Charles Leclerc proved he could handle the heat by overcoming a spin to take pole position for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix, as a compromised Max Verstappen lost out his own shot at pole.
After Leclerc topped Q1, Verstappen hit back with the fastest time of Q2 – with Mercedes lurking just behind the Ferrari and Red Bull throughout the first two qualifying segments. Leclerc then dramatically spun on his first run in Q3, leaving Verstappen top.
But the championship leader re-emerged to go top with a time of 1m 18.750s, Verstappen storming towards his pole time – before his Red Bull appeared to suffer an issue. The reigning champion lost out by an eventual 0.323s – local hero Carlos Sainz another tenth off in third.
George Russell smashed his first sector to pip Sergio Perez to P4, the Mexican rounding out the top five ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas showed strong pace throughout and finished seventh while Kevin Magnussen took eighth – his 10th-placed team mate Mick Schumacher making it to Q3 for the first time – with Daniel Ricciardo in P9 for McLaren between the Haas pair.