Lewis Hamilton pleased with ‘beautiful’ third for Spanish GP after qualifying breakthrough and now eyes win | F1 News

Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes return to contending at the top of the F1 grid had been a “long time coming for us” after they locked out the second row at the Spanish GP and he personally delivered the best qualifying result of his disappointing season.

And the seven-time world champion, who will start inside the top four for the first time in 15 races, is not ruling out what would be a first race win since December 2021 either after qualifying in what he termed a “beautiful” third-position starting spot directly behind polesitter Norris and second-placed Max Verstappen for the long run down to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s first corner of Sunday’s 2pm race.

Hamilton out-qualified George Russell – who claimed pole in the first significant example of a belated Mercedes renaissance last time out in Canada – for just the second time this season. With Hamilton 0.002s faster than the younger Briton, they start a race in the top four together for the first time since last October’s Qatar GP.

“It has been a long time coming for us as a team,” an encouraged Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

“For us to be in this position where we get a third and a fourth and are starting to be more consistent in that realm is huge.

“Really big huge thanks to everybody back in the factory because it really is down to everyone there who have put the extra hours in to bring upgrades, bring new parts, keep refreshing them.

“To be designing and really assisting in moving this car in the right direction. It is getting more and more enjoyable to drive as a race car.”

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George Russell was unhappy with team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s pace during qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who had topped Q1 after a second run on new tyres and then finished second-quickest to Verstappen in Q2, was within 0.2s of Verstappen and Norris after the first laps of the pole-deciding Q3 but the gap grew to 0.318s on the final run.

Still, the Briton reckons their deficit was actually half that amount and is keeping optimism for a race when tyre wear and management is set to be key in deciding the outcome.

“We are not very far away. I think three tenths, I think the real gap is about a tenth and a half maybe,” he added.

“I think Max is particularly fast on long runs, I think their car is still ahead, as is probably Lando’s. However, I am going into tomorrow to try and win.

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Toto Wolff shut down rumours about Lewis Hamilton’s car supposedly being sabotaged stating that online abuse needs to stop.

“We are in a beautiful spot. P3 is a good position to start with.

“I think the long run wasn’t looking bad so I hope that translates. I think the start needs to be a shake and bake with Lando maybe.

“I am just going to remain optimistic.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Spanish GP schedule

Spanish GP Qualifying Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) George Russell Mercedes 1:12.000
2) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.000
3) Lando Norris McLaren +0.021
4) Oscar Piastri McLaren +0.103
5) Daniel Ricciardo RB +0.178
6) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.228
7) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.280
8) Yuki Tsunoda RB +0.414
9) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +0.701
10) Alex Albon Williams +0.796
Knocked out in Q2
11) Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:12.691
12) Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:12.728
13) Logan Sargeant Williams 1:12.736
14) Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:12.916
15) Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:12.940
Knocked out in Q1
16) Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:13.326
17) Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:13.366
18) Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:13.435
19) Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:13.978
20) Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:14.292

Sunday June 23
7.45am: F1 Academy Race 2
9am: F3 Feature Race
10.30am: F2 Feature Race
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Spanish GP build-up
4pm: Chequered Flag: Spanish GP reaction

Formula 1 heads back to Europe as the championship moves on to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix and the start of a triple-header. Watch every session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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