Verstappen to start Spanish Grand Prix from pole

Sports Desk, Jun 3 (EFE).- Max Verstappen (Red Bull), chasing a third consecutive Formula One championship, grabbed pole position Saturday in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona.

The Dutchman’s 25th career pole was his first in Barcelona.

One of the two Spanish drivers, Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), finished second and Briton Lando Norris (McLaren) was third.

While Frenchman Pierre Gasly (Alpine) posted the fourth-fastest lap in Q3, he will start from P10 on Sunday after picking up a pair of three-place grid penalties for impeding Sainz and Verstappen in separate incidents in Q1.

The sanction against Gasly means that British seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) will share the second row with Norris, ahead of Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and France’s Esteban Ocon (Alpine).

Occupying the fourth row will be Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) and Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), a two-time F1 champion.

Australian driver Oscar Piastri (McLaren) will start from P9, alongside Gasly.

Verstappen’s Mexican teammate, Sergio “Checo” Perez, was knocked out in Q2, and last year’s pole-sitter in Barcelona, Monaco’s Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) dropped out after Q1 due to problems with his car and will try to fight his way to the front from P19.

Hamilton and the other Mercedes driver, Briton George Russell, came together on a straightway in Q2 and though the only damage was to Sir Lewis’ car, it was his teammate who failed to go through to Q3.

On the eve of the season’s seventh race, Verstappen leads the driver’s standings with 144 points, followed by Perez (105), Alonso (93), Hamilton (69), and Russell (50).

The Dutchman has seen the checkered flag four time and Checo won the other two races. EFE arh/dr

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