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How Lando Norris grabbed pole from Max Verstappen at F1 Spanish Grand Prix


Saturday’s qualifying session on the Method 1 Spanish Grand Prix delivered one of many extra thrilling hours in latest reminiscence. A back-and-forth combat for pole place noticed Max Verstappen put his RB20 on provisional pole within the closing seconds of Q3, however Lando Norris snatched P1 from his pal on the demise, capturing pole place by simply two-hundredths of a second.

How did Norris pull off the win, and what may Saturday’s outcomes inform us about Sunday?

Let’s dive into the info a bit, because of our pals at F1-Tempo. First we will take a look at the “observe dominance” map, highlighting the place every automobile was sooner on their closing laps in Q3. As you may anticipate given latest historical past, the RB20 was sooner on the straights — notably the lengthy straight popping out of Flip 14 and again to the beginning/end line — whereas the MCL38 was faster by a few of the corners:

As you possibly can see Norris — highlighted within the orange — was faster notably in Sector 1, which incorporates the preliminary chicane popping out of the lengthy straight in addition to the sweeping nook popping out of Flip 3 and heading into Repsol at Flip 4.

However on the straighter parts of the observe, and the lengthy straight itself, Verstappen was sooner.

Verstappen additionally posted the very best velocity on that lengthy straight, a mark of 329 kilometers per hour. As you possibly can see on this subsequent picture, that got here close to the tip of the straight, heading into Flip 1. By comparability, Norris was 5 kph slower at that time:

Wanting on the delta between the 2 automobiles at that time, Verstappen had an edge on the lap of 0.054 seconds per Norris at that time, popping out of that lengthy straight:

Then because the automobiles hit Flip 1, Verstappen’s benefit was as much as 0.125 seconds:

However as you possibly can see from that above graph, Norris then constructed a lead as Sector 1 got here to an in depth and Sector 2 started, and he held that lead all through the remainder of the lap, warding off a late problem from Verstappen popping out of Flip 14 and again to the beginning/end line (extra on that in a second).

Norris constructed that lead by Turns 3, 4, and 5. As you possibly can see from the preliminary “observe dominance” map, Norris was faster from Flip 3 into Flip 4, and whereas Verstappen had an edge from Flip 4 into Flip 5, Norris constructed a lead he wouldn’t give again. Actually, by the point each automobiles got here out of Flip 5 Norris had gone from being 0.125 seconds down at one level, to being up 0.167 seconds on his pal and rival:

And for those who take a look at the whole delta graph, whereas Verstappen was in a position to. shut that hole over the remainder of the lap, he couldn’t make up the distinction.

Nonetheless, there’s something to notice concerning the ultimate flip, Flip 14, as alluded to above. Check out the throttle knowledge for that closing flip:

As you possibly can see, whereas Norris lifted only a bit heading into Flip 14, Verstappen was in a position to maintain the hammer down by the ultimate flip, giving him an enormous run of momentum into the lengthy straight and again to the beginning/end line.

That has led to some believing that Verstappen is primed for a fair greater Sunday:

Might Flip 14 be the distinction tomorrow?

We are going to know quickly sufficient.



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