After what feels like an all too long three week gap in the calendar. Formula 1 returns to Europe for the first time this season for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
With Lewis Hamilton close to dominating the opening of the season, team mate Nico Rosberg is under pressure to preform and has a long way to go to chip away at Hamilton’s 27 point margin. Pressure must suit him as he pulled an amazing 1min 26.681secs time, in his first temp at qualifying yesterday. A time that Lewis just couldn’t quite reach.
Sebastian Vettel also struggled against the might of Rosberg’s Mercedes, slipping in at 3rd on the grid but well off pace of the leaders. His team mate Kimmi Raikkonen did not begin his European races well, struggling all qualifying, only managing 7th behind Williams Valtteri Bottas in a consistent 4th, Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen who won a surprising 5th and 6th on the grid respectively.
Red Bull continue to fill out the final 10 grid positions, showing that they have the pace if only they can keep their engines in one piece during the race. The pair are split by William Felipe Massa, who in my opinion really underperformed considering his season so far.
So a familiar top two rows will begin the Spanish Grand Prix but will Rosberg’s pace continue into the race giving his team mate a run for the championship finally? Or will Vettels promises of a better race pace than he has showed in qualifying ring true to see the prancing horse back on the top step? Who is you pick for Barcelona? Let us know in the comments.
Roger Baillie (@Rojn8r)
Full qualifying results for the fifth round of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship (F1), the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.
1. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 24.681s
2. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 24.948s
3. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 25.458s
4. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 25.694s
5. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 26.136s
6. Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 26.249s
7. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 26.414s
8. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 26.629s
9. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m 26.757s
10. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 26.770s
11. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes 1m 27.375s
12. Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 1m 27.450s
13. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 1m 27.760s
14. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 27.854s
15. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari 1m 28.005s
16. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 28.112s
17. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m 28.365s
18. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 28.442s
19. Will Stevens GBR Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 31.200s
20. Roberto Merhi ESP Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 32.038s
all times unofficial