Spanish GP Qualifying: Charles Leclerc salvages epic pole after spin as Max Verstappen suffers late issues

Last Updated: 21/05/22 4:16pm

Charles Leclerc claimed his fourth F1 pole position of the season after a stunning final lap in Spanish GP qualifying, with Max Verstappen left to bemoan a late Red Bull issue to end his hopes.

Leclerc spun on his first lap of Q3 but regained his composure to nail an epic 1:18.750 when it mattered most, eventually beating Verstappen by three-tenths of a second.

“That was a champion’s lap,” said Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle about the title leader.

Verstappen had led Q3 before that Leclerc lap but didn’t get a chance to respond as, on his own final flyer, he said he “lost power” on team radio.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner confirmed after the session that Verstappen didn’t lose power but his DRS did not open to cost him speed. Either way, he said Verstappen would not have been able to edge out Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz was third in qualifying in the other Ferrari with Mercedes, while improved, not able to join the fight for pole.

George Russell did get on the second row in fourth ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, with Lewis Hamilton beaten by his team-mate in sixth, 0.8s off Leclerc.

More to follow…

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