F1 LIVE: Spanish Grand Prix – Latest updates as Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton target third GP win and another Mercedes one-two finish against their rivals in Barcelona
- Valtteri Bottas produced a brilliant qualifying display to take pole in Spanish GP
- Lewis Hamilton starts alongside his team mate on an all Mercedes front row
- Ferrari face struggle to catch up to rivals despite new engine in Barcelona
Mercedes look in good shape for another one-two finish after a dominant display in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas streaked to pole position ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton in second, with Ferrari facing a lot of catching up to do in Barcelona.
The race is scheduled to begin at 2.10pm UK time, and Sportsmail will bring you all the news and updates as they happen.
Carlos Sainz is the only Spaniard on the grid this season, and so will have the majority support today – a 3,000-capacity grandstand at Barcelona, named after Sainz, was filled yesterday by McLaren-orange-cap-wearing fans for qualifying.
They were left disappointed, however, as Sainz could only reach P12 – thanks to Ricciardo’s penalty – and was out-qualified by fellow McLaren driver Lando Norris. It is the first time Sainz has been beaten by a team mate in his home GP.
He will be cheered on again today, however, and was given a pre-race boost with a visit from Alvaro Arbeloa, former player for Sainz’s beloved Real Madrid.
Today is mother’s day in Finland, giving Bottas extra inspiration to claim victory today.
JONATHAN MCEVOY IN BARCELONA: Jenson Button is on Sky. He’s doing five races for them this season.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is not renowned for being a thrilling circus of overtaking madness. In the 28 Grands Prix raced here, 25 have been won by the pole sitter.
Bodes well for Bottas, ominous for the rest.
Our man McEvoy says: ‘I think Bottas will do it today. How would that play in the Mercedes team?’
JONATHAN MCEVOY IN BARCELONA: Sunny here. Neymar in the paddock. A busy scene – maybe too much so (very Liberty, not very Bernie Ecclestone).
Daniel Ricciardo, having only just sneaked through Q1, made it into Q3 and qualified tenth – however he starts 13th, due to a three-place penalty incurred for his senseless reverse into Daniil Kvyat in Azerbaijan.
In even worse news for Renault, Nico Hulkenberg starts from the pit lane after he crashed in Q1, which necessitated a new front wing. This wing was a different specification – it was from last year’s car – of which the FIA was unaware. As a result, the German and his team have been penalised and will not start on the grid.
George Russell meanwhile has a nominal five place penalty after changing gearbox following his crash in third practice, but he was in P19 anyway. Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo also had to change gearbox, meaning he bumps down the field.
So, by my rudimentary maths, this is how the grid looks today…
1 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes
2 Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes
3 Vettel (Ger) Ferrari
4 Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull
5 Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari
6 Gasly (Fra) Red Bull
7 Grosjean (Fra) Haas
8 Magnussen (Den) Haas
9 Kyvat (Rus) Toro Rosso
10 Norris (Gbr) McLaren
11 Albon (Tha) Toro Rosso
12 Sainz (Spa) McLaren
13 Ricciardo (Aus) Renault
14 Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo
15 Perez (Mex) Racing Point
16 Stroll (Can) Racing Point
17 Kubica (Pol) Williams
18 Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo
19 Russell (Gbr) Williams
20 (pit lane) Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault
So Bottas stormed away in Q3, but more pertinently Mercedes were on another level to the rest of the field to an even greater extent than appeared previously.
Ferrari brought in their new engine two races early in an attempt to close the gap, but no amount of aerodynamic tweaks or ‘race lubricant’ have been able to help. If anything, they have looked even less competitive this weekend.
Elsewhere, Haas look the fastest of the midfielders, Renault had a nightmare and – perhaps most surprisingly – the back row will not be solely populated by Williams. More to follow…
Yesterday, Valtteri Bottas dominated qualifying, seizing pole by 0.6 seconds from Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton. Will he produce another brilliant display and earn win No 3 of the season?
We’ll find out in a few hours’ time. In the meantime, sit back and relax as we take you through all the action as it happens.
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