Lewis Hamilton snatches Spanish GP pole, Daniel Ricciardo qualifies sixth

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Lewis Hamilton took a dominant victory in the Spanish Grand Prix as he led home a Mercedes one-two while Ferrari dropped points.

Shame. It's been a fun ride.

The Drive inquired as to what factors propelled Kubica ahead of his teammates in practice, but a team spokesperson declined to comment, pointing out discrepancies in track temperatures and practice programs.

Far from the Mercedes' dominance, which the sport has become accustomed to in recent years, it is Vettel's Ferrari team which have boasted the most complete package this term.

It marked the third successive race in a row in which Vettel has failed to mount the podium, having started the year with back-to-back wins, and he now trails race victor Lewis Hamilton by 17 points in the standings.

Hulkenberg was the surprise casualty of the opening qualifying session.

The field ran behind the Safety Car until the race re-started on lap seven, the champion bolting clear to build a lead while Bottas closed up to challenge Vettel for second. The defending four-time world champion dominated from start to finish, save for a spell during the mid-race pit-stops and clocked a series of record laps as he registered his second successive win. Instead, he remains winless, and sits fourth in the drivers' standings.

The Mercedes driver was supreme at the front in a race that featured a heavy first-lap crash, two caution periods and a number of spins and collisions. Renault's Nico H├╝lkenberg was in 16th and Sauber's Marcus Ericsson in 17th.

In Q2, the Big 3 teams all set their lap times on soft tires, thus ensuring that they were all starting on the same tires. "Going from the Strategy Group where no one supported it to a week later a couple of big teams supporting it, it was wonderful". What is important is where you are at the end of the year. Kid by the name of Lance Stroll.

"I chipped away at my lap time by a few hundredths but it wasn't enough", Ricciardo said. These folks like their i's dotted and t's crossed. "I don't know why they worked in Australia and they haven't worked ever since". They don't do well with precious bodywork flying through the air. This is the track teams and drivers know best.

Kimi Raikkonen has described qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix as less than "straightforward" after struggling with the tyres.

The rear of his vehicle was destroyed by the high-speed impact, both rear wheels and the rear of the gearbox were left hanging by their tethers, but Hartley was unhurt, if severely dazed. And with familiarity comes consistency. The latter scored his last F1 victory in Spain five years ago and heads into the weekend fresh from having won on his World Endurance Championship debut for Toyota last Sunday in Spa.

And make no mistake - qualifying performance is crucial in Barcelona.

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