F1 LIVE: Spanish Grand Prix results as Max Verstappen wins after Charles Leclerc retires

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·31 min read
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Charles Leclerc bounced back from a spin to put his Ferrari on pole position for today’s Spanish Grand Prix as he looks to extend his lead atop the F1 drivers’ standings, while Mercedes also head into the race with more pace than in recent weeks.

During Saturday’s qualifying, Championship leader Leclerc lost control of his Ferrari through the chicane on his first attempt in Q3 at a sweltering Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona to leave him sweating.

But the Monegasque kept his cool with his last effort to deliver an impressive lap under pressure and beat rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull by three tenths. Verstappen, who trails Leclerc by 19 points, complained he had no power on his last attempt.

Carlos Sainz finished third in the other Ferrari, with George Russell fourth for an improved Mercedes - two places and just over a tenth ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Follow all the action from the Spanish Grand Prix, below:

Spanish Grand Prix latest updates

  • Red Bull looking set for a one-two

  • Sergio Perez lets Max Verstappen past

  • OUT! Charles Lecerc retires when leading

  • Perez had passed George Russell for the lead

  • Russell briefly led in his Mercedes after Leclerc retirement

  • Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen collide on lap 1 and both drop to back of the grid

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 66/66

15:41 , Luke Baker

MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX!

A Red Bull one-two as Sergio Perez takes 2nd and George Russell on the podium in 3rd

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 65/66

15:39 , Luke Baker

Late drama as the Mercedes now struggling with cooling and Hamilton could lose P4 to Sainz. He does! Sainz goes past Hamilton for P4!

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 64/66

15:37 , Luke Baker

What a turnaround this has been for Red Bull. Max Verstappen was shouting about DRS not working, he ran wide into the gravel and appeared to be losing his cool.

But when Charles Leclerc lost power, it all turned and Verstappen will win the race and move top of the drivers’ standings. Red Bull will also go top of the constructors’ standings

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 63/66

15:36 , Luke Baker

The field is looking fairly set with a couple of laps remaining.

P1 - Max Verstappen

P2 - Sergio Perez

P3 - George Russell

P4 - Lewis Hamilton

P5 - Carlos Sainz

P6 - Valtteri Bottas

P7 - Esteban Ocon

P8 - Lando Norris

P9 - Fernando Alonso

P10 - Yuki Tsunoda

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 62/66

15:34 , Luke Baker

It was a lovely move from Lewis Hamilton. P3 and P4 - a pretty decent weekend for Mercedes.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 61/66

15:33 , Luke Baker

Yes he can! Fairly easy for Hamilton as he goes round the outside of Sainz into P4.

Remember, Hamilton was P19 after his early collision but has done brilliantly to climb to P4. Only 12 seconds behind teammate Russell as well - sterling effort from the seven-time champ.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 61/66

15:32 , Luke Baker

Hamilton within half a second of Sainz, can he get within DRS range...

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 59/66

15:30 , Luke Baker

Bottas’s two-stop strategy didn’t work, so he’ll end P6 now. The Hamilton-Sainz battle for P4 will consume the final 6 laps now.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 58/66

15:30 , Luke Baker

Right. P1 (Verstappen), P2 (Perez) and P3 (Russell) look set.

Now the battle for P4. Sainz overtakes Bottas and he’s into P4! Now Hamilton goes past Bottas for P5!

The battle between Sainz and Hamilton will be superb

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 57/66

15:28 , Luke Baker

It’s been a decent weekend for Mick Schumacher in his Haas but the first points of his F1 career now look beyond him...

He was P9 but gets passed by both Alonso and Tsunoda in quick succession. He’s on old tyres and has no real chance of climbing any higher than P11.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 56/66

15:27 , Luke Baker

Perez does indeed do the fastest lap of the race, beats Hamilton by one-tenth.

The battle for P4 to P6 will be fascinating in the final laps of this race. It’s currently Bottas from Sainz from Hamilton and the men in P5 and P6 are lapping much quicker

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 55/66

15:24 , Luke Baker

Perez into the pits for the final time, fresh tyres to see if he can pinch a fastest lap point. Verstappen is going to win this and Perez will finish P2, so why not try and earn another point for Red Bull.

This is a dream race for them.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 54/66

15:23 , Luke Baker

No sooner have I said that than Russell is past Bottas for P3. Slight lock up by Bottas makes it easier.

