Leclerc will start ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.
Spanish Grand Prix qualifying results: Leclerc on pole from Verstappen
What happened in Spanish Grand Prix Q1?
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez set the early pace at 1m20.447s and then gave a slipstream to Verstappen as he opened his lap, the world champion producing a 1m20.091s.
Sainz took P1 with 1m19.892s but was quickly beaten by Leclerc on 1m19.861s. Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took fourth and fifth respectively.
Kevin Magnussen jumped up to an impressive fifth on his final lap for Haas, ahead of Hamilton. Perez dropped to eighth, behind Valtteri Bottas’s Alfa Romeo, and then went off at Turn 7 on an attempted second push lap.
Falling at the first hurdle were Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin – missing the cut by 0.074s), Fernando Alonso (who suffered a disastrous out lap that mired his Alpine in traffic), Lance Stroll (Aston) and the Williams duo of Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi.
Spanish Grand Prix Q1 results: Leclerc fastest from Sainz
What happened in Spanish Grand Prix Q2?
Hamilton set the bar at 1m19.794s but was quickly topped by Russell’s 1m19.470s, while their rivals ran used tyres early on.
On his final lap, Sainz took P1 with 1m19.453s, 0.017s faster than Russell who, like Hamilton and Leclerc (who slipped to seventh), didn’t run again.
Verstappen wasn’t to be denied, however, and unleashed 1m19.291s on his new-tyre run, 0.234s clear of the pack. Magnussen took fifth again, ahead of Perez.
Knocked out at this point were McLaren’s Lando Norris, who had his fastest time deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 12, Esteban Ocon (Alpine), the AlphaTauris of Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo).
Spanish Grand Prix Q2 results: Verstappen fastest from Sainz
What happened in Spanish Grand Prix Q3?
On the first runs, Hamilton set the early pace at 1m19.664s, which was beaten by Sainz at 1m19.423s and then Verstappen on an impressive 1m19.073s. Meantime, Leclerc spun on his first lap at the final chicane.
Perez took P3, four tenths off the pace, ahead of Russell, Hamilton and Bottas – with practice dominator Leclerc failing to set a time at this point.
On the final runs, Leclerc leapt to pole on a sensational 1m18.750s as Verstappen reported “no power” and was forced to abort his last attempt. After the session, team boss Christian Horner said it was a DRS issue that affected Verstappen.
Sainz took third behind Verstappen on 1m19.166s, despite a poor first sector. Russell took fourth with 1m19.393s, ahead of Perez, Hamilton, Bottas, Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and Mick Schumacher (Haas).