Hamilton makes history with 100th pole at 2021 Spanish GP qualifying


Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th pole position – the first ever driver to do so – ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas at the Spanish GP

Lewis Hamilton, 2021 Spanish GP

100 F1 pole positions in a class of one for Lewis Hamilton

Clive Mason/F1 via Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton took his 100th career pole position during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix at a hot Circuit de Catalunya, taking top spot by just 0.036sec ahead of Max Verstappen, making history to become the first driver in the sport’s history to hit a three-figure total of pole positions.

Valtteri Bottas clocked a time good enough for third, Leclerc was fourth, whilst a disappointed Perez was eighth.

Both Aston Martins were knocked out in Q2, whilst a disgruntled Yuki Tnumoda was eliminated in Q1.



Yuki Tsunoda, 2021 Spanish GP

Tsunoda was knocked out in Q1

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Running was delayed by 10 minutes due to last-minute repairs, checks and adjustments made to the barriers at Turn 9, but once cars were on track Valterri Bottas quickly established himself as the frontrunner with a 1min 18.005sec lap, ahead of Max Verstappen and an assured Carlos Sainz, with Hamilton back in fourth. Lando Norris ultimately set the Q1 pace with an impressive 1min 17.821sec after being blocked in the final chicane on his first run.

Yuki Tsunoda was the surprising Q1 exit, making a mistake on his second run which put him out.

“I can’t ******* believe this car” was the radio message from the Japanese driver to the Alpha Tauri team, before he then made some critical remarks about the team in the press pen afterwards.

Behind him was a struggling Kimi Räikkönen who could only manage 17th fastest for Alfa Romeo, ahead of the increasingly confident Mick Schumacher, who outpaced Nicolas Latifi’s Williams. They line up 18th and 19th.

Nikita Mazepin was last for Haas again.



Sebastian Vettel, 2021 Spanish GP

Vettel struggled once again for Aston Martin and was knocked out in Q2

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Hamilton looked off the pace initially, setting a time 0.7sec off a rapid Verstappen, who was fastest on the first runs. The Mercedes driver ultimately managed to up his pace on his second attempt, ending Q2 third behind the Dutchman and his team-mate Bottas.

In spite of both Aston Martins having upgrades this weekend, neither were ultimately not quick enough to make it out of Q3. Lance Stroll was 11th whilst Sebastian Vettel was further back in 13th.

In the middle of the Silverstone sandwich was Pierre Gasly, who will no doubt be disappointed with 12th.

Antonio Giovinazzi was two places ahead of his team-mate in 14th.

Equally frustrated as Gasly will be Williams’ George Russell. He’ll start the race 15th.



Sergio Perez’s first run ended in disaster as he spun into the gravel. This slightly slowed Hamilton and Verstappen behind him, but they still set the top two fastest times respectively on their initial outings.

Neither of the latter two could improve on their second runs, so Hamilton made history by taking his 100th pole.

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Bottas was 0.15sec further back, whilst Charles Leclerc took a highly commendable fourth.

Just as laudable was Esteban Ocon, who put in a stunning lap to take fifth for Alpine.

Carlos Sainz was next for Ferrari, looking ever more comfortable at the Scuderia.

It was an improved qualifying for Daniel Ricciardo as he put his McLaren seventh on the grid, whilst Lando Norris will likely be immensely dissatisfied with ninth given his strong recent form.

Between them was Perez, who recovered rom his moment to set the eighth fastest time, whilst Fernando Alonso rounded out Q3 in 10th.

2021 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying results

Position Driver Team Time (Q3)
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.741s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m.16.777s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m16.873s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m17.510s
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1m17.580s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m17.620s
7 Daneil Ricciardo McLaren 1m17.622s
8 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1m17.701s
9 Lando Norris McLaren 1m18.010s
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1m18.147s
Q2 times
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1m17.974s
12 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri 1m17.982s
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1m18.079s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1m18.356s
15 George Russell Williams 1m19.154s
Q1 times
16 Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri 1m18.556s
17 Kimi Räikkönen Kimi Räikkönen 1m18.917s
18 Mick Schumacher Haas 1m19.117s
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1m19.219s
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1m19.807s