Spanish GP Qualifying: Lando Norris produces last-gasp pole lap to beat Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton

Lando Norris produced a sensational final lap to defeat Max Verstappen and secure just his second Formula 1 pole position in a thrillingly competitive Spanish GP qualifying.

In a session that underlined McLaren’s growing strength and the ever-increasing competition at the front of F1 after two seasons of sustained Verstappen-Red Bull dominance, Norris delivered under pressure when it mattered around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with what he described as a “perfect” final lap of 1:11.383.

Verstappen held provisional pole after the first Q3 laps and improved by two tenths more on his final attempt, but Norris made the difference moments later to claim his second career grand prix pole – three years on from his first at the 2021 Russian GP – by a mere 0.020s.

Mercedes, meanwhile, will start from a second-row lockout after their own improvement continued in a competitive hour when they were a factor throughout. They finished three tenths off pole.

For just the second time in 10 races this season, Lewis Hamilton out-qualified team-mate George Russell and will start from a season-best third.

Mercedes narrowly outpaced Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc and home favourite Carlos Sainz to start fifth and sixth respectively. Despite showing flashes of promise in their upgraded cars, neither Ferrari driver was ultimately a genuine pole contender.

Incredibly, just 0.035s separated those four cars.

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