Lando Norris beats Max Verstappen to pole in thrilling Spanish GP qualifying session

Q2 – Verstappen moves to the fore as Alonso misses out

As Q2 got under way, Stroll was quick to head out and get a banker lap on the board, but his effort of 1m 13.630s was soon beaten by the gaggle of Q1 pace-setters – Verstappen leading on a 1m 11.653s from Norris, Sainz, Piastri, Leclerc and Russell.

Gasly kept Alpine firmly in the top-10 in seventh, followed by Perez, Hulkenberg and team mate Ocon, while multiple world champions Alonso and Hamilton – the latter complaining that “this tyre was bad” – could only place 12th and 13th, joining Bottas, Zhou and Stroll in the drop zone.

Stroll again ran out of sequence with his second timed run, squeezing his way back into the Q3 spots at the expense of Ocon, only to be bumped out again as the remainder of the field completed their final efforts and took the chequered flag.

While Verstappen, Norris, Sainz and Leclerc all stayed in the pits, Hamilton got himself out of danger once more by going P2 behind his 2021 title rival, while Russell made it two Mercedes machines in the top-three positions.

Perez, Gasly and Ocon all delivered when it mattered to slot behind the McLaren and Ferrari drivers, with Alonso missing out on Q3 in front of his home fans by an agonising margin of 0.019s – Bottas, Hulkenberg, team mate Stroll and Zhou being the other eliminees.

Knocked out: Alonso, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Stroll, Zhou

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