Hamilton is on a charge from P6 and Bottas in P4 is a target for him and Sainz in P5.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 53/66

15:21 , Luke Baker

George Russell pits and he doesn’t quite come back out ahead of Bottas but he’s right on his tail. On fresh tyres, he’ll fancy his chances of reclaiming P3

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 52/66

15:21 , Luke Baker

As discussed, Lewis Hamilton is flying and he easily passes Ocon for P6. He’s six seconds back from Sainz in P5 and has 13 laps to try and close.

Hamilton just sets the fastest lap as well. Promising signs for Mercedes

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 50/66

15:18 , Luke Baker

So Verstappen, on the younger tyres, into the lead and it looks set to be a race victory. Sergio Perez now comfortably in 2nd, with Russell P3, Bottas in a superb P4 and Sainz in P5

Hamilton is flying on his new tyres, up to P7 and has Ocon in his sights in P6.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 49/66

15:17 , Luke Baker

Team orders from Red Bull to Sergio Perez.

“You’re on a different strategy to Max. If he catches you, don’t make it difficult.” Sergio responds: “That’s not fair but ok”.

And Perez does let Verstappen past when it comes to it.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 47/66

15:15 , Luke Baker

Charles Leclerc discussing his early retirement today with Sky Sports F1 after a loss of power.

“I don’t know anything more than what happened,” says Leclerc. “We had no indication before it broke and it lost power completely. It’s a shame - in those moments, there’s nothing I can do apart from look at the positives.

“We had great qualifying pace, race pace and tyre management which has been a weakness. We’re confident for the rest of the season. We will look at the issue, we can’t afford for this to happen many times in the season.”

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 45/66

15:10 , Luke Baker

Verstappen currently P1 but he’s into the pits for probably the final time.

Perez into the lead and where will Verstappen come out... In front of George Russell!

So it’s P1 and P2 for Red Bull - great strategy change by them

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 43/66

15:08 , Luke Baker

Another decent battle between Vettel and Alonso. Two former champs going at it.

After a disastrous qualifying, Vettel is racing well in the Aston Martin. He pits so drops to P14 but Alonso in P9

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 42/66

15:06 , Luke Baker

Paul Di Resta on Sky Sports says Lewis Hamilton is lapping quickly and when he gets new soft tyres for the final few laps he could still be flying. Currently quicker than George Russell and he may end up challenging Carlos Sainz for P5.

A real case of what might have been for Hamilton after that unfortunate early collision with Kevin Magnussen.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 41/66

15:04 , Luke Baker

Zhou Guanyu in his Alfa Romeo was forced to retire, so he joins Charles Leclerc in an early exit.

By contrast, the other Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas is having a good race and he’s P4.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 39/66

15:02 , Luke Baker

Ferrari still gutted about Leclerc’s retirement - understandably. In better news for the Scuderia, Sainz up to P5.

Incidentally, the man in P6? Lewis Hamilton... He’s worked his way through the field since early troubles and the way the pit stops have gone mean he’s currently running well. Unlikely to stay there but a good recovery

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 38/66

15:00 , Luke Baker

Sergio Perez now pits and that means Max Verstappen up to P1! Perez back out in front of Russell, so Red Bull in prime position to lock out the top two podium places

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 36/66

14:58 , Luke Baker

Russell into the pits just before any wheel to wheel action with Verstappen. Booooo! Russell back out in P3

It’s looking good for a Red Bull one-two as we stand.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 35/66

14:56 , Luke Baker

Since getting past Russell, Perez has used the Red Bull’s superior speed to surge clear. He’s now 5.2 seconds in front.

Verstappen told on team radio that he’ll be within range of Russell for P2 in a couple of laps.

Russell vs Verstappen round two? Yes please!

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 35/66

14:55 , Luke Baker

Here’s how Perez overtook Russell for the lead

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 34/66

14:54 , Luke Baker

Lando Norris into the pits but a slight issue for McLaren and he loses a second or so. He was running in P5 but will come back out in P9

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 32/66

14:51 , Luke Baker

Fresh tyres, clear air and Verstappen on a mission.

He passes Bottas for P3. So it’s Perez P1, Russell P2, Verstappen P3. Leclerc out of the race and Sainz languishing - nightmare for Ferrari

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 31/66

14:49 , Luke Baker

PEREZ INTO THE LEAD!

He does what Verstappen can’t as he passes George Russell and he’s into P1! Drama in Barca

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 29/66

14:48 , Luke Baker

Verstappen pits - they’re trying a different strategy. So now it’s Perez who will have a pop at George Russell.

