BARCELONA. Spain – Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 Spanish F1 GP qualifying was affected by a battery problem according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
The English ace qualified second on the grid behind team mate Valtteri Bottas after earlier leading in the lap times.
Championship leader (by one point) Bottas beat the Briton by 0.634sec. Wolff expained to Reuters: “In quali two, on the second lap, there was a yellow (flag) and he aborted the lap and pitted. Normally you need a cool-down lap to recharge the battery – that’s why he ended up in the garage with a battery that wasn’t full.”
Wolff added that Hamilton was then sent out early in the final phase ”which put him on the wrong foot” because he caught slower cars which had just left the pits when it came to doing his flying lap.
“That obviously compromised his lap massively.”
Nevertheless, Hamilton and Bottas secured the front row for today’s GP; they’ve had 1-2 finishes in the first four races of the season and look likely to make it five today.
Bottas is a point ahead of Hamilton in the championship thanks to a fastest lap in Australia.
Provisional starting grid
POS DRIVER CAR TIME
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m15.406
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.040
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m16.272
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m16.357
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m16.588
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1m16.708
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m16.911
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m16.922
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1m17.573
10 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m17.338
11 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1m17.445
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1m17.599
13 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m18.106
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m17.788
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m17.886
16 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m18.404
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m18.471
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m18.664
19 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m20.254
20 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1m19.072