Hamilton takes pole for Spanish GP with track record

BARCELONA, Spain — Lewis Hamilton set a track record to take pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday.

Hamilton had a lap time of 1 minute, 16.173 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, finishing only four hundredths of a second ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Sebastian Vettel, who had won three straight poles, will start third with Ferrari, ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth, respectively.

“Very close qualifying. It took everything to get this result,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, but it’s a good start.”

Hamilton hadn’t taken pole since the season-opener in Australia.

“Not entirely happy, but we expected Mercedes to be very strong,” Vettel said. “Tomorrow (Sunday) it should be an interesting race.”

A good starting position is crucial in Spain as there are not many overtaking opportunities.

Hamilton will be trying to win his second race in a row and add to his four-point lead over Vettel in the drivers’ standings. Vettel won in Australia and Bahrain, while Ricciardo was first in China and Hamilton triumphed in Azerbaijan.

Mercedes had been fastest in all three practice sessions this weekend, with Hamilton and Bottas leading the timesheets.

Most teams brought significant updates to Barcelona, which marks the beginning of the European season in F1.

Kevin Magnussen will start seventh with Haas, while teammate Romain Grosjean is 10th on the grid.

Both Spanish drivers made it to the final qualifying session, with two-time champion Fernando Alonso eighth with McLaren and Carlos Sainz ninth with Renault.

Raikkonen was on a new engine after a problem with the one he used on Friday.

There was some disquiet with the rear-view mirrors Ferrari mounted on the halos, with motorsport governing body FIA looking into a possible breach of regulations.

Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso did not make it to qualifying because the team was not able to fix his car after a crash in the final minutes of Saturday’s practice session. He clipped the grass on the entry of a turn and span into the tire barrier, significantly damaging the car. The rear end fell apart as the car was being hoisted by a crane.

Lance Stroll continued to struggle with Williams, going off track in the final minutes of qualifying. He had also gone to the gravel in practice earlier on Saturday and on Friday.

Race organizers said additional security was implemented after several cars were broken into at a closed parking lot for the media at the track.

Just Posted

Red Deer councillor says addicts have accepted death as an outcome of lifestyle

Buck Buchanan says “no one wants that to happen”

Tending the fields like a pioneer near Spruce View

Weekend of horse-drawn plowing, seeding and more at Double Tree Village Museum

Red Deer County tweaks animal control bylaw

Some residents complained earlier version of animal bylaw was too restrictive

PHOTO: Planting a colourful garden at Red Deer City Hall Park

Think you have a lot of yard work to do? This crew… Continue reading

WATCH: Ellis Bird Farm open for summer

There is something magical about the Ellis Bird Farm located outside of… Continue reading

B.C.’s Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

YELLOWKNIFE — B.C. Premier John Horgan says he is fighting to both… Continue reading

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

OTTAWA — Journalists are not an investigative arm of the police, a… Continue reading

‘Knees-together’ judge can practise law again

Former judge Robin Camp allowed to practise law again: Law Society of Alberta

Lacombe receives award for contribution to recreation

City received the William Matcalfe Award for major renovations to the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex

Photo: Roundabout action on 67th Street

Construction season is in full force

Alberta demands all-party support for pipeline at western premiers meeting

Leaders from western Canadian provinces, territories holding a morning meeting today in Yellowknife

Manitoba First Nation community trapped by smoke as fire creeps closer

WINNIPEG — Hundreds of people from a Manitoba First Nation are sitting… Continue reading

Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus to receive the 2018 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the most decorated actors in television history.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month