Russell has driven brilliantly and Red Bull are getting frustrated. He’s now P1 after the Leclerc retirement remember!

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 28/66

14:45 , Luke Baker

Shock on the Ferrari pit wall. It was going so well for Leclerc - he was cruising to victory but a loss of power and he’s had to retire! His first DNF of the season

Russell is P1 and Verstappen P2 now!

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 28/66

14:44 , Luke Baker

Problems for Leclerc! “No, no, no!” he exclaims on the radio and he’s lost power.

Leclerc has to come into the pits and he retires! Huge news.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 27/66

14:43 , Luke Baker

“He didn’t leave you a car’s width”, moan Red Bull on the radio after Verstappen fails to pass Russell. Race control notes the incident but determines no further action will be taken. Which is the correct decision - just great defensive driving from Russell

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 26/66

14:41 , Luke Baker

Fastest lap of the race from Leclerc so far our front - a 1:27.030

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 25/66

14:41 , Luke Baker

WOW! This Russell vs Verstappen battle is absolutely brilliant. If this is a look into the future of F1, we’re in for a treat.

Verstappen finally gets past Russell on lap 24 to the delight of the crowd but Russell fights back, holds his line into the corner and manages to stay ahead of the Dutchman! Clean, brilliant racing.

The Red Bull clearly faster but the Mercedes defending vailiantly

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 24/66

14:39 , Luke Baker

Verstappen’s agitation becoming evident. Expletive-filled rant to his team, who tell him “try just pressing the DRS button once after you’ve kerbed”.

Sounds like Max was mashing the DRS button in frustration when it wasn’t working and re-closed it. We’ve all been there with technology, to be fair...

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 23/66

14:37 , Luke Baker

We were told reliability was key in the Spanish heat today. No retirements so far, although Magnussen and Hamilton collided early and fell to the back of the grid.

Magnussen still P20 but Hamilton has climbed to P16.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 22/66

14:36 , Luke Baker

Leclerc into the pits and all very smooth by Ferrari. Exactly what was needed.

Leclerc comes back out in front of Russell and Verstappen. He’s got a lead of around 5 seconds. Verstappen still unable to get round the Mercedes.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 22/66

14:35 , Luke Baker

Verstappen’s frustrations becoming evident

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 21/66

14:34 , Luke Baker

Verstappen being told by his team to stay calm and also being warned that Russell is crossing into the braking zone at times

Ferrari getting ready to bring Leclerc into the pits. Barring disaster, he’ll come back out in front still.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 19/66

14:31 , Luke Baker

Verstappen almost loses the car wide on Turn 8, almost over the edge of the curb! He’s getting frustrated with both the DRS issues and the brick wall Russell in front of him

Interestingly, no retirements so far

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 18/66

14:30 , Luke Baker

Cracking battle between Verstappen and Russell for P3 at the moment. Russell defending brilliantly and Verstappen’s only intermittent DRS definitely making things even more exciting.

The Red Bull will get frustrated if he stays behind the Mercedes too much longer.

Perez into the pits and back out in P4 behind his teammate and Russell. This is setting up ideally for Leclerc out front...

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 17/66

14:28 , Luke Baker

Here’s how we stand at the minute:

P1 - Leclerc

P2 - Perez

P3 - Russell

P4 - Verstappen

P5 - Bottas

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 16/66

14:27 , Luke Baker

Verstappen absolutely livid on team radio. He tries to employ DRS to pass Russell but it doesn’t work. It did work the rpevious lap, so it’s intermittent.

Tough to overtake without it.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 15/66

14:26 , Luke Baker

Russell and Verstappen both pit and Russell maintains, perhaps even extends, his lead after that interlude. Bottas then also pits, so Russell and Verstappen sitting P3 and P4.

Leclerc and Perez haven’t pitted yet in front of them. Leclerc currently 15 seconds ahead of Perez and 30+ ahead of Russell.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 14/66

14:24 , Luke Baker

Sainz now on a recovery mission after his earlier gravel troubles dropped him to P11. He’s up to P9 now, having cruised past Lando Norris.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 13/66

14:24 , Luke Baker

Here’s Verstappen in the gravel early on

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 13/66

14:22 , Luke Baker

DRS issues for P3 Verstappen as well. On the team radio he’s told the DRS flap didn’t open when he requested it. A concern for Red Bull.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 12/66

14:21 , Luke Baker

Leclerc now about 10 seconds ahead of Russell. It’s looking good for the Ferrari.

