Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s race from pole position ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, while British driver Lando Norris takes an impressive third place for McLaren.
Hamilton finishes fourth despite a bizarre encounter with Russell, who qualified 12th, on the main straight at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
With both Mercedes men starting their hot laps in the closing moments of Q2, Hamilton moved left and out of Russell’s tow to set the racing line for the first right turn.
But the seven-time world champion was forced onto the pitch after Russell, who was busy with Sainz in front of him, shut the door.
Hamilton kicked up debris from the grass while his front right wing endplate flew off after contact with Russell.
“George just backed off,” Hamilton said over the radio. “It’s really dangerous. He drove to the left. The car could be damaged.”
Although Hamilton’s time was good enough to advance into Q3 and hobble back to the pits for repairs, Russell retired.
“They didn’t tell me there was a car behind it,” Russell said. “I don’t know what the hell was going on in that session. The car bounced. I couldn’t get my tires to run.”
Both Mercedes drivers were summoned to the stewards to explain their version of events.
Russell was taken off the hook with a formal warning after he was accused of not checking his mirrors.
Hamilton, 38, announced he had come to terms with Russell, 25, after he tried to draw a line under their first meeting as teammates.
“It was just a misunderstanding,” said Hamilton, who qualified fifth but moved up a place after Pierre Gasly was penalized for a blockage in qualifying. “I spoke to George. I went and shook his hand and that was it.”
The Mercedes drivers were closer to the track than desired after Russell abandoned his previous lap.
“Lewis wasn’t aware that I was going to start a fast lap,” said Russell. “I looked ahead to get the slipstream from Sainz.
“It wasn’t necessarily something either driver did wrong, but it shouldn’t have happened within the team and communication with us should have been better.”
Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – on Saturday as a Sky Sports pundit in the paddock – collided here on the first lap at the height of their acrimonious relationship in 2016.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff threatened Hamilton and Rosberg with a ban if they clashed again.
And the Austrian was asked if Saturday’s qualifying collision between his current drivers brought back memories of the race in Spain seven years ago.
“No, they weren’t shades of 2016,” he said with a crooked smile. “I wish we were in the 2016 situation where we are that fast.
“But it wasn’t supposed to happen. Team-mates should never collide – and you should never collide with another car in qualifying.”
“Lewis saw it as his last chance and didn’t think George was on that line. It looks silly but it wasn’t, it was just a miscommunication.”
“This is a team effort and we need to review our communications to avoid this happening in the future.”
With Mercedes tripping over each other, Verstappen, who finished four tenths ahead of Sainz, will be the favorite to convert pole into his fifth win from seven races this year.
Verstappen is 39 points clear of Sergio Perez in the standings, but his Red Bull team-mate only started in 11th place after falling off the road.
It was also a forgettable qualifying session for Charles Leclerc as he was only able to finish 19th out of 20 runners. Home favorite Fernando Alonso starts from ninth place.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/formula-one/f1-lewis-hamilton-george-russell-spanish-grand-prix-b1085431.html Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton accuses George Russell of “dangerous” driving after qualifying collision