for Alpine with fifth place to split the Ferraris as Sainz slots into sixth place ahead of his home race. Ricciardo is seventh with Perez eighth after his Q3 spin.

Hamilton will be joined on the front row for the Spanish GP by Verstappen with Bottas in third. A stunning last lap by Leclerc puts him fourth for Ferrari.

...Verstappen cannot improve on his final lap, and neither can Bottas, so that hands Hamilton his 100th F1 pole position! What a record!

Hamilton puts in a 1m16.741s to set the time to beat for pole. Here come the others...

Verstappen, who was towards the back of the train, has overtaken Ocon and the Ferraris to slot in behind the Mercs for a slipstream before his final timed lap.

Final Q3 runs coming up. Here we go. All 10 drivers have come out together.


Perez's spin was triggered by dipping a tyre on to the gravel approaching Turn 13. There's your track limits policing at work.

Verstappen slots into P2 just 0.036s off Hamilton, with Bottas in third 0.132s off pole.

Perez spins at Turn 13! That's his lap ruined and it was close to wrecking the laps of those behind him. But Hamilton continues and puts in a 1m16.741s to take provisional pole!

But it is a bit of a stinker of a lap from Norris, while Ocon is smelling of roses with a 1m17.580s to go top for now.

"We are the lead car, it was going to get smelly," Norris is told over his team radio as he starts his first timed lap having got to the front of the train of cars. Smelly is a good way of putting it.

Here come the early runners, led by Sainz, who is ahead of Perez, Norris, Leclerc, Ricciardo and Ocon as the rest wait in the garage.


Q3 is go!

We asked for your quali predictions earlier, but have they changed after seeing what happened in Q1 and Q2? The pole position shootout is coming up next.

Both Bottas and Hamilton improved on their final laps in Q2 but remain a couple of tenths off Verstappen's earlier time. Going on that, very much advantage to the Red Bull driver ahead of Q3.

Out in Q2: Stroll, Gasly, Vettel, Giovinazzi and Russell.

Perez also moves into the Q3 spots which pushes out Gasly. All on Ricciardo's final lap which is a 1m17.719s to go P8 and shoves out Stroll.

Good lap by Sainz to go P4, should be safely into Q3. Ocon moves up to P7 which pushes Ricciardo out for now...


Right, Q2 crunch time. Ocon, Perez, Vettel, Russell and Giovinazzi in the drop zone with time to find.

Russell, with a clear track having come out later than the rest, puts in a 1m19.154s to go P14 which looks as good as it'll get for the Williams driver with no new fresh soft tyres left.

After the first runs in Q2 Ricciardo is on the edge in 10th with Ocon 0.004s behind in 11th. The barest of margins.

That's a lap by Verstappen to think about for Mercedes ahead of Q3, but focusing on the present, the fight for the top 10 is heating up. Sainz in fifth is only two-tenths faster than Vettel down in P13.

But even more impressive is Verstappen, with a 1m16.922s to go top by 0.478s for Red Bull. Which is a lot around this track.
But more impressive is Bottas who produces a 1m17.400s to take top spot by over two-tenths of a second from Hamilton.

Hamilton leads the train on the first runs in Q2 and puts in a 1m17.632s. Impressive. 

In the usual pattern of Q2 it is the Mercs out first but unusually they are on the softs rather than the preferred mediums at the start.

Here we go for Q2!

Tsunoda, on learning of his Q1 exit, has some nasty words to say over his team radio. I hope there is a swear jar at AlphaTauri, it will be a nice little earner by the end of the year.


Giovinazzi is the driver to survive on the bubble in Q1, just 0.007s faster than Tsunoda. The AlphaTauri driver is out along with Raikkonen, Schumacher, Latifi and Mazepin.

Norris, without traffic, goes top in Q1 with a 1m17.821s. Russell, briefly in the drop zone, validates his nickname as Mr Saturday as he leaps into Q2 at the expense of Tsunoda!