Verstappen takes Red Bull’s first Spanish Grand Prix pole since 2011, Norris records McLaren’s best Spanish Grand Prix qualifying result in over a decade and Leclerc records Ferrari’s worst ever qualifying result at Catalunya. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN ON POLE AT 2023 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
Max Verstappen secured pole position for the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix with the fastest ever lap completed at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This is the 24th pole position of Verstappen’s career, equalling Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet for 11th in the all-time list of most pole positions.
Verstappen secured Red Bull’s first pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix since Mark Webber secured pole with the team in 2011.
The 2023 Spanish Grand Prix marked Verstappen’s 150th Q3 appearance. He became the eighth driver to record 150 Q3 appearances since the qualifying system was introduced in 2006.
Verstappen is the 18th different driver to take pole position at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. 2023 is the third consecutive season in which Verstappen has qualified on the front row at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen became the seventh driver to have taken pole position at 18 different circuits during his Formula 1 career.
This is the fourth time that three different teams have taken pole in three consecutive years at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya; the longest such streak at the track. It also happened from 2004 to 2006, from 2008 to 2010 and from 2011 to 2013.
IN THE TOP TEN
Carlos Sainz recorded his first front row qualification of the 2023 season. This was his first front row qualification at his home race. He remains the only driver to qualify in the top five at every race in 2023.
Lando Norris impressed in qualifying at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, setting the third fastest time. This was his first top three qualification since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was the fourth top three qualification of Norris’ career.
This is the first time Norris has qualified in the top seven at the Spanish Grand Prix and the first time since 2019 that he has out-qualified his team-mate at the event.
Norris’ third place is McLaren’s best qualifying result at the Spanish Grand Prix since Lewis Hamilton qualified third in 2011.
Pierre Gasly qualified in fourth place, equalling the best qualifying result of his career. This was the sixth time that Gasly has qualified fourth in his career. He last did so at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix.
This is Gasly’s best Spanish Grand Prix qualifying result. His previous best Saturday result at the track was sixth place, with Red Bull in 2019.
Gasly’s fourth place is the best Spanish Grand Prix qualifying result for the Enstone team since Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth with Lotus in 2013. With Esteban Ocon seventh, it’s also the first time that the team have qualified with both cars in the top seven at the Spanish Grand Prix since 2013.
The 2023 Spanish Grand Prix is the third consecutive race at which Alpine have reached Q3 with both cars. It’s the team’s longest such run since the 2020 Tuscan, Russian and Eifel Grands Prix.
With fifth place in qualifying for the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton became the first driver to record 15 Q3 appearances at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll out-qualified Fernando Alonso for the first time during their time as team-mates. Alex Albon is now the only driver yet to be out-qualified by his team-mate in 2023.
Qualifying in sixth place, Stroll equalled his best qualifying result of the season so far. He also qualified sixth at the Saudi Arabian and Australian Grands Prix.
With both Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso reaching Q3 at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, this is only the third time that both of the Silverstone team’s cars have reached Q3 at the Spanish Grand Prix. Both cars reached Q3 under their Force India guise in 2017 and as Racing Point in 2020.
With a damaged floor, Fernando Alonso could qualify no higher than ninth. This was the first time Alonso qualified outside of the top six in 2023.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified in eighth place at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix. It’s his best qualifying result since qualifying third at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020.
This was the first time in his ten appearances at the Spanish Grand Prix that Hulkenberg has qualified in the top ten.
Oscar Piastri joined Max Verstappen and Michael Schumacher in an exclusive club of drivers who’ve reached Q3 on every appearance at the Spanish Grand Prix.
With Charles Leclerc eliminated in Q1, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso are now the only drivers to reach Q3 at every race in 2023.
OUT IN Q2
Qualifying in 11th place, Sergio Perez became the first Red Bull driver to fail to reach Q3 at the Spanish Grand Prix since Mark Webber in 2012.
This is the first time since 2019 that Perez has failed to reach Q3 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
George Russell was eliminated in Q2 at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, qualifying in 12th place – his worst qualifying result of the season to date.
Russell’s Q2 exit made him the first Mercedes driver to fail to reach Q3 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The last time that a driver for the Brackley-based team failed to reach Q3 at the Spanish Grand Prix was in 2008, when the team was Honda.
LECLERC’S SHOCK Q1 EXIT
Charles Leclerc was the unexpected name to miss out on a slot in Q2. The Monegasque driver recorded his first Q1 elimination since the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix.
Qualifying in 19th, the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix is the first time that Leclerc qualified on the back row of the grid since the third race of his Formula 1 career at the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix. The preceding race – the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – is the only other back row qualification of his career.
Leclerc recorded Ferrari’s first Q1 exit since the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, when Sebastian Vettel qualified in 17th place.
Leclerc became the second Ferrari driver to record a Q1 exit at the Spanish Grand Prix. The only other Ferrari driver to have done so is Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified 16th in 2009.
Leclerc’s 19th place is the worst ever qualifying result for a Ferrari driver at this track. The team’s previous worst qualifying result here was 18th, recorded by Rubens Barrichello at the 2005 Spanish Grand Prix.
OUT IN Q1
Valtteri Bottas failed to progress to Q2 at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix, qualifying in 16th place. This was the first time that the Finn failed to reach Q3 at Catalunya since his maiden season in 2013, when he was also eliminated in Q1.
Kevin Magnussen recorded his fourth Q1 exit of the 2023 season. This was the 59th Q1 exit of the Dane’s career, equalling Timo Glock for third place in the list of most Q1 exits in Formula 1.
With Magnussen out in Q1 and Nico Hulkenberg reaching Q3, the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix is the first time in the Haas team’s history that their drivers have been eliminated in different sessions in qualifying at the Catalunya track.
Williams recorded their second double Q1 elimination of the 2023 season. This was the team’s fifth double Q1 exit in the last six Spanish Grand Prix weekends.
While Logan Sargeant has been eliminated in six of the first seven races in 2023, this was Alex Albon’s second Q1 exit of the year. He was also out in Q1 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Sargeant set the 20th and slowest qualifying lap time for the third time in his career.