Max Verstappen takes pole position for Red Bull at Spanish Grand Prix; Carlos Sainz second, Lando Norris takes surprise third; Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and George Russell made early exits; watch the Spanish GP live on Sky Sports F1 from 12.30pm on Sunday
Last update: 23/06/03 4:34 p.m.
Max Verstappen secured a convincing pole position for Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix amid several unexpected starts in a frenzied qualifying session.
The world championship leader maintained his impressive form to top the timesheet with a 1:12.272 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and was even able to cut out his final fast lap without any other driver able to beat his first effort in Q3.
Carlos Sainz will start his home Grand Prix on the front row for Ferrari, while Lando Norris has taken a surprise third for McLaren.
Pierre Gasly took fourth for Alpine but is likely to be demoted as he faces an investigation for twice getting in the way of other cars in a frenetic and highly entertaining session.
Having momentarily appeared to be in contention for pole position after passing Q1, Lewis Hamilton could only manage fifth in his upgraded Mercedes.
Lance Stroll finished sixth to overtake Aston Martin team-mate Fernando Alonso for the first time. The Spaniard came ninth after appearing hampered by ground damage sustained when he ran off the track in Q1.
Rain at the start of the session created difficult conditions, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc making a surprise exit in Q1, before Verstappen Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez crashed out in Q2 as his world championship challenge continued to fade.
George Russell also exited Q2 amid tire temperature issues and was involved in a dangerous collision with Mercedes team-mate Hamilton, which is also being investigated by the stewards.
Spanish GP qualifying result
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
3) Lando Norris, McLaren
4) Pierre Gasly, Alpine
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
7) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
8) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas
9) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
10) Oscar Piastri, McLaren