Saturday, May 8, 2021

For The Hundredth Time For Hamilton: Mercedes Driver Grabs Milestone Pole In Spain

Photo Credit: Lat Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton’s performance in qualifying is one attribute that will establish the knighted British driver as true legend in Formula 1. A tally beginning at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton’s career count for pole positions eclipsed the previous series record set by Michael Schmacher of 68 in 2017 on the weekend of the Italian Grand Prix. Since the latter part of the 2017 Formula 1 season, the driver of the #44 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team car has gone on a tear in qualifying collecting 11 of 21 possible race poles in 2018 and the top spot in 10 of 16 races last year. Entered in his 270th Formula 1 event this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosting the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has set a new mark of greatness.

Lewis Hamilton muscled his Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance race car around a 16-turn, 4.675-kilometer track in a time of 1 minute, 16.741 seconds in Q3 to take his 100th career pole position. Battling Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen throughout all three qualifying sessions, the Brit’s #44 car edged out the Dutch driver’s Honda-powered machine by 0.036 seconds. In three of the four races this year, the front row has been shared by a Mercedes AMG team car and a Red Bull Racing vehicle.

While Verstappen mounted a challenge against the Mercedes machines in Q3, Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez finished qualifying lacking the pace of his teammate. A spin out by Perez in turn 13 during a Q3 lap hindered the performance of the #11 Red Bull Racing vehicle. The Mexican driver will start the Spanish Grand Prix in 8th place.

Less than a tenth of a second slower than Max Verstappen, the second Mercedes race car driven by Valtteri Bottas will start third for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix. Bottas was quicker than Hamilton during the opening two stages of qualifying but settled comfortably into the second row in the conclusion of Q3.

The Scuderia Ferrari team had a very acceptable showing in Spain at the end of Saturday’s qualifying. Gaining pace throughout the three practice sessions, Charles LeClerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. will both start Sunday’s grand prix in the top 10. Leclerc posted a strong 1-minute, 17.510-second lap time in Q3 to place himself in the second row beside Valtteri Bottas. Qualifying sixth and sharing the third row with the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, Sainz recorded a time just 0.002 quicker than the McLaren Mercedes driven by Daniel Ricciardo. The teammates of Ocon and Ricciardo (Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris) also found their way into the top 10 for the 66-lap race.


Photo Credit: Mark Sutton/LAT Images/Pirelli

Teams not appearing in the top 10 in a 2021 starting grid for the first time will be Scuderia AlphaTauri and Aston Martin Racing. Lance Stroll finished Q2 just 0.008 seconds short of tenth place driver Fernando Alonso in the session. Pierre Gasly’s Honda-powered AlphaTauri was 0.008 seconds off the mark set by 11th place Stroll.

Entering the triple digits in his career pole tally, Lewis Hamilton’s pursuit towards pushing his victory towards the century mark will face a statistical challenge. After the first three races of the 2021 season, the driver starting on pole failed winning on Sunday.

The 2021 Spanish Grand Prix is will start at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern Time).

2021 Formula 1 Season
Spanish Grand Prix
Qualifying Results
Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
4 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
5 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team Renault
6 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
8 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda
9 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
10 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team Renault
11 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
12 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
13 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
14 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
15 63 George Russell Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
16 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
17 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
18 47 Mick Schumacher Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
19 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
20 9 Nikita Mazepin Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari

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