Lewis Hamilton takes his first Spanish pole position number 150 for McLaren.
Pastor Maldonado puts his Williams on the front row.
Lewis Hamilton: “It was a fantastic qualifying session for me, very very happy with it – one of the best I ever had,” said Hamilton. “Amazing job by the guys in the garage and thanks to guys in factory who have brought upgrades.
The car feels great. It is a great day for the team I think. I really feel fantastic. I feel very, very happy.
You can normally be happy with a position but for some reason this feels better than other pole positions because you are looking for a perfect position. It is an incredible feeling you have.
I am very much aware that I have incredibly tough race tomorrow with these guys who are massively quick and how tricky it is in general,” he said. “It will mean a lot to me to win in Spain.
It has always been a good place for me, beautiful weather and people are incredible and the support I have continues to grow year by year and it has become such a pleasure. To win where you have such a big fan base will be fantastic.”
Pastor Maldonado: We have been working so hard all year to understand these tyres and with the updates we have brought to this race we have made a very good step forward.
The car is very consistent and its race pace is good so I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow. There has been a really positive atmosphere in the team all season and this is a great result for them and Venezuela.
Frank Williams: On the face of it, the regulations aren’t a myriad of high class mathematical problems; they are quite straightforward engineering problems. We’ve done it before and we just have to be more clever and more organised, maybe get one or two people in. We can make better cars than we have done. My job is to find the money; the engineers’ job is to make racing cars.”
“Do we have the right people? Well, the proof of the pudding is the proof of the pudding. I don’t think we lack very much. We have people with strong ambitions and good, strong optimism too. We’re proud of what we do.
“We make good racing cars, coupled with a good engine. We have the same engine as three or four other teams. We have the same tyres as all the other teams. It’s a bunch of human beings. The trick is to get the best group.”
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m21.707s
2. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m22.285s + 0.578 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m22.302s + 0.595 4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m22.424s + 0.717 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m22.487s + 0.780 6. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.533s + 0.826 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.005s + 1.298 8. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault No time 9. Michael Schumacher Mercedes No time 10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari No time Q2 cut-off time: 1m22.904s Gap ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.944s + 0.839 12. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m22.977s + 0.872 13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m23.125s + 1.020 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m23.177s + 1.072 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.265s + 1.160 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.442s + 1.337 17. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m23.444s + 1.339 Q1 cut-off time: 1m24.362s Gap * 18. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m24.981s + 2.398 19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m25.277s + 2.694 20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m25.507s + 2.924 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m26.582s + 3.999 22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.032s + 4.449 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m27.555s + 4.972 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m31.122s + 8.539
Pau novice Raffaele Marciello claims Pole-Position
Italian Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam, 1:11.600 minutes) was fastest in qualifying for the Grand Prix de Pau, which was split up into two groups. At the 2.76 kilometres long street circuit at the foot of the Pyrenees, another driver from the Formula 3 Euro Series, Carlos Sainz (Carlin, 1:10.802 minutes) topped the time sheets in the other group. Accordingly, Marciello and Sainz will be on the front row for Sunday’s 71st Grand Prix de Pau, which counts towards the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
In the first group, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam, 1:10.826 minutes), Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport, 1:10.853 minutes) and Jack Harvey (Carlin, 1:10.987 minutes) staged a thrilling battle for first place, which Sainz eventually secured with a tiny margin: his advantage on Juncadella was 0.024 seconds while third-placed rookie driver Pascal Wehrlein was only 0.051 seconds down on the fastest time. In the second group, fastest driver Raffaele Marciello had a bigger margin: he outpaced Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin, 1:10.864 minutes) by 0.254 seconds.
The starting grid positions for this afternoon’s first race are based on the second-fastest lap time by every driver. Here, Marciello also came out on top and as a result, he will be starting from the best grid position for race one as well. Danuel Juncadella and Pascal Wehrlein were first and second in their qualifying group. Thus, Formula 3 Euro Series drivers also locked out the front row of the starting grid for the first race.
Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam): “I am really delighted by being on pole position for the Grand Prix de Pau and in fact, I am slightly surprised myself. After all, things didn’t go too well for me yesterday and moreover, this is my first time at Pau. In qualifying, I made a mistake on turn 1, but fortunately, the run-off area there is big enough.”
Carlos Sainz (Carlin): “I am absolutely delighted by being fastest of my group. As a novice at Pau, I hadn’t expected that. Only the fact that traffic on the track prevented me from driving a fast second lap is a pity.”