Leclerc rescues pole after Q3 spin: 2022 Spanish GP qualifying


Charles Leclerc made up for an early Q3 spin by blitzing the field to claim a sensational pole for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix, with Verstappen second and Sainz third

Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in wualifying for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc secured pole by more than three-tenths of a second

Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Charles Leclerc snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after he compensated for an early Q3 spin by setting a stunning pole lap for the 2022 Spanish GP.

Max Verstappen was unable to challenge the Ferrari driver on his final run after a DRS issue affected his Red Bull, but his first effort put him second for tomorrow ahead of local hero Carlos Sainz.

George Russell showed the Mercedes upgrades appear to be working by claiming fourth ahead of Sergio Perez, with Lewis Hamilton sixth.

Lando Norris was knocked out of Q2 after having his fastest time deleted, whilst Fernando Alonso was eliminated in Q1.

Read the full 2022 Spanish GP qualifying round-up below.


Alpine of Fernando Alonso in the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Spanish hero Alonso was knocked out in Q1


Zhou Guanyu was first driver to hit the track in the Alfa Romeo, closely followed by Pierre Gasly, the AlphaTauri driver having missed most of FP2 due to a heat shield issue.

It was the Alfa man who set the quicker time, a 1min 21.065sec heading Gasly by almost a second – AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tusnoda soon posted a lap 0.8sec off the Chinese driver, but this was quickly deleted due to exceeding track limits at Turn 12.

Not long after Sergio Perez set a more representative time with a 1min 20.447sec, giving his team-mate Max Verstapen a handy tow at the end of the lap to boot.

Verstappen vaulted to the top of the timesheets when he finished his effort, beating the Mexcian’s lap by 0.3sec.

It was the Ferraris who would depose the Red Bulls though – home hero Carlos Sainz went quickest with a 1min 19.892sec, immediately followed by Charles Leclerc with a lap 0.031sec faster.

The Mercedes were not quite on the pace, but not far away – Lewis Hamilton jumped to fourth with a 1min 20.252sec but was immediately shuffled down one place by George Russell as he went four hundredths faster.

Valtteri Bottas looked impressive with his upgraded Alfa Romeo as he sat in sixth, ahead of seventh-placed Perez who had taken a trip through the gravel at the Turn 7/8 chicane.

A queue of cars formed at the final few corners as drivers squabbled over track position, with George Russell being told he wouldn’t make the starting line in time after leaving the garage too late.

McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Ricciardo found himself in the Q1 knockout zone until late on


Mick Schumacher hooked it all up as he set a time good enough for ninth, his team-mate Magnussen slotting into fifth.

Daniel Ricciardo was at risk of being knocked out, but a 1min 20.549sec saved his qualifying by putting him 10th.

No such fortune for Fernando Alonso though – after being blocked by Lando Norris into the chicane whilst winding up for his final flying lap, the Alpine driver was unable to set a faster time, leaving him down in 17th.

The Spaniard was nestled in between the two Aston Martins of Sebastian Vettel (0.15sec off the cut) and Lance Stroll: the team’s much-discussed sidepod upgrades not appearing to have much of the desired effect.

The two Williams cars propped up the field, Alex Albon with a 1min 21.645sec and Nicholas Latifi 0.3sec further back.



McLaren of Lando Norris in qualifying for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Norris found himself knocked out in Q2 due to having a lap time deleted


Drivers appeared reluctant to head out on track, finally appearing with 11 minutes remaining.

Hamilton was first to clock a time of 1min 19.794sec, but Russell immediately improved upon this by 0.35sec.

Perez was 0.016sec off Hamilton, and when the Ferraris emerged they could not get close to the Mercedes pair – Leclerc was five tenths off and Sainz was almost a second away.

Both the Scuderia cars were on used tyres, as was Verstappen who could only go sixth with a 1min 20.109sec on his first Q2 run.

Ricciardo, Ocon, Zhou, Tsunoda and Gasly were the five in the knockout zone as the second runs commenced, all heading out apart from the two Mercedes, Leclerc and Perez.

Ocon and Sainz were fighting on track for position, the Frenchman cheekily nipping ahead of the Ferrari driver mid-out lap.

Haas of Mick Schumacher in the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Mick Schumacher made Q3 for the first time in his career


It mattered not for the Spaniard as he went fastest by 0.017sec from Russell, as Magnussen posted an impressive 1min 19.810sec to go fifth.

His Haas team-mate Schumacher also made it into Q3 in tenth with a 1min 20.638sec, and it was at the expense of Lando Norris, who had his seventh-fastest lap deleted due to exceeding track limits, leaving him 11th.

Ocon was 12th, two tenths off Schumacher,  as both Gasly and Tsunoda were also unable to get out of Q2 – they’ll start 13th and 14th tomorrow, with Zhou 15th.



All cars went straight on track to try and set an early lap – it was Hamilton who did so first with a 1min 19.664sec, but Carlos Sainz beat it by 0.2sec to the delight of the crowd.

Russell then inserted himself into second by 0.05sec from his team-mate, driving past a static Charles Leclerc who had spun in the penultimate corner.

Meanwhile, Verstappen was flying – he smashed Sainz’s time to head the field by 0.4sec.

Max Verstappen drives past orange-clothed fans at the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Verstappen was stymied by DRS problem

Florent Gooden / DPPI

Bottas wasn’t that far off Hamilton, a 1min 19.856sec putting him sixth, followed by Ricciardo and the Haas pair of Magnussen and Schumacher.

A contrite Leclerc was the first to go back out in an attempt to salvage his qualifying, and he did so with the fastest time – a 1min 18.750sec taking him to the top by 0.3sec.

“I have no power!” said Verstappen just moments later, the Red Bull driver’s challenge actually over due to a DRS issue, as Sainz claimed third on the grid, 0.4sec off his team-mate.

Russell went fastest in the first sector to keep everyone on tenterhooks, but his time was ultimately only good enough for fourth.

Fifth was Perez, 0.6sec slower than the pole time, with Hamilton a tenth further back.

Another 0.1sec off was Bottas, who had beaten Magnussen by 0.08sec. Daniel Ricciardo’s 1min 20.297sec left him ninth, as Schumacher rounded out the top 10.


2022 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying results

Position Driver Team Time (Q3)
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1min 18.750sec
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1min 19.073sec
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1min 19.166sec
4 George Russell Mercedes 1min 19.393sec
5 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1min 19.420sec
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1min 19.512sec
7 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1min 19.608sec
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1min 19.682sec
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1min 20.297sec
10 Mick Schumacher Haas 1min 20.368sec
Q2 times
11 Lando Norris McLaren 1min 20.471sec
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1min 20.638sec
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1min 20.639sec
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1min 20.861sec
15 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1min 21.094sec
Q1 times
16 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1min 20.954sec
17 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1min 21.043sec
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1min 21.418sec
19 Alex Albon Williams 1min 21.645sec
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1min 21.915sec