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F1 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen takes pole at Spa, Russell stars

Max Verstappen took pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, as McLaren’s Lando Norris crashed heavily in Q3 after topping the opening sessions and Williams's George Russell starred to grab second place on the grid.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Verstappen will start ahead of Russell and world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes after the one-hour qualifying session, which was twice delayed due to rain and to clear away Norris's wrecked car.

Belgian Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole from Russell

Cla Driver Time Gap km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 1'59.765   210.532
2 United Kingdom George Russell 2'00.086 0.321 209.969
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 2'00.099 0.334 209.946
4 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 2'00.864 1.099 208.617
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel 2'00.935 1.170 208.495
6 France Pierre Gasly 2'01.164 1.399 208.101
7 Mexico Sergio Perez 2'02.112 2.347 206.485
8 France Esteban Ocon 2'03.513 3.748 204.143
9 United Kingdom Lando Norris      
10 Monaco Charles Leclerc 1'57.721   214.187
11 Canada Nicholas Latifi 1'58.056   213.579
12 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 1'58.137   213.433
13 Finland Valtteri Bottas 2'02.502 2.737 205.828
14 Spain Fernando Alonso 1'58.205   213.310
15 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 2'02.306 2.541 206.158
16 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 2'02.413 2.648 205.978
17 Germany Mick Schumacher 2'03.973 4.208 203.386
18 Finland Kimi Raikkonen 2'04.452 4.687 202.603
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin 2'04.939 5.174 201.813
20 Canada Lance Stroll 1'58.231   213.263

What happened in Q1?

After a short delay due to heavy rain and standing water, the session began on a wet track surface. In the opening moments, Hamilton and Bottas both ran wide at Bruxelles on wet tyres as Williams’s Russell set the pace on intermediates. His team-mate Latifi spun at Fagnes on his first flying lap (also on intermediates) but then got to within 0.6s of Russell for P2.

That sent the wet-shod majority into the pits for inters. Pole position then switched hands relentlessly with Sainz, Perez, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Russell (again), Verstappen, Norris all taking turns in P1.

In the closing moments, Norris’s 1m58.776s was the target – and was momentarily toppled by Verstappen’s 1m58.717s but Norris grabbed it back with 1m58.301s.

Falling at the first hurdle were Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, Mick Schumacher (Haas), Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa) and Nikita Mazepin (Haas).

Belgian Grand Prix Q1 results: Norris fastest from Verstappen

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 9 1'58.301     213.137
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 8 1'58.717 0.416 0.416 212.390
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 8 1'59.218 0.917 0.501 211.498
4 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 9 1'59.334 1.033 0.116 211.292
5 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 9 1'59.864 1.563 0.530 210.358
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 8 1'59.870 1.569 0.006 210.347
7 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 9 2'00.175 1.874 0.305 209.814
8 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 9 2'00.387 2.086 0.212 209.444
9 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 8 2'00.728 2.427 0.341 208.852
10 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 9 2'00.966 2.665 0.238 208.442
11 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 8 2'01.184 2.883 0.218 208.067
12 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 8 2'01.583 3.282 0.399 207.384
13 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 9 2'01.597 3.296 0.014 207.360
14 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 8 2'01.653 3.352 0.056 207.264
15 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 8 2'01.824 3.523 0.171 206.973
16 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 9 2'02.306 4.005 0.482 206.158
17 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 9 2'02.413 4.112 0.107 205.978
18 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 9 2'03.973 5.672 1.560 203.386
19 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 9 2'04.452 6.151 0.479 202.603
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 8 2'04.939 6.638 0.487 201.813

What happened in Q2?

In Q2, the track was slowly drying out but more rain was forecast. Mercedes started on used intermediates, but quickly bailed out on that idea and joined the rest on fresh inters after one lap.

Norris again set the initial pace, at 1m57.235s, but Verstappen took over the top spot with 1m56.559s. The Mercedes duo were struggling to make the cutoff and were forced into using a third set of inters.

In the closing moments, Norris took P1 on a new set of inters with 1m56.025s, two tenths ahead of Hamilton and Bottas. "That was way too close, guys," said Hamilton.

Knocked out at this point were Leclerc, Latifi, Sainz, Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Stroll (Aston Martin) – who will start last due to his five-place grid penalty from the Hungarian GP.

Belgian Grand Prix Q2 results: Norris fastest from Hamilton

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 8 1'56.025     217.318
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 8 1'56.229 0.204 0.204 216.937
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 8 1'56.295 0.270 0.066 216.814
4 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 8 1'56.440 0.415 0.145 216.544
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 1'56.559 0.534 0.119 216.323
6 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 7 1'56.814 0.789 0.255 215.850
7 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 7 1'56.886 0.861 0.072 215.717
8 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 8 1'56.950 0.925 0.064 215.599
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 8 1'57.127 1.102 0.177 215.274
10 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 8 1'57.354 1.329 0.227 214.857
11 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 8 1'57.721 1.696 0.367 214.187
12 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 8 1'58.056 2.031 0.335 213.579
13 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 7 1'58.137 2.112 0.081 213.433
14 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 8 1'58.205 2.180 0.068 213.310
15 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 7 1'58.231 2.206 0.026 213.263

What happened in Q3?

Before the top-10 shootout, the heavens opened once more so the track was fully wet again – sending teams scrambling for full wets. Both Norris and Vettel, who went out first, complained of “aquaplaning” and “too much water” respectively – with Vettel requesting a red flag moments before Norris crashed heavily at Eau Rouge.

After a lengthy delay to retrieve the wreckage and wait for weather conditions to improve, Q3 resumed with eight minutes remaining. Most drivers went out on intermediates, with Ocon and Russell on wets pitting immediately coming in to join them.

Hamilton set the benchmark at 2m01.552s, 0.5s ahead of Perez, 0.9s faster than Verstappen and 1.5s clear of Bottas.

On the final run, Russell produced a stunning lap of 2m00.086s, with Hamilton slower 0.013s. Verstappen then unleashed his 1m59.765s, 0.321s clear of Russell. Hamilton qualified third, ahead of Ricciardo, Vettel, Gasly, Perez, Bottas and Ocon.

Bottas has a five-place grid penalty, which drops him to 13th.

Belgian Grand Prix Q3 results: Verstappen takes pole, Norris crashes

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 1'59.765     210.532
2 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 7 2'00.086 0.321 0.321 209.969
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 2'00.099 0.334 0.013 209.946
4 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 6 2'00.864 1.099 0.765 208.617
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 7 2'00.935 1.170 0.071 208.495
6 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 6 2'01.164 1.399 0.229 208.101
7 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 6 2'02.112 2.347 0.948 206.485
8 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 6 2'02.502 2.737 0.390 205.828
9 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 7 2'03.513 3.748 1.011 204.143
10 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 2        

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