Max Verstappen after securing the pole for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. (Red Bull Racing Photo)

Verstappen Rises To Spanish Grand Prix Pole

Max Verstappen earned his first career pole position in the Spanish Grand Prix, after topping Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Lando Norris at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. 

A two-time winner of the event (2016, 2022), Verstappen stormed to a 1:12.272 time to top Sainz and Norris by nearly half-a-second. 

“The weekend has been enjoyable so far. The car has been really performing well but of course we always try to find improvements here and there,” Verstappen said. “Qualifying started off tricky, you needed to be on the track at the right time, not making any mistakes.

“Going into Q3 I knew there was good potential left in the car so I could finally push it to the limit. The first run was really quick, then of course we went out again for the second run, that would have been even better, but I was told to abort the lap to save the tires.

“Looking ahead to tomorrow, we’ll need to watch out for the tire wear but going into that last corner brings a smile to my face because that’s where an F-1 car really comes to life.”

Following Sainz and Norris, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly qualified fourth, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton rounding out the top-five. 

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start in the rear of the field in 19th after dropping out of Q1 with car complaints. 

Verstappen’s Oracle Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez will start 11th after missing out on Q3 with a trip through the gravel in Q2. 

Teammates Hamilton and George Russell tangled during Q2, resulting in Russell missing the cut to Q3. Russell qualified 12th. 

Haas F-1’s Nico Hulkenberg had a stellar qualifying session after making it to Q3. Hulkenberg will start eighth. Teammate Kevin Magnussen failed to make it through Q1, and he’ll start 17th.