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Belgian GP: Charles Leclerc expects ‘tough’ race from pole as Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton eye progress

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Charles Leclerc will begin Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix from pole place; Max Verstappen topped Qualifying however begins sixth after a grid-penalty; Lewis Hamilton begins third for Mercedes; watch the race stay on Sky Sports activities F1 at 2pm on Sunday, with build-up from 12:30pm

Final Up to date: 29/07/23 8:27pm


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Charles Leclerc mentioned it ‘feels good’ to be in pole place on Sunday after Max Verstappen’s penalty however believes it is going to be tough to maintain his Ferrari within the lead.

Charles Leclerc mentioned it ‘feels good’ to be in pole place on Sunday after Max Verstappen’s penalty however believes it is going to be tough to maintain his Ferrari within the lead.

Pole-sitter Charles Leclerc says Ferrari have a “good probability of an amazing consequence” in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix however admits he’s “not assured” of holding off the Purple Bulls behind him.

Leclerc inherited pole place after ending second in Friday’s Qualifying as a result of Max Verstappen, who topped the timesheet, incurred a five-place grid penalty after exceeding his gearbox half allowance for the season.

Having taken victory in Saturday’s Dash to increase his world championship result in 118 factors, Verstappen will begin as favorite on Sunday regardless of his place of sixth on the grid.

Leclerc, who has endured a tricky first half of the season after being Verstappen’s nearest challenger final 12 months, is in search of a primary win and only a third podium of his marketing campaign.

Requested about his probabilities of victory, Leclerc mentioned: “Not assured, particularly with two Purple Bull guys proper behind.

Sky Sports' Anthony Davidson compares the difference between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on their qualifying laps at the Belgian Grand Prix.

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Sky Sports activities’ Anthony Davidson compares the distinction between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on their qualifying laps on the Belgian Grand Prix.

Sky Sports activities’ Anthony Davidson compares the distinction between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on their qualifying laps on the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I believe they have a significantly better race automotive than we have now.

“It is nice to be beginning first and I believe it provides us an excellent probability to have an amazing consequence, however to say that we’ll goal the win, I believe might be a bit too optimistic.

“If there’s a chance for no matter motive, as all the time I will attempt to get it, however I consider it’ll be tough to attempt to hold these guys behind.”

Verstappen assured of repeating 2022 heroics

Verstappen is looking for to turn out to be simply the second driver in F1 historical past to win eight successive races, whereas Purple Bull can declare a record-extending thirteenth consecutive Grand Prix triumph.

It was round this level final season the place Verstappen started to exhibit a dominance that he has nearly completely maintained since, with an announcement win coming at Spa final 12 months as he gained with ease from 14th on the grid.

See how Max Verstappen climbed up the leaderboard from middle of the pack to end up winning the 2022 Belgian GP.

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See how Max Verstappen climbed up the leaderboard from center of the pack to finish up successful the 2022 Belgian GP.

See how Max Verstappen climbed up the leaderboard from center of the pack to finish up successful the 2022 Belgian GP.

Whereas the Dutchman has by no means gained from sixth on the grid, he’s unsurprisingly assured of adjusting that.

Verstappen mentioned. “Final 12 months we began 14th and I believe this 12 months the automotive is best, so I am nonetheless focusing on to win the race for positive.”

Reflecting on his Dash victory, Verstappen added: “The automotive was fast. We knew already over one lap that we weren’t unhealthy, but additionally it appeared like within the race we have been fairly good on conserving the tyres alive. So hopefully we will do the identical tomorrow if it is dry.

Max Verstappen eases home to win the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint by almost 6.5 seconds.

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Max Verstappen eases house to win the Belgian Grand Prix Dash by nearly 6.5 seconds.

Max Verstappen eases house to win the Belgian Grand Prix Dash by nearly 6.5 seconds.

“However tomorrow after all I am beginning a bit additional again. I have to be cautious to not have any injury on the automotive.

“As quickly as I simply have a clear lap one, I believe from there onwards we will transfer ahead.”

Hamilton hoping to ‘battle’ Leclerc, Perez

Lewis Hamilton, who has displayed encouraging tempo in his upgraded Mercedes all through the weekend, was one other beneficiary of Verstappen’s demotion and can begin from third behind the opposite Purple Bull of Sergio Perez.

Whereas the near-constantly altering circumstances at Spa have made it tough to evaluate the true dry tempo of any workforce, Hamilton has been extremely aggressive.

Lewis Hamilton believes his collision with Sergio Perez was 'a bit of a racing incident' while Perez claims Hamilton 'took the whole right-hand side' of his car off.

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Lewis Hamilton believes his collision with Sergio Perez was ‘a little bit of a racing incident’ whereas Perez claims Hamilton ‘took the entire right-hand aspect’ of his automotive off.

Lewis Hamilton believes his collision with Sergio Perez was ‘a little bit of a racing incident’ whereas Perez claims Hamilton ‘took the entire right-hand aspect’ of his automotive off.

The seven-time world champion completed fourth within the Dash after overtaking Perez, however was later demoted to seventh by a five-second penalty for inflicting a collision with the Mexican.

Like Leclerc, Hamilton is not optimistic about conserving Verstappen behind him, the 38-year-old is hopeful of taking the “battle” to the 2 vehicles beginning in entrance of him, together with holding off McLaren duo Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.

“Our tempo has usually been respectable,” Hamilton mentioned.

Sky Sports' Anthony Davidson analyses the collision between Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.

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Sky Sports activities’ Anthony Davidson analyses the collision between Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.

Sky Sports activities’ Anthony Davidson analyses the collision between Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.

“Third tomorrow, I’ve received a Ferrari and Perez forward so I am hoping I will be capable to battle these guys.

“Sooner or later Max will come crusing by and I will simply attempt to hold the McLarens behind.”

Sky Sports activities F1’s stay Belgian GP schedule

Sunday July 30
7.25am: Components 3 Function Race
8.55am: Components 2 Function Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – Belgian GP build-up
2pm: THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag – Belgian GP response
5pm: Ted’s Pocket book

Watch all periods of the Dash weekend at Spa stay on Sky Sports activities F1. Stream the Belgian GP and more with NOW.





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