Formula 1

Verstappen Grabs Pole Position Ahead of Russell at the Belgian Grand Prix

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Credit: Peter Fox/Getty Images (RedBull Content Pool)

Max Verstappen clinched pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix in the twelfth race of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. In wet and treacherous conditions, the Dutchman grabbed the ninth pole of his career in the dying minutes of the session.

George Russell with a sensational lap took second position ahead of Lewis Hamilton in third position. It was a stellar result for the young Briton to start on the first row.

The qualifying session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium took place under wet and cold conditions with air temperatures at 14 degree C and track temperatures at 16 degree C.

The three compounds for this race are from the middle range of the Pirelli tyres – the white-striped hard tyres (C2), the yellow-striped medium tyres (C3) and the red-striped soft tyres (C4).

The start of the qualification was delayed by twelve minutes due to standing water on the track.

Q1: Giovinazzi and Tsunoda Eliminated

For the first installation lap all the drivers except the two Williams F1 drivers were on full wet tyres.

George Russell’s first flying lap was compromised as his team-mate Nicholas Latifi spun and brought out the yellow flags. But on their second lap, Russell and Latifi went to the top of the time charts on the intermediate tyres.

The other drivers pitted to take on the intermediate tyres for their next lap. Esteban Ocon then went to third position on the time charts behind the Williams duo.

The drivers scrambled to get in their laps before the rain came down again. Lando Norris topped the session ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Q1 dropzone: Antonio Giovinazzi, Yuki Tsunoda, Mick Schumacher, Kimi Räikkönen, Nikita Mazepin

Q2: Both Ferrari drivers knocked out

The second qualification session started with the drivers on the intermediate tyres and the threat of rain hanging over the circuit. Norris set the first timed lap with a 1m57.235s to go to the top of the time charts.

With six minutes to go, both the Mercedes drivers were in the drop zone and managed to move themselves into the top ten positions. But with two minutes to go, both Hamilton and Bottas were again in the drop zone.

Hamilton and Bottas in a last gasp effort took second and third position. Norris again topped the time charts. In the dying minutes of the session, Daniel Ricciardo and Ocon knocked out the two Ferrari drivers.

Q2 dropzone: Charles Leclerc, Nicholas Latifi, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll

Q3: Verstappen takes pole position

Norris was the first driver on the track which was very wet now. Vettel behind him told his pit wall that they should red flag the session as it was too dangerous.

Norris on his first timed lap crashed heavily at Eau Rouge and the session was red-flagged. The rain intensified and the drivers sat in their cars and waited for the resumption.

The session finally resumed at 16:45 local time with eight minutes and fifty-nine seconds left. In very wet conditions, the drivers were out on the intermediate tyres.

Hamilton took provisional pole position ahead of Verstappen by 0.973 seconds. But Russell with an outstanding lap took first position.

In the dying minutes of the session, Verstappen grabbed pole position from Russell in a sensational end to the wet qualification session.

Top 10: Max Verstappen, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly, Sergio Pérez, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris

2021 Belgian Grand Prix:Qualification Results:

133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:58.7171:56.5591:59.76520
263George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:59.8641:56.9502:00.08624
344Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:59.2181:56.2292:00.09922
43Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team2:01.5831:57.1272:00.86422
55Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team2:00.1751:56.8142:00.93523
610Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda2:00.3871:56.4402:01.16423
711Sergio PerezMEXRed Bull Racing1:59.3341:56.8862:02.11222
877Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:59.8701:56.2952:02.50222
931Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team2:01.8241:57.3542:03.51323
104Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:58.3011:56.025DNF19
1116Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari2:00.7281:57.72116
126Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing2:00.9661:58.05617
1355Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari2:01.1841:58.13715
1414Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team2:01.6531:58.20516
1518Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team2:01.5971:58.23116
1699Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN2:02.3069
1722Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda2:02.4139
1847Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team2:03.9739
197Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN2:04.4529
209Nikita MazepinRAFUralkali Haas F1 Team2:04.9398

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