By Robert Haile
Formula One returns to Europe after its American excursion to Miami for the sixth round of the Grand Prix season.
It has returned to Barcelona and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with all the promise that teams had from their earlier when testing has been replaced with the realism of the season.
Ferrari have been one of the teams to deliver on the promise with Charles Leclerc leading the championship and delivering back to back pole positions.
Pole sitter Leclerc said: “We really turned things around since yesterday and our team did an amazing job.
“We struggled a lot in the first two practice sessions this weekend, especially with the tyres.
“We analysed all the data and made significant changes to the car last night.
“We saw some improvements this morning when we did a long run and hopefully it will be enough to beat our competitors who have had an advantage in this area for the past two races.
“As far as qualifying goes, it was a tricky session. I think that my first lap in Q3 was great until I pushed a little too much in turn 14 and lost the rear.
“I had just one shot to bring it home after that and I’m very happy with my lap and our performance in general.”
In the first session traffic caused Fernando Alonso issues as he went out at his home Grand Prix as the Spanish driver finished seventeenth.
Along with the Alpine were both Williams’ drivers as Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi finished nineteenth and twentieth.
Also going out were both Aston Martin’s drivers with the team having a controversial weekend with their updates causing the car to be compared to Red Bull.
The second session had the championship leaders Ferrari and Red Bull until the last lap of the session when they qualified comfortably.
Alfa Romeo’s rookie Zhou Guanyu went out with both AlphaTauri’s drivers as their difficult season continued.
Esteban Ocon for Alpine and Haas’ Mick Schumacher were set to miss out at the flag however Lando Norris had his lap deleted for exceeding track limits.
This meant that Norris missed out and Schumacher progressed.
In the top ten shootout for who would sit on pole Red Bull’s Max Verstappen sat on pole after the first laps with Leclerc spinning.
It all comes down to the final lap and Leclerc pulled out the fastest to go pole but Verstappen suffered a power issue and therefore didn’t improve.
Ferrari start first and third with Carlos Sainz beating Mercedes’ George Russell as they pushed Sergio Perez’s Red Bull into fifth.
Lewis Hamilton starts sixth for Mercedes with Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas seventh as Haas’ driver Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher are split by Daniel Ricciardo for McLaren.
The race will see positions change but will Ferrari keep first place or will Verstappen make it three in a row?
Spanish Grand Prix Grid
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
- George Russell (Mercedes)
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Vallteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
- Mick Schumacher (Haas)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Marin)
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
- Alex Albon (Williams)
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams)