Alonso steals the show in Spain qualifying

Date published: May 13 2017

The pace and the pressure began to crank up at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend as Mercedes and Ferrari battled for supremacy ahead of Sunday’s race – but it was Fernando Alonso who drew all the plaudits.

The day did not begin well for Valtteri Bottas, whose W08 suffered electrical issues and a water leak after a new power unit – which had to be removed again – was discovered. He managed just seven laps in FP3.

Daniel Ricciardo’s morning was uninterrupted. On the track at least…

There was no time for Fernando Alonso to have a game of tennis, as he dragged his MCL32 to a respectable P10 in FP3.

But, with Bottas and then Vettel hitting engine troubles, it left Kimi Raikkonen to top the FP3 timesheets…

Lewis Hamilton was forced to settle for P3 ahead of qualifying…

There was also time for a bit of celebrity-spotting, with Dr Frasier Crane ready to listen to any issues Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo may have.

Verstappen then put his game face on ahead of the all-important qualifying session in Spain…

But it was a qualifying to forget for Lance Stroll as he was eliminated in Q1, qualifying all the way down in P18.

Alonso, though, continued to defy all expectation and improved throughout the afternoon to qualify P7 for his home race, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Out in front, Hamilton re-asserted himself as the pace setter and went on to claim his third pole position in four years at the Spanish Grand Prix. He was joined on the front row by a resurgent Vettel.