Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso fade against Leclerc

Much to his regret, Carlos Sainz Sr.

Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso fade against Leclerc

Much to his regret, Carlos Sainz Sr. has to hand over the mini-tyre with a sportsmanlike smile on his face, accrediting Charles Leclerc as the owner of pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix, a Montmeló packed with fans like in the best times. . A circuit that was waiting for Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso, and that is left with the desire because the two Spaniards are overlapped by the success of the World Cup leader. Sainz qualifies third, behind Leclerc and Verstappen, in a correct but not exciting position, and Alonso suffers in Spain: he will start seventeenth after a short and dire round. The session leaves another news: the Mercedes are back, Russell fourth and Hamilton, sixth, very close to Sainz.

Saturday begins with another calamity for Alpine and Fernando Alonso. The French car, which was pointing ways in Friday's session, vanishes on Saturday with very questionable times and an unconvincing pace against the leaders of Formula 1. Alonso and Esteban Ocon move in the middle zone, but there the equality it is so bestial that any minimum error condemns the well.

Fate or error, which you never know, comes in Alonso's last attempt. With heavy traffic on the track and drivers looking to improve their lap, the Spaniard is two cars back and tries to overtake Lando Norris. He doesn't make it and on the launch curve towards the best lap, he gets stuck behind the McLaren. He can't pick up speed and aborts the attempt. To the dismay of the fans, Alonso was eliminated in Q1 along with Vettel and Stroll. He will start seventeenth. Ocon narrowly escapes, fifteenth, the Alpine does not run in Barcelona.

Q2 delivers a fresh take as Mercedes confirms its comeback with Russell and Hamilton ruling the timesheets for a few minutes before disengaging the button and safe with times under 1.19:700. The two cars that have dominated F1 in recent years go to Q3.

The relevance of the Ferrari engines, which overwhelm this round, is no longer surprising. The regulatory change has been a fable for the Italian engine, which places five cars that use it among the top ten on Saturday in Montmeló. The two Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz, obviously, the Alfa Romeo of the inevitable Bottas who now enjoys the beauty and surprise: the two Haas of Magnussen and Mick Schumacher.

The last stage reveals the confidence that the leader of the World Championship, Charles Leclerc, feels in his car and in his driving conditions. The Ferrari flies and the Monegasque is up to the task. He makes one of the few mistakes he's made this season, a spin at the end of the chicane into the finish straight, and freezes, with only one more attempt to save the furniture. He goes back to the garage and does it in an almost perfect lap, all or nothing, when he was the tenth fastest time. He achieves the pole, the fourth of the year, marking an impressive 1.18. Verstappen runs out of power, but has already set the second fastest time. Sainz, with the amazing Ferrari, is third. In his place, but without the pinch that he could imagine the fans that support him from the stands.


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