(Montmeló) Dutchman Max Verstappen guided his Red Bull to the lead position for the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix, ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. on Saturday.

Double reigning world champion and leader of the drivers’ standings in 2023, Verstappen collected his fourth leading position of the season, in seven races.

Sainz Jr. managed to propel his Ferrari into the front row, ahead of Lando Norris’ McLaren.

At the wheel of his Aston Martin, Quebecer Lance Stroll will start from sixth position on Sunday, behind Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).

Elsewhere, his team-mate and local favorite Fernando Alonso will start from ninth position after he damaged the underside of his car when it rolled through the gravel.

Sergio Perez, a two-race winner in 2023 and Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate, also struggled and will start from 11th.

A year after claiming the lead in Spain, Charles Leclerc will take 19th place on the starting grid on Sunday, after his Ferrari was disconcertingly slow.

Trouble also marked the day for George Russell, who will start from 12th place, directly behind Perez. Russell complained in particular about his Mercedes bouncing and mentioned that he had no confidence in his tires.

Verstappen and Perez swept the honors of the first six races on the calendar. In the drivers’ championship, Verstappen holds a lead of 39 points over Perez and 51 points over Alonso.

The rain that fell during the third free practice session earlier on Saturday left wet tracks that dragged several cars into the gravel at the start of the qualifying session.

The race will be presented on Sunday.