Hamilton takes pole for Spanish GP with track record

Formula One F1- Spanish Grand Prix

Qualifying gets going at 2pm BST, in just over an hour.

"Formula 1 in Miami represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world's most iconic cities, and we are delighted that the journey is underway", said F1 commercial managing director Sean Bratches.

Mercedes had already been quickest in practice on Friday, with Bottas leading the first session and Hamilton the second.

Ferrari, unexpectedly, were pushed back to fifth and seventh, 0.7 and 1.7 seconds adrift respectively with Ricciardo third for Red Bull before the final runs when Hamilton delivered his stunner.

At the heart of the revival is the rather arcane science of putting the tyres in to their correct temperature operating window, a problem that generated its own heat on Saturday.

It was a significant psychological fillip for Mercedes since Vettel and Ferrari have looked particularly impressive early on.

"I find it a little surprising", said Horner.

Toto Wolff dismissed claims it had been implemented for Mercedes's benefit as "bollocks".

Hamilton, who won last time out in Azerbaijan and leads the standings by four points from Vettel, had not secured first spot on the grid since the opening race in Australia.

"Then, I think for the team it has been a struggle but I'm sure they has been a lot of people not really understanding from the past few races so we've been constantly learning". It is Mercedes, however, who start as strong favourites.

But he has been left fuming by hastily drawn up plans created to make overtaking easier from next season onwards which will see a major redesign of the cars, even though another overhaul of the regulations is due for 2021. The job is by no means complete but they can be rightly optimistic of starting on the very front foot for only the second time this season.

While the Mercedes and Red Bull's were in fine form, the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were unable to get anywhere near the top three as Raikkonen suffered what is a rare power issue in his vehicle. He was only 0.2s faster than team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in Q2.

Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors' picks. As for his teammate, Lance Stroll, turn five was a victim for the Canadian, spinning into the gravel and remaining there. Renault's Nico H├╝lkenberg was 16th and Sauber's Marcus Ericsson 17th.

That followed a practice session in which Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley was involved a heavy crash that ruled him out of qualifying.

The two Force India drivers struggled somewhat with tire performance and were also eliminated in the second part of qualifying, with Sergio Perez specifically finding conditions hard and dropping out in 15th place as Charles Leclerc got his Sauber between Perez and Esteban Ocon.

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