Verstappen passes teammate Perez into P3, he’ll be hunting down Russell’s Mercedes

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 9/66

14:17 , Luke Baker

Perez and Russell battling for P3, the Red Bull right up with the Mercedes. It’s still Leclerc from Verstappen at the front.

NO IT’S NOT! Verstappen into the gravel at Turn 4 and he loses two positions as Perez and Russell come past!

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 8/66

14:15 , Luke Baker

Oh dear. More trouble for Carlos Sainz as he heads into the gravel at Turn 4 and loses places. Down to P11

Better news for the other Spaniard Fernando Alonso as he brilliantly passes Fernando Alonso

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 6/66

14:12 , Luke Baker

Ocon on the charge as he’s passed Ricciardo and Schumacher to reach P7. Alonso and Vettel currently battling for P13.

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 4/66

14:10 , Luke Baker

The stewards do call that Magnussen-Hamilton coming together a ‘racing incident’. A long road back to relevancy for both men now

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 3/66

14:09 , Luke Baker

Looks like Sainz stalled off the start, hence Russell and Perez being able to pass him.

The stewards are looking at the coming together between Magnussen and Hamilton. Should just be a racing incident. They’re 19th and 20th now anyway

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 2/66

14:07 , Luke Baker

At the front, Leclerc and Verstappen held their positions in 1st and 2nd. George Russell passed Carlos Sainz, who was then also overtaken by Sergio Perez.

So it’s Russell 3rd, Perez 4th, Sainz 5th. Mick Schumacher also up to P7 - the highest he’s ever been in a grand prix

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 1/66

14:06 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen made contact, it punctured Hamilton who has drifted to the back of the pack and comes into the pit lane.

Magnussen came back on to the track and he also pits

Spanish Grand Prix: Lap 1/66

14:05 , Luke Baker

LIGHTS OUT!

Fairly even start. George Russell passes Carlos Sainz into the first corner.

Kevin Magnussen then makes contact with another car and spins off the track

Spanish Grand Prix

14:01 , Luke Baker

Almost ready to start at the Spanish Grand Prix. Formation lap just getting underway

Starting grid for the Spanish Grand Prix

13:56 , Luke Baker

About five minutes until lights out at the Spanish Grand Prix. Here’s a reminder of the starting grid.

Starting grid

1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

4) George Russell, Mercedes

5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull

6) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

7) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

8) Kevin Magnussen, Haas

9) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

10) Mick Schumacher, Haas

11) Lando Norris, McLaren

12) Esteban Ocon, Alpine

13) Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri

14) Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri

15) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo

16) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

17) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

18) Alex Albon, Williams

19) Nicolas Latifi, Williams

20) Fernando Alonso, Alpine

George Russell concerned about the heat

13:54 , Luke Baker

It’s absolutely sweltering at the Spanish Grand Prix and reliability seems to be the buzzword on the grid. There will likely be a slew of DNFs given the heat - who can manage their tyres and their engines to take advantage?

That’s what Mercedes’ George Russell - who starts from 4th - is aiming for.

“It’s warm, it’s so hot out there,” he tells Sky Sports F1. “Sitting in the cars, it’s going to be difficult to manage. Reliability might be the key.

“We’ve got to go for it, no messing around. Management of the race will be where it’s won and lost though - it could be two or three stop for teams. You need to be fast and close to the car in front to attack down the straights. It will be a tricky race.”

Christian Horner talks Red Bull’s chances

13:51 , Luke Baker

It’s been a dramatic morning for Red Bull as they try to fix potential DRS issues in Max Verstappen’s car. They reared their head in qualifying yesterday as Verstappen had to abort his final lap.

Team principal Christian Horner discussed the situation with Sky Sports F1.

“It’s one of those things unfortunately where you’re constantly chasing weight,” he said. “It’s a fine balance. We had a small issue with it yesterday but have taken small precautions today in consultation with the FIA.

“Everyone is pushing but we’re less concerned about tyre degradation. It’s hot so it will be fascinating to see how it pans out. Ferrari had a reasonable run in Q3 of qualifying, so Max’s advantage will be that he basically has new tyres after not doing that final lap in qualifying.”

