Penalties didn’t stop him from driving fast. Already very fast during the last two free practice sessions, Max Verstappen confirmed in the greyness and freshness of Spa-Francorchamps by setting the symbolic best time of these qualifications in 1’43”665. But the Dutchman will indeed start from 15th place on the starting grid on Sunday for having changed parts in the engine and gearbox. Also penalized for the same reasons, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) will start in 16th position. Enough to animate the peloton as soon as the lights go out.
The lucky winner of these qualifications is therefore Carlos Sainz who is propelled into pole position after setting the 2nd fastest time in Q3 at 0”632 from Max Verstappen. ” Frustrated and pissed off with the gap with Max (Verstappen) », the Spaniard is nevertheless ahead of the other Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, still very close to the Ferrari driver during these qualifications.
Gasly in the top 10, Ocon at the back of the grid
On the second row on the grid, we will find the veteran Fernando Alonso who also benefits from the numerous penalties inflicted on his opponents. At the wheel of his Alpine, the 41-year-old Spaniard will start from 3rd place just ahead of the two Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton (4th) and George Russell (5th). In great difficulty since Friday, the two British drivers offer themselves an almost unexpected opportunity to fight for a place on the podium, or even victory.
On the French side, Esteban Ocon may regret the penalties since the Alpine driver set the 5th fastest time in Q3 behind the Red Bull-Ferrari duo, 1”515 from Max Verstappen. He would start in 17th place on the grid. Reverse fortune for Pierre Gasly who, eliminated in Q2, will start from 8th place alongside Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren).