Published On: Sun, Aug 16th, 2020

Spanish Grand Prix 2020 LIVE: Updates as Lewis Hamilton leads, Max Verstappen up to 2nd | F1 | Sport

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Spanish Grand Prix 2020

Spanish Grand Prix 2020: Lewis Hamilton secured pole ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen (Image: GETTY)

Spanish Grand Prix 2020 LIVE

  • Lewis Hamilton leads for Mercedes
  • Valtteri Bottas now running third
  • Max Verstappen running second after fast start
  • Sebastian Vettel down in 11th for Ferrari

Lap 22: Verstappen pits. Bottas moves up to second. Verstappen comes out in front of Stroll and Perez. Sainz, Leclerc, Vettel, Ricciardo and Magnussen complete the top 10.

Lap 21: Hamilton now almost eight seconds ahead of Verstappen. The Dutchman is fuming and wants to pit.

Lap 20: “Tyres… there’s nothing left.” Sounds like Verstappen will be in the pits pretty soon. Ocon and Albon both pass Raikkonen to drop the Alfa Romeo down to 16th.

Lap 19: Hamilton grows the gap further. Bottas just over two seconds off Verstappen. Ocon is all over the back of Raikkonen in the fight for 14th.

Lap 18: Albon pits for the hard tyres. Will Verstappen follow suit when he eventually comes in? Albon drops to 16th.

Lap 17: Hamilton running a little under five seconds clear of Verstappen. The Red Bull man is struggling with the rear tyres now.

Spanish Grand Prix 2020

Spanish Grand Prix 2020: Lewis Hamilton put the hammer down in a bid to break free of Max Verstappen (Image: GETTY)

Lap 16: Magnussen, Raikkonen and Ocon running close together in the battle for 14th. That’s one to watch as the race goes on.

Lap 15: Mercedes tell Hamilton to keep building the gap to Verstappen. It’s a little over four seconds as the 15th lap comes to a close.

Lap 14: Hamilton’s grows the gap to Verstappen again. Bottas, meanwhile, is closing on the Red Bull talisman. Stroll and Perez still fourth and fifth.

Lap 13: Kvyat is piling the pressure on Vettel in the battle for 11th. The Ferrari driver is running five seconds a lap slower than leader Hamilton.

Lap 12: Hamilton’s picking up the pace and goes faster on his 12th lap. The gap is now almost three seconds.

Lap 11: Hamilton’s extended the gap to Verstappen to just shy of two seconds. Bottas is four seconds back from Verstappen.

Lap 10: Hamlton sets the fastest lap of the race so far. He’s 30 points clear at the top of the standings but eager to take every single one he can. It could be crucial as the campaign goes on.

Lap 9: Smart work from Mercedes here. He’s backing Verstappen up into Bottas. The Dutchman’s not best pleased about that as it’s stopping him getting the most from his car.

Lap 8: Albon is closing the gap on Stroll. The Red Bull driver’s had a solid weekend so far and could really do with a top-five finish here.

Lap 7: Hamilton leads from Verstappen and Bottas. Stroll and Perez running fourth and fifth. Albon, Sainz, Gasly, Leclerc and Norris complete the top 10.

Lap 6: Bottas in possession of the fastest lap as it stands. He’s clear of Stroll and looking to close the gap on Verstappen in second.

Lap 5: Bottas passes Stroll on the approach Turn One to move up to third. Verstappen is keeping Hamilton honest here and piling on the pressure.

Lap 4: Bottas tries to get past Stroll with DRS on the home straight but has no luck. Hamilton maintains the gap to Verstappen. Vettel still running down in 11th.

Lap 3: Hamilton, Verstappen, Stroll is your top three here, with Bottas closing on the Racing Point.

Lap 2: Giovinazzi and Latifi have swapped places after starting together on the back row. Hamilton is a second and a half clear of Verstappen at the front.

Lap 1: Hamilton gets off to a strong start as Verstappen and Stroll both pass Bottas. Perez is all over the back of the Finn, who runs in fourth. Norris has slipped back to tenth.

Spanish Grand Prix 2020

Spanish Grand Prix 2020: Lewis Hamilton led most of his rivals in a protest against racism (Image: GETTY)

LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!

2.13pm: The cars are back on the grid and the start of the race is in our sights. We’re in for a corker!

2.10pm: Hamilton leads the way on the formation lap. Remember, he’s going for a fourth win on the spin at the Circuit de Catalunya today.

2.05pm: Here’s your five-minute warning! We’re moments away from the start of the Spanish Grand Prix. 

2.02pm: Verstappen’s helmets on and he’s in the zone. He won on his Red Bull debut at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2016. Can he repeat that today?

1.59pm: Can Ricciardo get in the points today? He hopes so. “It will be hard for overtaking, but we’ll try,” said Ricciardo.

“It’s going to be hot, the tyres are going to have a workout and there could be some opportunities on strategy for the race. I’m still optimistic for points.”

1.57pm: Scorching temperatures on the starting grid as the drivers get set for the formation lap. Rosberg’s noticed Hamilton has a few worries about oversteer. That could turn up the heat on the pole-sitter.

1.55pm: Hamilton leads the F1 field in making a stand against racism on the Circuit de Catalunya grid. The Mercedes driver takes a knee, with long-time friend and rival Vettel, and Williams’ Latifi either side of him. The same seven drivers who have opted against making the symbolic gesture stand again as they back F1’s End Racism message.

Now it’s time for the Spanish national anthem and the anthem of Catalunya as we edge towards lights out!

1.52pm: One-stop? Two-stop? What strategy will the teams go for today? Track temperatures are about 10 degrees hotter than we’re used to in Spain and that’s going to have an impact on tyre degradation.

Verstappen doesn’t think it’ll be as tough as at Silverstone, where he made the most of Hamilton and Bottas’ tyre worries to win last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. The two Mercedes drivers certainly won’t have it all their own way, however.

1.50pm: Hamilton admits getting off to a strong start will be crucial to his hopes of a fifth Spanish Grand Prix win. “It’s a long way down to Turn One, it’s going to be a serious challenge today,” said the 35-year-old.

Hamilton famously bested Bottas on the 600m run down to the first corner last year to establish the lead which got him the win in the end. A reversal of that situation would sure make life interesting today, wouldn’t it?

Spanish Grand Prix 2020

Spanish Grand Prix 2020: Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel endured a tough time in qualifying (Image: GETTY)

1.45pm: AlphaTauri’s Gasly starts in the top 10 once again this weekend but he admits he’s not wholly satisfied with his performance in qualifying.

“Q3 was very tight and even if at the end I’m happy, inside myself I’m also a bit disappointed because you always feel like you could have done slightly better and maybe get a few more hundredths out of the car,” said Gasly.

“As for the race, it’s not going to be an easy one tomorrow, but I hope we can score a few points to catch up from the missed opportunity last week.”

1.40pm: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is eager for today’s Spanish Grand Prix to be a real spectacle with fans forced to tune in from home due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will take the momentum from last week’s win and try to use it to our advantage tomorrow as we look to keep the pressure on Mercedes and have a good fight with both cars,” said Horner.

“The high temperatures we’ve seen today look set to continue and Pirelli have said this will be one of the toughest races this season for the tyres, so hopefully we can give everyone at home a good on-track battle.”

1.35pm: Hamilton secured his 92nd pole position yesterday as he pipped team-mate Bottas in Q3. It ensured he’s the first driver to start on the front row 150 times in F1.

They’re not the only records Hamilton can take this weekend. Should he finish on the podium today, it’ll be his 156th top-three finishes in 256 starts – trumping the record he currently shares with Michael Schumacher by one.

1.32pm: We’ve got cars out on track for their reccy laps. Less than 40 minutes to go until lights out!

1.30pm: Raikkonen’s under no illusions as to what he needs to score his first points of the 2020 campaign today – pace. “We are moving in the right direction and we know what we have to do to be in the points tomorrow – be faster than the guys in front of us,” said Raikkonen.

The 2007 champion’s Alfa Romeo team-mate Giovinazzi, meanwhile, is prepared to give his all to make up for yesterday’s disappointment. “It will be difficult to recover a good result from P20, even with a good strategy, but we’ll give everything we have,” said Giovinazzi.

1.25pm: “What on earth are they doing all the way back here?” That’s Nico Rosberg’s damning view as Leclerc and Vettel gear up to start from ninth and 11th in Spain.

