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Friday July 19, 2024

McLaren’s Norris on pole for Spanish Grand Prix

By AFP
June 23, 2024
McLaren driver Lando Norris. — AFP File
McLaren driver Lando Norris. — AFP File

BARCELONA: McLaren´s Lando Norris produced a spellbinding late lap to deprive Max Verstappen of pole for the Spanish Grand Prix in qualifying on Saturday.

Lewis Hamilton will start on the second row alongside his Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Verstappen looked nailed on to start Sunday´s 10th round of the season from the front of the grid.

But in the last throw of the top-10 shoot-out Norris denied the Red Bull ace by a mere two hundredths of a second.

"Today was the perfect lap," said Norris after only his second career pole.

"Max seemed a bit stronger, but we made some changes," added the Briton who won his maiden Grand Prix this season in Miami.

"I´m super happy to be on pole, it´s going to be tough but we´re here to win!"

Verstappen, targeting a fourth straight world title, leads the championship by 56 points from Charles Leclerc, who starts Sunday´s race in fifth, with Norris seven points back in third.

This is the 10th round of the 24-race season and the first of a triple header with Austria and Silverstone coming up over the next two weekends.

Verstappen won his maiden Grand Prix in Barcelona in 2016 and is on a hat-trick after wins in 2022 and 2023.