Kevin Magnussen discusses his hopes for today’s race

13:46 , Luke Baker

Kevin Magnussen outqualified his Haas teammate Mick Schumacher - he starts 8th with Schumacher 10th.

Here’s what he thinks about how his car is running:

“I think our car has been good all year and still is,” Magnussen told Sky Sports F1. “We’re still finding stuff in the set-up that makes the performance better.

“Other teams have done upgrades and taken a step back or not filled their potential. Well just try to take points in this race.”

Will Max Verstappen tirumph today?

13:40 , Luke Baker

Max Verstappen starts second on the grid - can he overhaul Charles Leclerc and make it three wins on the spin?

Spanish Grand Prix

13:36 , Luke Baker

Less than 30 minutes until lights out in Barcelona. Cars are in the pit lane and will soon be out on the grid ahead of the formation lap.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

F1 Drivers’ Standings

13:30 , Luke Baker

Here’s a reminder of how the Championship looks heading into the Spanish Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has won the most races so far this season (three) but reliability issues mean that Charles Leclerc still leads the overall standings. The Monegasque is on pole today, can he extend his lead at the top?

Driver Standings

  1. Charles Leclerc | Ferrari | 104 points

  2. Max Verstappen | Red Bull Racing | 85 points

  3. Sergio Perez | Red Bull Racing | 66 points

  4. George Russell | Mercedes | 59 points

  5. Carlos Sainz | Ferrari | 53 points

  6. Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | 36 points

  7. Lando Norris | McLaren | 35 points

  8. Valtteri Bottas | Alfa Romeo | 30 points

  9. Esteban Ocon | Alpine F1 | 24 points

  10. Kevin Magnussen | Haas F1 Team | 15 points

  11. Daniel Ricciardo | McLaren | 11 points

  12. Yuki Tsunoda | AlphaTauri | 10 points

  13. Pierre Gasly | AlphaTauri | 6 points

  14. Sebastian Vettel | Aston Martin | 4 points

  15. Alexander Albon | Williams Racing | 3 points

  16. Fernando Alonso | Alpine F1 | 2 points

  17. Lance Stroll | Aston Martin | 2 points

  18. Zhou Guanyu | Alfa Romeo | 1 point

  19. Mick Schumacher | Haas F1 Team | 0 points

  20. Nicholas Latifi | Williams Racing | 0 points

  21. Nico Hulkenberg | Aston Martin | 0 points

Stats and facts about the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

13:24 , Luke Baker

Here are some stats and facts about the track that the drivers will be racing on at the Spanish Grand Prix today.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

  • Length: 4.675km

  • Laps: 66

  • Race lap record: 1:18.149 (Max Verstappen, 2021)

  • 2021 winner: Lewis Hamilton

Home support for Carlos Sainz

13:18 , Luke Baker

Carlos Sainz starts third on the grid today at his home grand prix and the crowd will undoubtedly be rooting hard for the Ferrari driver.

The other Spaniard on the grid, Fernando Alonso, starts dead last despite qualifying 17th after taking a penalty for changing his power unit. The underperforming Alpine needs to do something to turn the tide.

Is the Spanish Grand Prix on TV today?

13:11 , Luke Baker

How to follow the Spanish Grand Prix today - here’s everything you need to know.

Is Spanish Grand Prix on TV today?

Mick Schumacher starts in tenth

13:05 , Luke Baker

For the first time in his F1 career, Mick Schumacher made it into Q3 during qualifying and he’ll start in 10th place in his Haas.

His teammate Kevin Magnussen is a couple of places ahead of him in 8th.

Circuit de Catalunya ready for Spanish Grand Prix

12:58 , Luke Baker

Just over an hour until lights out in Barcelona and the Circuit de Catalunya is looking sublime. It should be a fascinating race.

Max Verstappen still experiencing DRS issues

12:49 , Luke Baker

This season has seen Max Verstappen battling DRS issues in his Red Bull and it looks like that is continuing at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Faulty DRS was suspected as the reason that Verstappen had to abort his final qualifying lap yesterday and the Red Bull mechanics are now furiously working on his car in the garage - sanding down bits of carbon and spraying them black to try and fix the issue.

It’s really not ideal on the afternoon of a race and something to monitor once we’re underway.

Max Verstappen could have DRS issues in Barcelona (AFP via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen could have DRS issues in Barcelona (AFP via Getty Images)

George Russell thinks Mercedes still have pace left to come

12:42 , Luke Baker

George Russell wil start fourth for the Spanish Grand Prix, but believes that Mercedes could have qualified higher up had they managed their tyres better in Barcelona.

