Lewis Hamilton takes Spanish GP pole position ahead of Valtteri Bottas

Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MONTMELO, Spain — Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton secured a record-extending 92nd pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix, nudging Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas into second place by just 0.059 seconds on Saturday.

Bottas was ahead of championship leader Hamilton on the first two splits but lost a fraction of time when he came out too wide from a turn at the end of his lap.

“All day today I’ve been struggling a bit in (that) sector,” Bottas said after missing out on a 14th career pole. “Of course it is annoying but Lewis did a good job.”

The winding 4.7-kilometer ( 2.9-mile) Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with its combination of slow and fast corners, is one of the hardest for overtaking. This gives Hamilton every chance of claiming an 88th F1 victory that would move him within three of Michael Schumacher’s record.

As usual, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who won last week at Silverstone, looked the only driver capable of staying with the Mercedes and he qualified in third place – .708 seconds behind Hamilton.

“It is the maximum we can do at the moment, so pretty happy with that,” Verstappen said. “I hope I can apply a bit of pressure (in the race). It is very hard to overtake here, but we will do everything we can to be close to them and make it difficult.”

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who missed the last two races as he recovered from the coronavirus, was fourth ahead of teammate Lance Stroll.

It was another bad day for Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc ninth and Sebastian Vettel a dismal 11th, despite having a new chassis fitted. Four-time champion Vettel is enduring his worst start to a season since 2008 and has yet to finish in the top five of a race.

Track temperatures on the circuit reached 50 degrees C (122 F) when qualifying started shortly after 3 p.m. local time.

“It would be nice to have an ice cream in here,” Stroll joked over team radio.

Renault driver Esteban Ocon took part despite a heavy crash near the end of morning practice, where Hamilton was fastest ahead of Bottas and Verstappen. Mercedes also led practice on Friday with Bottas and Hamilton swapping places and Verstappen twice third.

Ocon went off the track when he had to swerve suddenly to the right to avoid crashing into the back of Kevin Magnussen, who hit the brakes late. He went into the wall and damaged the front of his Renault, bringing a red flag out to stop the session and giving the team just two hours to repair the car. Stewards investigated the incident and took no further action.

“The guys did a great job to get the car ready,” Ocon said.

The French driver made it through the first part of qualifying, known as Q1, where five are eliminated. They included both Haas and both Williams cars.

Verstappen won last Sunday’s race at Silverstone to end a streak of three wins for Hamilton and four straight for Mercedes. It also moved the Dutch driver up to second place in the standings behind Hamilton, with Bottas dropping to third.

Hamilton has won the last three Spanish GPs, although those were held in May in lower temperatures not so tough on tires.

“It’s the first time I’ve been here in Barcelona when it’s been this hot. Physically it’s tough, it’s so fast around here,” the veteran British driver said. “The forces to our body are pretty intense and the tires are what we are really struggling with. You see drivers crawling around just to keep the temperature out.”

Saturday’s Supercross Round 5 in Houston: How to watch, start times, streaming info

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The championship race has tightened up as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, for Round 5 of the 2023 season.

With his 450 victory in the Anaheim Triple Crown, Chase Sexton has moved within four points of two-time and defending series champion Eli Tomac.

Jason Anderson is coming off a second place in Anaheim after crashing out of the first two rounds while racing in the top five. Ken Roczen earned his first podium last week since the 2022 season opener and the first for Suzuki since Chad Reed at Detroit in 2019.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 5 of the 2023 Supercross schedule at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023:


(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 5 will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock and will re-air Monday, Feb. 6 at 1 a.m. on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 2:30 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race.

ENTRY LISTS: 450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET):

Here are the start times for Saturday, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

2:05-2:15 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 1
2:20-2:30 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
2:35-2:45 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
2:50-3 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
3:05-3:15 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
3:20-3:30 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 1
4:20-4:30 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 2
4:35-4:45 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
4:50-5 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:05-5:15 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:20-5:30 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
5:35-5:45 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 2
8:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
8:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
8:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
8:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
9:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:33 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:53 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
10:27 p.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUT:

Click here to view the track map

HOW TO WATCH SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IN 2023Full NBC Sports, Peacock schedule

FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


2023 SEASON RECAPS

ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Oakland postponed by storms

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown


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