Hamilton Snags Pole in Barcelona by Half a Tenth of a Second
There were concerned looks around the Formula 1 paddock when Mercedes came to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix with so many upgrades that their car might almost as well have been called the W09 rather than the W08, but Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel put those concerns to rest in the final part of qualifying by once again splitting the Silver Arrows on the grid.
Though Vettel was up on the best lap by a few tenths by the time he reached the final sector, he lost his advantage in the chicane—a pattern judging by his recurring weakness at that particular section of the track throughout the years—and just narrowly missed out on pole position by 0.051 seconds.
Behind him came the usual suspects: Bottas and Räikkönen, followed by the Red Bull drivers and—get this—Fernando Alonso in the same McLaren that, just a day prior, had gone viral on the internet for leaking an inordinate amount of oil.
Oil Problems? Make sure to choose the right oil
It could be that Alonso was reinvigorated by his promising rookie test behind the wheel of an IndyCar as he prepared for the upcoming Indianapolis 500, though it’s more likely that he simply over delivered at his home Grand Prix, as he has done many times in the past.
Behind him, Felipe Massa continued to eclipse his teammate Lance Stroll by sandwiching the two Force India drivers. Force India is having an incredible season so far given its budget, with two solid drivers quietly but consistently placing the cars just about as high as possible both in qualifying and in races.
It is notoriously difficult to pass in Barcelona, so Hamilton will be happy to have placed his car at the front, though he’ll likely have the events of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix at the front of his mind tomorrow morning: despite having grabbed pole at the time as well, Nico Rosberg got ahead of him at the start and they both crashed when Hamilton tried to take the position back.
Make sure to catch the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix tomorrow morning at 8 AM on NBCSN, or head over to this site for the results and juicy details!
Maintenance 102: How to keep your car looking new
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.