Updated: Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the result for a breach in the sporting regulations. Hamilton was unable to drive his car back to the pits after being short fuelled for his final lap. Pastor Maldonado will start the race from first position.
Lewis Hamilton stormed to a stunning pole position to give McLaren their 150th pole position, ahead of Pastor Maldonado.
Hamilton saved the best till last and put over half a second into the rest of the field. The McLaren driver looks to be returning to his former best and has his best opportunity to take his first victory of the season. Hamilton was able to save a set of softer tyres by setting such a good time which allowed him to sit out of the majority of the session.
His team-mate Jenson Button was pushed out of the top ten at the last in the second session when Maldonado set the fastest lap of the session. Button spent most of the session complaining about rear tyre issues and oversteer, despite having set the fastest time in the first practice session. He was joined by Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who’ll sit next to him on the grid. The team thought the Aussie was safe from the cut but were caught out and stuck in the garage when the flag fell.
Back at the front of the grid Maldonado gave Williams one of their best qualifying results since Nico Hulkenberg took pole in 2010. He upset another driver’s day when he bumped Fernando Alonso off his provisional pole. Alonso gave the Spanish crowd something to cheer about with his best grid slot of the year. Ferrari will have mixed emotions with their results as Felipe Massa failed to make it into the top ten for the fifth race this year.
Sebastian Vettel’s day didn’t fare much better than his team-mate’s and he chose to sit out of the final session. He put in a couple of sighter laps but aborted both to give him a choice of tyres for the start of the race.
In the first session the pressure seemed to get to Bruno Senna as he tried to make it through. The Brazilian took too much kerb on turn 12 and was sent spinning into the gravel. He will have to start the race from 18th on the grid.