Hamilton beats Maldonado to Barcelona pole

Hamilton beats Maldonado to Barcelona pole

12 May 2012 – Lewis Hamilton has sealed McLaren’s 150th Formula 1 pole position in Spain on Saturday afternoon. The Englishman, on his first Barcelona pole after a completely mixed up qualifying session, will share the front row with Pastor Maldonado’s Williams. Both Jenson Button and Mark Webber were eliminated in Q2.

On a baking hot day in Spain, qualifying always did promise to be exciting but this afternoon has ended up delivered a truly remarkable result. Not only was there a track temperature of 41°C (106°F), but the wind speed also increased to throw yet another variable into the mix when tyre management was already absolutely crucial for all.

Narain Karthikeyan’s disastrous weekend continued; as he ran into more troubles for HRT, the Indian is cemented to the back of the grid and missed the 107 percent cut-off. It remains to be seen whether he will be allowed to race, with only his lap times from third practice being able to serve as any evidence of pace for the FIA.

As Jean-Éric Vergne improved to avoid a fourth straight Q1 elimination, Bruno Senna was under pressure to remove himself from the first drop zone of the day; however, repeating an error of yesterday, the Brazilian took too much kerb at Turn 12 and ended his day in the gravel trap. He will start Sunday’s race from 18th position on the grid - all the more embarrassing when team-mate Maldonado is on the front row.

More drama followed in Q2. Jenson Button was both frustrated and confused to suffer from both oversteer and understeer today, perhaps as a result of the changing winds around the track, as he missed the cut and starts 11th. Confirming that the pole-sitters of 2009 to 2011 had been removed in one fell swoop, Mark Webber was caught out and saw his name tumble to 12th on the timesheets as he sat in the garage.

Webber starts 12th but with four new sets of tyres
Also out of action in Q2 were the Force India and Toro Rosso duos, occupying positions 13 to 16, as well as the Ferrari of Felipe Massa; the 2007 pole-sitter and winner briefly sat in the top ten but was duly bumped back down the order for Ferrari. Further back, Vitaly Petrov out-qualified Caterham team-mate Heikki Kovalainen for the first time as Charles Pic again got the better of Marussia partner Timo Glock.

Heading into the grid-deciding phase that is Q3, Kamui Kobayashi could not take part after his Sauber stopped on-track at the end of Q2. It initially looked as though only two lap times may be posted, with the field desperate to save their tyres, but eventually only Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher – eighth and ninth in the classification – decided to end the period early. In the case of Vettel, he did not want to start the race on the Soft compound; for team-mate Webber, he has one extra set of tyres for tomorrow - carrying no less than four new sets into the race.

Williams: Back at the front
With just two minutes left on the clock, several runners finally elected to return to the track. This brought a flurry of changes on the timesheets in the final seconds, with Fernando Alonso delighting the home crowd by briefly seizing the top spot, as he had also done when driving for Renault four years ago. Grosjean, Räikkönen, Pérez and Rosberg slotted behind him in the final order. Remarkably, Maldonado grabbed provisional pole – continuing his speed of practice – before Hamilton rounded the final corner to establish his lap time of 1:21.707. The 2008 World Champion has now celebrated three poles and two second places in qualifying this year.

As Hamilton continues his search for a first 2012 win, Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix promises to bring a titanic battle, with Red Bull having saved more sets of tyres than the majority of their rivals but starting down in eighth and 12th places. Curiously, Hamilton stopped on his slowing down lap with a technical problem which is yet to be diagnosed. Should for any reason he lose his position, such as taking a gearbox penalty, Maldonado will inherit a maiden F1 pole and Williams’ first since 2010.


The 2012 Spanish Grand Prix begins at 2pm local time (BST +1) on Sunday and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 4 July 2015

  2. 19:51

    Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    GP2
  3. Feature Race penalties for Pic, Rowland 19:47

    Feature Race penalties for Pic, Rowland

    Arthur Pic and Oliver Rowland have both been handed penalties by the stewards following Saturday's GP2 Feature Race at…

    GP2
  4. 17:41

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    F1
  5. McLaren reprimanded for tyre breach 17:33

    McLaren reprimanded for tyre breach

    McLaren has been reprimanded by the stewards after it fitted Fernando Alonso's car with a tyre outside his allocation during…

    F1
  6. Ricciardo struggles in low-speed corners 17:11

    Ricciardo struggles in low-speed corners

    Daniel Ricciardo pinpointed a lack of grip through Silverstone's low-speed corners after qualifying 10th for the British Grand…

    F1
  7. 17:09

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    GP3
  8. Kirchhöfer fends off Bernstorff for victory 17:07

    Kirchhöfer fends off Bernstorff for victory

    ART driver Marvin Kirchhöfer resisted a late charge from Arden rival Emil Bernstorff to claim victory in the first GP3 race of…

    GP3
  9. Verstappen bemused by lack of pace 16:19

    Verstappen bemused by lack of pace

    Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen was left bemused by a lack of pace as he was unable to progress through to the top 10 shootout…

    F1
  10. Räikkönen: Ferrari not slipping back 16:14

    Räikkönen: Ferrari not slipping back

    Kimi Räikkönen insists that Ferrari is not slipping back, as both he and team-mate Sebastian Vettel were beaten by the…

