Norris snatched Verstappen pole in Barcelona

Norris snatched Verstappen pole in Barcelona
Norris snatched Verstappen pole in Barcelona

Max Verstappen (l.) and Lando Norris

The British McLaren driver was two hundredths of a second faster than the Dutch Red Bull superstar in Barcelona on Saturday and is therefore in first place on the grid for the tenth race of the season on Sunday (3 p.m./live ORF 1, Sky). Behind him are the Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton (+0.318 sec.) and George Russell (+0.320).

“Perfect round”

“It was a perfect lap. I’m very happy, I haven’t had many pole positions yet,” said the 24-year-old Norris, who is starting at the front for only the second time after Russia 2021. “It’s going to be a tough thing, but we’re here to win now,” he announced. Verstappen was initially in front in Q3 before Norris overtook him. “Practice was difficult, but I felt good in qualifying and got some slipstream from Checo (Perez, ed.). I’m very happy with the front row,” said last year’s winner.

None of the big teams had a fall in qualifying, behind the Mercedes duo on the second row are the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc (+0.348) and Carlos Sainz (+0.353). Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull had to settle for eighth place (+0.678). “I wasn’t expecting pole. But I’m very grateful to be third here,” said record world champion Hamilton. “The car is slowly becoming a racing machine. Maybe we can apply some pressure tomorrow.”

Before the final training session in the morning, a fire in the paddock prompted a fire service operation. You can read more about it here.

In the World Championship standings, Verstappen has 169 points and a lead of 31 points over Leclerc after his recent victory in Canada. Norris is in third place, 56 points behind the triple world champion. Next weekend, Formula 1 will be visiting Spielberg in Styria.

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