“It wasn’t our most perfect qualifying session,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We didn’t quite have the tyres in the perfect window, and there was still a lot of laptime on the board. We should be able to compete with ferrari tomorrow but Red Bull and particularly Max are still a bit far away.

“I don’t feel quite as fatigued compared to what I’m used to [without the porpoising]. So chill out tonight, relax, and go for it tomorrow.”

Mercedes are hoping to show signs of progress at the Spanish Grand Prix (AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes are hoping to show signs of progress at the Spanish Grand Prix (AFP via Getty Images)

Starting grid for the Spanish Grand Prix

12:34 , Luke Baker

After Fernando Alonso’s penalty for taking a new power unit, here’s the full grid for today’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso down from 17th to 20th at his home race.

Starting grid

1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

4) George Russell, Mercedes

5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull

6) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

7) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

8) Kevin Magnussen, Haas

9) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

10) Mick Schumacher, Haas

11) Lando Norris, McLaren

12) Esteban Ocon, Alpine

13) Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri

14) Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri

15) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo

16) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

17) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

18) Alex Albon, Williams

19) Nicolas Latifi, Williams

20) Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Grid penalty for Fernando Alonso

12:26 , Luke Baker

Some breaking news - Fernando Alonso will start from the back of the grid at today’s Spanish Grand Prix after having a new power unit put into his Alpine A522.

The Alpine driver has taken a fourth internal combustion engine, turbo, MGU-H, MGU-K, plus a third energy store, control electronics (and his fourth of eight allowed exhausts). The subsequent grid penalties mean Alonso will start his home grand prix at the back for the first time.

In truth, it’s not a massive drop for Alonso who only qualified 17th but he’ll now start behind Lance Stroll, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi at the back of the grid.

Christian Horner expecting ‘fascinating’ race in Spain

12:20 , Luke Baker

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he is expecting a ‘very close’ Spanish Grand Prix today between his team and Ferrari.

“It wasn’t power in the end, it was the DRS that didn’t open,” Horner said on Sky Sports F1 of Max Verstappen’s aborted final qualifying lap. “I don’t think we had enough to beat that lap by Charles, but it was unfortunate not to have the right to reply. I’m still pleased with a front row start. The margins are so fine, that first lap of Max’s looked very strong.

“In these temperatures it’s all going to be about tyre management, so it’s going to be a fascinating race. Ferrari had a long run with both of their cars and it didn’t look too bad, so I think we’re very evenly matched and it’s going to be very close.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Red Bull chief claims evidence shows Aston Martin downloaded data in F1 car copy row

12:11 , Luke Baker

Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko claims evidence exists showing that Aston Martin have downloaded some of his team’s data to help them build a new Formula 1 car which bears an uncanny resemblance to Red Bull’s.

Aston Martin arrived in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this week with a completely revamped version of their AMR22, which made its on-track debut during practice on Friday. The re-designed halo, sidepods, and engine cover on the Aston Martin are all very similar to the parts Red Bull have been running all season long, with their RB18 car the frontrunner at the past two grands prix in Imola and Miami.

The changes made to the Aston Martin have led to fans and pundits referring to it as the ‘Green Red Bull’, and the fact the car bears little resemblance to the version the team has been running throughout the season means accusations of copying have emerged. Motorsport governing body the FIA approved the design during an inspection earlier this week, but Red Bull released a statement on Friday in which they implied they do not consider the matter to be closed.

After practice, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his team was concerned its intellectual property had been stolen.

Red Bull chief claims evidence shows Aston Martin downloaded data in F1 car copy row

Toto Wolff says Mercedes have taken a ‘solid step’ and understand F1 car problems ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

12:07 , Luke Baker

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says that the Silver Arrows’ improved performance in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix has come about because the team “understands” its porpoising issue and has resolved it.

The eight-time constructors’ champions had been suffering from intense bouncing at high speeds on the straights with its W13 car all season long, which was hampering its speed and meant drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were way off the pace of frontrunners Ferrari and Red Bull.

But the problem has been dramatically decreased this weekend after the team arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona with a raft of upgrades to their machinery, and the changes have led to a much improved level of performance.

Russell was able to qualify fourth, ahead of the Red Bull of Sergio Perez, with Hamilton behind in sixth. Both drivers have qualified outside of the top ten this year, and so competing with the faster Red Bulls and Ferraris is a “solid step”, according to Wolff.

