Max Verstappen dominates Belgian GP qualifying as Hamilton misses big chance

F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen finished a staggering eight-tenths clear of his nearest challenger in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix. However, the Red Bull star accepting a five-place grid penalty means it’s Charles Leclerc who will start Sunday’s race on pole, with Lewis Hamilton missing a golden chance to notch a second qualifying triumph on the trot.

Hamilton may have fancied his chances coming into the race weekend. The Brit clinched pole position in Hungary last time out, and with four career victories, he is the most successful driver among the current crop around Spa Francorchamps.

He and his fellow F1 competitors were initially kept waiting as organisers delayed the start of qualifying by 10 minutes to let the track dry out as much as possible. Once underway, Leclerc set the pace in a damp Q1, with Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon the biggest casualties to fall early on.

Oscar Piastri impressed by sitting top of the leaderboard at the end of the second qualifying session, which finally saw intermediates give way to soft-compound tyres.

Don’t miss… George Russell calls for Belgian Grand Prix to be cancelled after driver death

And there was a very nervy moment for Verstappen, whose decision to take a new gearbox will see him start Sunday’s main event in P6, as he narrowly squeaked through to Q3 in 10th place, sparking a fiery row over the team radio.

In predictable fashion, the Dutchman came good when it mattered. A blistering final flying lap saw him shoot up to the top of the pile, finishing almost a second clear of Leclerc and Sergio Perez. However, the penalty means that Verstappen’s dominance counts for little as Perez and Leclerc will share the front row.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info


1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – five-place grid penalty.

2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

6. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

7. Lando Norris (McLaren)

8. George Russell (Mercedes)

9. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

11. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)

12. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

13. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

14. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

15. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

16. Alex Albon (Williams)

17. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)

18. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

19. Daniel Ricciardo (Alpha Tauri)

20. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

Source: Read Full Article