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2019 F1

Spanish Grand Prix Race Grid

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Valtteri Bottas sent a statement of championship intent after beating Lewis Hamilton to pole position by a massive 0.634 seconds. The Finnish driver’s third straight pole to continue his fine start to the top podium.

“For sure the gap to Lewis is big, and I never would have expected that,” said Bottas, who yelled in delight over the radio upon hearing he had taken pole.

“To complete a lap like that is a nice feeling, a nice adrenaline rush, and in terms of qualifying this has been my best start to a season.”

Hamilton paid tribute to Bottas, but there is no question he will be irked by the margin of defeat. The world champion has not been at his best this weekend, and he made an uncharacteristic mistake, running wide in his maiden assault on pole. The Briton was then unable to improve on his second attempt.

“It was a bit of a tacky Q3 for me,” said Hamilton. “It is kind of rare, but it happens.

“They were not very good laps – it is as simple as that. Valtteri was just quicker today. He deserved the pole. I am looking at all the solutions to improve in qualifying. We will get there eventually.”

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel will line up in third, but the German, who is already 35 points off the championship pace, finished the best part of nine tenths adrift.


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