The Haas F1 Team put in a stronger performance in qualifying for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, with Romain Grosjean qualifying seventh and teammate Kevin Magnussen alongside him eighth on the grid. Valtteri Bottas took pole in his Mercedes, setting a new track record with a time of 1:15.406. Lewis Hamilton will be alongside his teammate on the front row of the grid, setting the second fastest time in Q3.
Romain Grosjean commented afterwards that: “I hope we can carry this form over in the race. Here we’ve got the tyres to work nicely, an area we’ve been struggling with recently, but we’re happy with today. We’re not far off the Red Bull’s and we’re a good chunk ahead of the cars behind us. I think we can be proud of that. Everyone knows this track very well, so it’s not easy to make a difference. We extracted the best from today. It’s been a good day – a good qualifying.”
Team Principle Guenther Streiner said that: “It was a good result today. The whole team came back after a hard week in Baku to qualify today in seventh and eighth. Everybody did a good job, it’s fantastic. It’s definitely nice to be in this position again. We’re looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully scoring points.”
This is the ninth pole position for Valtteri Bottas and his third of the season, reinforcing why he is leading the 2019 championship.
Commenting on his pole position, Valtteri said: “This feels really good. In every run in Qualifying I found room for improvement, little bits here and there, and I managed to get everything together in Q3 and had a very strong first lap. I think the package we have brought to Barcelona is working very well and the car was very strong, especially in Sector 3. All the credit for that goes to the team, thank you to everyone back in Brackley and Brixworth. Our long run pace looked good on Friday, but a lot can happen on a Sunday. The start and Turn 1 will be particularly important. Tomorrow, Lewis and I both want to win, so I’m looking forward to a hard and fair fight.”
Ferrari found qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix harder than expected this weekend, with Sebastian Vettel on the second row of the grid in third place alongside Max Verstappen, whilst teammate Charles Leclerc qualified fifth and is alongside Pierre Gasly in sixth.
Sebastian Vettel said afterwards that: “We are happy but we’re not happy. By that, I mean that the car is well balanced, and I think the updates we have brought have helped with the driveability of the car. However, it’s obvious that we are still not where we want to be, because we are very quick down the straights, but we are losing too much time through the slower corners. The result of all that is that we are not in front and so we have to continue to work hard. Nevertheless, I think that having a well-balanced car means we can have a good race, so I’m ready to give it my all tomorrow.”
The Spanish Grand Prix starts tomorrow at 15:10 local time.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari Press Office and Haas F1 Team