    F1
  11. Sirotkin cruises to emphatic maiden win 15:42

    Sirotkin cruises to emphatic maiden win

    Rapax driver Sergey Sirotkin ended Stoffel Vandoorne's string of Feature Race wins by cruising to victory at…

    GP2
  12. Massa pleased to out-qualify Ferrari 14:57

    Massa pleased to out-qualify Ferrari

    Felipe Massa expressed his satisfaction after Williams outpaced Ferrari in Saturday's qualifying session for the British Grand…

    F1
  13. Hamilton hails 'special' Silverstone pole 14:47

    Hamilton hails 'special' Silverstone pole

    Lewis Hamilton spoke of his delight after beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to pole position for his home race at…

    F1
  14. 14:14

    British Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
  15. Hamilton beats Rosberg for home pole 14:06

    Hamilton beats Rosberg for home pole

    Lewis Hamilton overcame the threat posed by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to take pole position for the British Grand Prix…

    F1
  16. 12:55

    Follow qualifying for the British GP!

    F1
  17. 11:06

    British Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  18. Hamilton quickest in final practice 11:04

    Hamilton quickest in final practice

    Lewis Hamilton set the pace for this first time this weekend during final practice for the British Grand Prix, half a second…

    F1
  19. 09:48

    Follow final practice for the British GP!

    F1
  20. FIA issues Copse track limits warning 09:34

    FIA issues Copse track limits warning

    Formula 1 drivers have been warned about exceeding the track limits ahead of Saturday's qualifying session for the British Grand…

    F1
  21. Kirchhöfer flies to pole at Silverstone 09:22

    Kirchhöfer flies to pole at Silverstone

    Marvin Kirchhöfer stormed to pole position for Saturday's first GP3 race of the weekend at Silverstone after setting two laps…

    GP3
  22. Lotus sets sights on battle for fourth 08:02

    Lotus sets sights on battle for fourth

    Lotus CEO Matthew Carter is optimistic that the team can overhaul Red Bull for fourth place in the Constructors' championship -…

    F1
  23. Mallya: Ecclestone needs to 'un-crap' F1 07:46

    Mallya: Ecclestone needs to 'un-crap' F1

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone should find a way to "un-crap" the sport if he feels that he doesn't have a good enough…

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Hamilton in London 05:20

    Video of the Day: Hamilton in London

    Explore London with Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes driver visits his favourite places in England's capital city ahead of this…

    F1
  25. Friday 3 July 2015

  26. 21:16

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Silverstone

    F1
  27. Alonso braced for Q1 elimination 20:48

    Alonso braced for Q1 elimination

    McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso fears that it will be difficult to progress from the first phase of qualifying for the…

    F1
  28. Vișoiu docked three places for impeding 20:29

    Vișoiu docked three places for impeding

    Rapax driver Robert Vișoiu has been handed a three place grid penalty for the GP2 Feature Race after stewards deemed that he…

    GP2
  29. Williams drivers eye better one-lap pace 18:40

    Williams drivers eye better one-lap pace

    Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are chasing improved one-lap pace after the first day of practice at…

    F1
  30. Hülkenberg: New car immediately better 18:05

    Hülkenberg: New car immediately better

    Nico Hülkenberg expressed his encouragement with Force India's upgrade package as he says he was able to feel the performance…

    F1
  31. Red Bull pair encouraged by upgrades 17:45

    Red Bull pair encouraged by upgrades

    Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo spoke positively about Red Bull's British Grand Prix upgrade package after Friday's practice…

    F1
  32. Hamilton happier with clutch set-up 17:27

    Hamilton happier with clutch set-up

    Lewis Hamilton expressed his optimism after reverting to an older clutch set-up during Friday practice for the British Grand…

    F1
  33. Rosberg praises team for turnaround 17:17

    Rosberg praises team for turnaround

    Nico Rosberg has heaped praise on his Mercedes team for repairing his car during Friday's opening practice session at…

    F1
  34. 16:46

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Silverstone

    GP2
  35. Sirotkin beats Vandoorne for maiden pole 16:43

    Sirotkin beats Vandoorne for maiden pole

    Rapax driver Sergey Sirotkin claimed his maiden GP2 Series pole position as he overcame the competition during Friday…

    GP2
  36. 15:36

    British Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  37. Rosberg stays on top in second practice 15:33

    Rosberg stays on top in second practice

    Nico Rosberg remained at the top of the timesheets during Friday afternoon's second free practice session for the British Grand…

    F1
  38. Mercedes reprimanded over car cover 14:55

    Mercedes reprimanded over car cover

    Mercedes has escaped serious punishment for covering Nico Rosberg's car after his practice stoppage at Silverstone, with the…

    F1
  39. 13:50

    Follow second practice for the British GP!

    F1
  40. Comtec to make return with Delétraz 12:38

    Comtec to make return with Delétraz

    Comtec Racing will make its return to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at next weekend's round in Austria, with Louis Delétraz…

    FR 3.5
  41. Mercedes referred to stewards for covering car 12:34

    Mercedes referred to stewards for covering car

    Mercedes has been referred to the British Grand Prix stewards for covering Nico Rosberg's car as it returned to the Silverstone…

    F1
  42. 11:43

    British Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
more news