Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen dominated qualifying and will start from pole position in Barcelona as he chases his fifth win of the season and third in a row.
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The starting grid is seriously jumbled up and the race for a podium finish could get very interesting.
Lando Norris qualified third fastest in a huge result for McLaren, while Australia’s Oscar Piastri also qualified in the top 10 and will start ninth on the grid.
Lap 49/66 – Piastri overtaken by Gasly
After being held up for 10 laps, Pierre Gasly eventually got past Oscar Piastri to move into 11th place.
Piastri might need some pit stops ahead of him to finish in the top 10.
Lap 38/66 – Pit stop time
It’s that stage of the race where drivers have to decide whether to take a third pit stop or make their tyres last with just two stops.
Piastri is up into seventh, but will fight to finish in the top 10 with Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc close behind him.
Lap 22/66 – Piastri solid
Verstappen is absolutely flying in the lead ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.
After pitting, Oscar Piastri has worked his way back up to 11th with a pair of lovely overtakes past Haas duo Niko Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.
His teammate Norris is complaining of slow pace and is in 20th having already pitted twice.
Charles Leclerc started from the pit lane but has moved up to 14th.
Lap 17/66 – Verstappen dominating
Verstappen is dominating out in front but the battle for second is shaping up as a beauty.
Plenty of drivers have pitted already, with some drivers set to make three pit stops in the race.
Oscar Piastri got as high as sixth place before he made his first pit stop.
Lap 5/66 – Disaster for Norris
Lando Norris started third but his race might already be over after he sustained damage and had to come into the pits to replace his front wing.
Norris made contact with Lewis Hamilton when the Mercedes overtook him on the opening lap.
David Croft said in commentary on Sky Sports: “It’s the worst possible start for him. Absolute disappointment for Lando Norris. He’s gone down to the bottom of the pack.”
Martin Brundle said: “Oh dear, that’s an awful start to Lando Norris’ afternoon.”
Verstappen leads from Carlos Sainz and Hamilton, who is showing strong pace.
Oscar Piastri dropped from ninth to 12th but managed to pass Niko Hulkenberg with a nice overtaking move using DRS on lap 8.
9.25pm – Ferrari star to start last
Charles Leclerc had a shocker in qualifying, failing to progress from the first session and finishing 19th fastest.
It was his first Q1 elimination in 83 races since the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix.
Leclerc and Ferrari were unsure what exactly was wrong with his car, but they have replaced the entire rear end of the car as there was not enough time to check what might have caused the inconsistent rear and grip he suffered from.
Ferrari are also using Leclerc’s pit lane start to bank a new control electronics and energy store.
That would normally bring a 15-place grid penalty, but he is already starting from the back of the grid.
“For now, we don’t have the answers,” Leclerc said.
“We’ve just removed the parts and will analyse it at Maranello (Ferrari’s factory). I am sure with the changes made, the feeling will come back.”
“Top 5 is optimistic but I will do my best.”
Logan Sargeant will also start from pit lane after Williams changed his suspension and brake cooling.
1st) Max Verstappen, 2nd) Carlos Sainz
3rd) Lando Norris, 4th) Lewis Hamilton
5th) Lance Stroll, 6th) Esteban Ocon
7th) Niko Hulkenberg, 8th) Fernando Alonso
9) Oscar Piastri, 10th) Pierre Gasly
11th) Sergio Perez, 12th) George Russell
13th) Zhou Guanyu, 14th) Nyck De Vries
15th) Yuki Tsunoda, 16th) Valtteri Bottas
17th) Kevin Magnussen, 18th) Alex Albon
19th) Charles Leclerc, 20th) Logan Sargeant