Wolff says Mercedes have taken a ‘solid step’ ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton ‘a little bit gutted’ to qualify behind George Russell for Spanish Grand Prix

12:02 , Luke Baker

Lewis Hamilton is pleased with the progress Mercedes have made at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend, but says he is “a little bit gutted” to have qualified behind team-mate George Russell for the race on Sunday.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has been unable to challenge for race wins so far this season.

But the Silver Arrows arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona with a raft of upgrades to their W13 car which appear to have increased its performance significantly.

The team had been suffering from intense porpoising, the name given to the phenomenon whereby the cars bounces up and down violently at high speeds on long straights, so far this campaign but the problem was heavily neutered in qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton qualified sixth by the end of the session, with team-mate Russell in fourth, and the 37-year-old was pleased with the effort of the team’s technical personnel to improve the car.

Hamilton ‘a little bit gutted’ to qualify behind Russell for Spanish GP

Carlos Sainz aiming to pass Max Verstappen into Turn 1 during race

11:56 , Luke Baker

Carlos Sainz says he is aiming to overtake Red Bull’s Max Verstappen off the start in today’s Spanish Grand Prix so that he and team-mate Charles Leclerc can produce a Ferrari 1-2.

“It’s been a tough weekend so far, the conditions haven’t been the best with the heat and the wind,” the 27-year-old told Sky Sports F1.

“We’ll see if we can get a strong start tomorrow. Everything is possible, we’re definitely gonna try our best to get ahead at the start and lead from there. It wasn’t the perfect qualifying, but anything can happen [in the race].”

Max Verstappen explains reason for aborting final run in Spanish GP qualifying

11:52 , Luke Baker

Max Verstappen has explained why he had to abort his final run in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday, settling for second on the grid behind Charles Leclerc,

The Dutchman was first after the first set of runs in Q3, but didn’t set a second lap time after reporting a loss of power over the radio.

“I couldn’t do my final run, either DRS didn’t open or I lost power,” Verstappen explained to Sky Sports F1. “It’s a bit of a shame but being on the front row is a good achievement.

“I would have liked to go for that final run. Last two races we seemed pretty decent on the tyres. The race will be very hot and on this track it’s very hard to pass, but hopefully again our car will be a bit kinder on the tyres.”

Charles Leclerc revels in ‘very good lap’ after ‘very difficult’ qualifying

11:48 , Luke Baker

Championship leader Charles Leclerc says he knew he had delivered a ‘very good lap’ at the end of qualifying to secure pole position ahead of Max Verstappen, despite spinning going into a chicane during an earlier run

“It was a very very difficult session,” he told Sky Sports F1. “I made a mistake and only had one lap, but it went extremely well.

“It was a very good lap and the car was great too, so very happy. I am in a strong position to start the race but we have been struggling with tyres compared to Red Bull. Max is second so we need to manage the tyres well and keep him behind us.”

Spanish Grand Prix starting grid

11:44 , Luke Baker

Charles Leclerc bounced back from a spin to put his Ferrari on pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Championship leader Leclerc lost control of his Ferrari through the chicane on his first attempt in Q3 at a sweltering Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona to leave him sweating but the Monegasque kept his cool with his last effort to deliver an impressive lap under pressure and beat rival Max Verstappen by three-tenths of a second.

Here’s how the full starting grid looks ahead of today’s Spanish Grand Prix:

Starting grid

1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

4) George Russell, Mercedes

5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull

6) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

7) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

8) Kevin Magnussen, Haas

9) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

10) Mick Schumacher, Haas

11) Lando Norris, McLaren

12) Esteban Ocon, Alpine

13) Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri

14) Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri

15) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo

16) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

17) Fernando Alonso, Alpine

18) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

19) Alex Albon, Williams

20) Nicolas Latifi, Williams

Spanish Grand Prix

11:40 , Luke Baker

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix from the Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Charles Leclerc starts on pole after the championship leader recovered nicely from a spin during Saturday’s qualifying to post the fastest time, three-tenths ahead of fierce rival Max Verstappen in second.

The Ferrari man will look to extend his advantage atop the drivers’ standings, while his teammate Carlos Sainz starts in third ahead of George Russell, in a much-improved Mercedes, in fourth.

The other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton starts sixth on a track that he loves and drama is guaranteed this afternoon, so stick with us for it all.