Verstappen’s “no power” was heard loudly, which does not need translation, but the “come on!” de Leclerc after stealing another pole position from the world champion, and they are now four out of six this season. Minutes before, also in Q3, the same genius and leader of the World Championship had spun at the chicane. At times it seemed that Sainz would fight for a first position on the grid of his circuit, but this time his partner had a cushion of four tenths and Carlos came out third. Pole is worth a win at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya three out of four times, according to statistics, but in the Ferrari garage today they fear Red Bull, and it’s logical: Verstappen’s superiority in Friday’s long runs was unquestionable .
He saved the Sainz pavilion with a “decent lap, in difficult conditions, and everything is possible this Sunday.” The gap in the World Cup that separates Leclerc and Verstappen from Madrid will taste bittersweet to many; a gap that has also existed on some Saturdays, like the one in Barcelona, and on every Sunday. But a Spaniard starts from third place in the Spanish GP, a privileged position that no local driver had approached since 2012 (Alonso, second). To win again, you must first draw. And in that, the young but experienced Ferrari driver is pouring all his effort every weekend.
In that final duel, Leclerc repaired the previous mistake and Verstappen left without a second attempt because Red Bull threatened to let him down, due to a lack of power and an unreliable DRS. It is possibly the only weak point of the champion in this 2022: he is always there; his car, almost always. Russell shone to fourth place in the new dawn of Mercedes, that doesn’t have the silver arrows that populated the first line until four days ago, but at least they know where to look for the missing tenths. Pérez was fifth and Hamilton, one tenth behind his teammate, is sixth in the grand prix that he won consecutively for the last five years. The sixth, on paper, is implausible.
Alonso trapped in Q1
Despite the suffocating heat, 35ºC in Montmeló, the temperature dropped a couple of degrees in the Circuit lawn when Alonso was eliminated in Q1, trapped in traffic due to the classic poor planning of some engineers when taking out on the track to their pilots. He blocked Norris’s McLaren as the clock ticked down to zero (the stewards saw nothing actionable) as time ran out for a lap. It wasn’t even worth trying afterwards. so the initial time of the Spaniard, who was not exalted either (13th), was diluted between the second attempts of the rest until he became 17th, separating the Aston Martin and ahead of the Williams. The Alpine was deflated in front of Alfa Romeo, Haas or McLaren, because Ocon, without problems, stayed in 12th. That is not what his fans want to see. Neither what the local hero deserves, forced to a machada to save the weekend to a few pilgrims, both those of the old ‘Alonsomanía’ and the new batch of ‘El Plan’.