The Italians are third in the constructors’ standings and would have been a place lower if not for Racing Point’s 15-point penalty. What can Leclerc and Vettel do out there today?

Sporting director Laurent Mekies said: “It will be a difficult race with high temperatures giving the drivers, cars and tyres a hard time. In fact, tyre management will be one of the key factors, with several strategy options available. It will be up to us to make the best of it.

“In the last two races, we managed it and we’d like to do the same again. Our aim is for both our drivers to finish as high up the order as possible in the points, trying to defend our third place in the Constructors’ Championship, which has to be our minimum target for the season.”

Spanish Grand Prix 2020

Spanish Grand Prix 2020: Lewis Hamilton has started on pole five times at the Circuit de Catalunya (Image: GETTY)

1.20pm: Russell says Williams need to get to the bottom of what’s holding them back after he qualified down in 18th for today’s race.

“I was pretty pleased with the qualifying session, as we were a long way off our competitors in Free Practice,” said Russell. “I was happy with our performance step but nevertheless, we need to understand where our Saturday pace has gone.

“With these hot track conditions we are struggling to get the tyres in the right window. It’s a bit strange as on paper, this circuit should suit us better than the last two weekends at Silverstone. We need to look deep into it, understand where our good pace has gone, and rectify it.”

1.15pm: Bottas can give his title hopes a real boost with victory today and he says the drive behind his desire to do well has not changed since he was a youngster.

“For me I find the motivation is the goal that I have in my career and that dream and goal that I set to myself as a young kid so that gives me motivation, that keeps me pushing myself for more and yeah, when there’s tough times in the end, there’s always that same reason that gets me to get up and move and try to do things better,” said Bottas. “That’s producing it for me.”

1.10pm: Verstappen is keen to live up to his “favourite” tag and follow up last weekend’s victory at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

“Well, I felt very happy in the long run yesterday, with the balance of the car and the wear of the tyres as well,” said Verstappen.

“But yeah, tomorrow again, is a new day and we’ll have to try and show it again. Of course, I hope that I can be close to them and put the pressure on.”

1.05pm: Hamilton starts on the front row for the 150th time in his F1 career and he’s delighted Mercedes keep pushing to reach new heights.

“I don’t think we have plateaued at the top with the championships we have, we continuously get better each year, as people see,” said Hamilton.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that I am a chink in the chain, without realising that chink is not actually a good thing. I’m just another link in the big chain of so many people and I just try to play my part as best I can.”

WATCH THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX LIVE

1pm: Antonio Giovinazzi brings up the rear at the 50th Spanish Grand Prix. But it’s not all bad news for Alfa Romeo, after Kimi Raikkonen got out of Q1 and qualified in 14th at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Williams’ Nicholas Latifi joins Giovinazzi on the last row, with team-mate George Russell and Haas’ Romain Grosjean just ahead of him. Renault’s Esteban Ocon almost collided with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen during Free Practice 3 and they’re next to each other on the starting grid this afternoon.

Daniel Ricciardo will be disappointed to be joining Raikkonen on the seventh row. The Aussie endured a race-changing spin at last week’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and will be desperate to avoid a repeat of that incident, which he compared to some of Vettel’s recent woes.

Vettel was just two milliseconds off a place in Q3 and will line up next to AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat. Let’s see if that new Ferrari chassis can give him an edge in today’s race, which is the 30th F1 meet in Montmelo.

12.45pm: Hello and welcome to Express Sport‘s live coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix! Lewis Hamilton starts on pole for a fifth time at the Circuit de Catalunya and we’re in for a frenetic start to proceedings today.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas is banking on making it down to the first corner ahead of the Brit, while Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen will be desperate to pile on the pressure from the very start. Toto Wolff has branded Verstappen the “favourite” for victory thanks to his performance on the long runs on Friday.

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Racing Point will be represented by Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll following the Mexican’s return from his coronavirus lay-off. They qualified in fourth and fifth respectively, with Verstappen’s team-mate Alex Albon completing the third row next to the Canadian.

Home favourite Carlos Sainz starts from seventh on the grid, with McLaren co-star Lando Norris qualifying eighth. Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly round off the top 10, with Sebastian Vettel squeezed out in Q2 yesterday.

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