Bottas gets third straight pole for dominant Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas continued his stunning start to the Formula 1® season with a third consecutive pole as Mercedes dominated at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Bottas leads the drivers' championship by a point from defending champion and team-mate Lewis Hamilton after four one-twos on the bounce for the rampant Silver Arrows.

And there was no let-up in their performance in Barcelona as he went fastest in Q3 on Saturday with a track record of one minute, 15.406 seconds.

Hamilton came through behind him and Mercedes are incredibly in position to take the top two steps of the podium once again on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel will start third and be joined on the second row by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, with Charles Leclerc over a second off the pace in fifth.

Bottas ran quickest in both of Friday's practice sessions and, although a spin contributed to a third-place finish in FP3, he was on top again in Q1.

The Finn led Hamilton by 0.634secs after their first tilt in Q3 and that was enough for pole, with neither Mercedes star able to improve on a blistering initial time.

"On my side, I just didn't put the laps together," said Hamilton.

Vettel held onto third as Max Verstappen and Leclerc failed to dethrone Ferrari's senior man, all three falling some way short of challenging the Silver Arrows for the front row.

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:15.406secs
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.634s
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +0.866s
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.951s
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1.182s
6. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +1.302s
7. Romain Grosjean (Haas) +1.505s
8. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +1.516s
9. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +2.167s
10. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +2.700s

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