The 2018 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying session has just wrapped up with both Mercedes drivers locking out the front row. Lewis Hamilton took his 74th pole position ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas. The 2 Ferraris were 3rd and 4th respectively with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the 3rd row in 5th and 6th respectively.
The first knock out session saw 19 cars take to the track as a helpless Brendon Hartley could only watch. The Kiwi had a very heavy shunt in the final practice session and the mechanics were still working on his car when qualifying began. There was a massive scalp when Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was eliminated along with the 2 struggling Williams and Marcus Ericsson. Stroll even spun off in the dying moments of the session.
In Q2, Stoffel Vandoorne was edged out and joined Pierre Gasly, the 2 Force Indias and Charles Leclerc.
Behind the usual suspects, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was the best of the rest ahead of Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean. There were interesting strategies being played out as McLaren opted to experiment with the medium tires in Q1 and showed some decent pace.
In Q2, the Big 3 teams all set their lap times on soft tires, thus ensuring that they were all starting on the same tires. Some of them tried pulling a fast one and went out on the supersofts, but aborted their respective laps.
The Ferrari was running its unique interpretation of the HALO-mounted mirrors and McLaren was running its B-Spec car. The latter of which had a new nosejob. The difference between the two is that McLaren’s is more permanent and Ferrari’s will last until Monaco.
Here is how social media reacted to the race.
— Rishca Abrahams (@RishcaAbrahams) May 12, 2018
Did @pirellisport just give a major tyre advantage to @MercedesAMGF1 only and screwed over @ScuderiaFerrari for the rest of the season or are the silver arrows out of nowhere simply the fastest again? ?
Weird situation indeed.@F1 @fia#F1 #SpanishGP
— MrGhostO1O (@MrGhostO1O) May 12, 2018
The stage is set for Verstappen to do the most tomorrow ??? #SpanishGP
— Chris (@X_ChrisM) May 12, 2018
— Martin Strümpfer (@MartinStrumpfer) May 12, 2018
— Eric Mwanthi (@eric_mbii) May 12, 2018
— Ramprasad Putrevu (@psramprasad) May 12, 2018
@ScuderiaFerrari Not a very good place to start tomorrow's race. Not only do #Vettel and #Raikkonen have to worry about getting past the @MercedesAMGF1 but also about @Max33Verstappen starting behind them! ? @redbullracing @F1 #SpanishGP
— Arnav More (@apmore21) May 12, 2018
— MnqobiFuze (@FuzeMnqobi) May 12, 2018
— Simone Caricasulo (@SimoneCarica) May 12, 2018
The only reason why I think Ferrari used Soft tyres is because they'll start on them tomorrow as the super-soft tyres will cut up more quickly on this track & are only good for a few laps. #SpanishGP ??
— Ali (@RoyMustang786) May 12, 2018