Spanish Grand Prix 2021 – Qualifying

Qualifying Notes:

– George Russell qualified 15th and Nicholas Latifi 19th for the Spanish Grand Prix
– George made it into Q2 for the fourth consecutive time this season, where he posted a 1:19.154 on a used set of the soft Pirelli tyres
– Nicholas continued to improve throughout Q1, posting his quickest time with a 1:19.219
– Congratulations to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on his 100th pole position in the sport

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The changes made overnight improved the car in FP3 with both drivers happier than in FP2. George in particular was happy with his changes to set-up, and overall, we made good progress from yesterday.

Qualifying was difficult, with the usual fighting for track space at the end of outlaps. We were expecting Q1 to be tight and so opted to use three sets of new tyres on each car. George did well to qualify for Q2, but he had no new tyres left to use in that session. His single run on scrubbed tyres was good in the circumstances and he was able to put some pressure on Giovinazzi to complete a good lap in his final run.

Unfortunately, Nicholas’s car suffered some damage at the high-speed T9, and this hurt his performance in the final stages of Q1. We will repair his car ahead of the race.

As we saw last week, qualifying is only a small part of the weekend and so we now turn our attention to the race and will look to move forwards tomorrow.

George Russell: I think getting into Q2 today was the maximum. We knew the car has never really worked perfectly around this circuit, relative to our performance elsewhere. We struggled a bit in FP2, but the conditions calmed down today. The car was in a much better window and we managed to out qualify cars like Tsunoda and Räikkönen, so overall, we really maximised today. It will be an interesting race with the warm conditions, and there is a bit of rain in the area tomorrow. I don’t know if it will come before or after the race but fingers it arrives and spices things up a little.

Nicholas Latifi: It’s been a difficult weekend for us so far. I did collect some damage going wide on my second run and that didn’t help for the rest of my flying laps. There was a bit of traffic too, with everyone bunching up ahead of their lap, but it’s the same for everyone. In terms of the race, it can be difficult around here when the tyres aren’t new, so I think that will be the challenge tomorrow.

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