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British drivers dazzle as Max Verstappen denied pole for Spanish Grand Prix

Brits dazzle as Verstappen denied pole for Spanish Grand Prix
© Reuters
Championship leader Max Verstappen will start Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix in second place as a number of British drivers impress in qualifying.

Max Verstappen was dramatically denied pole position for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after Lando Norris pipped him during the final seconds of Q3.

The Championship leader had been bidding to return to pole for the first time in three races with some of the field beginning of find something extra.

For the most part of Saturday's qualifying in Barcelona, Verstappen was dominant, with the Dutchman improving 0.270 seconds on his first time during the latter stages.

However, Norris pulled something sensational out of the bag, beating Verstappen by just 0.020 seconds in sealing his first pole of the campaign.

Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were separated by just 0.002 seconds on the second row, no more than 0.033 seconds ahead of the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and home favourite Carlos Sainz Jr.

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly was an excellent seventh, less than half a second adrift of Norris, with Fernando Alonso sandwiched between the Frenchman and Esteban Ocon.

Oscar Piastri - Norris's teammate - had been on a hot final lap, only to lose the car on the final corner and have to settle for 10th place.

Spanish legend Fernando Alonso missed out on making it into Q3 by just 0.045 seconds.

'It was the perfect lap'

Norris acknowledged afterwards that his final lap had been "pretty much" faultless, saying: "It was pretty much a perfect lap, when you are on a good lap and getting excited but the whole thing went perfectly in the end.

"It was close but super happy, it was my best pole position, I've not had many. We've been close all weekend but really this was about a perfect lap and that is what I did today.

"It was cool, the fans and my supporters here are amazing so a big thanks to everyone cheering me on."

Norris heads into Sunday's showpiece trailing Verstappen by 63 points in the Drivers' Rankings.

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