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Monday, May 27, 2024

Verstappen dominates for pole regardless of grid penalty

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Verstappen had entered the qualifying session at Spa having had a fifth gearbox of the season fitted, which triggers a five-place grid penalty for the GP, however doesn’t impression his beginning spot for Saturday’s dash race.

The Dutchman had trailed Leclerc after the primary runs in Q3 – having solely simply scraped by means of in tenth in Q2 following the swap from moist to dry tyres in that session, and as he disagreed with Purple Bull’s run plan that led to a terse alternate along with his engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.

On the second runs in Q3, Leclerc led the frontrunners round and improved the highest spot benchmark to a 1m46.988 – gaining almost a second on his earlier private finest.

He was untroubled by all however Verstappen, who, working deep within the Q3 pack behind, blasted to the highest spot in all three sectors on his ultimate lap and he secured the quickest time with a 1m46.168s.

Nevertheless, the world champion is ready to start out Sunday’s race in sixth following his penalty.

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Sergio Perez will be part of Leclerc on the entrance row for that occasion as he improved along with his ultimate run to knock Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton right down to fourth.

Hamilton faces a post-qualifying investigation for a doable unsafe rejoining infraction following a weird incident by which he briefly went off the observe at Eau Rouge/Radillion whereas working forward of team-mate George Russell, who ended up eighth in Q3 within the different Mercedes.

Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB19

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz completed fifth forward of McLaren pair Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, who went off into the gravel exiting the second a part of the Stavelot sequence through the early moist working on the intermediates in Q1.

Aston Martin Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll rounded out the highest 10, with the Spaniard forward and ending behind Russell.

In Q2, led by Piastri with a 1m51.534s, the sector made the swap from the inter after the primary half of the center phase – a dry line having appeared round a lot of the lengthy Spa structure.

This elevated the observe evolution issue that had dominated the Q1 phase, with a number of drivers placing in instances that had them excessive up the order once they crossed the road with the chequered flag out, just for the remainder behind to go even faster and shuffle them down and out.

This occurred to Yuki Tsunoda, who had briefly been high in Q2 along with his private finest time set proper on the finish of that a part of qualifying, with the AlphaTauri driver ultimately eradicated in eleventh.

Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen set their private bests after a lot of the remainder had accomplished their ultimate laps, however they didn’t hassle the highest 10 they usually have been knocked out behind Tsunoda.

Valtteri Bottas, who had led the change to slicks aboard his Alfa Romeo and ran on them longest, ended up 14th, with Esteban Ocon fifteenth after crashing at Flip 9 whereas he was pushing early within the late Q2 slicks working.

The Alpine driver misplaced management of the rear of his automobile over part of the circuit that was nonetheless moderately moist, his proper rear wheel hitting the boundaries on the observe’s outdoors earlier than his proper entrance additionally hit the promoting hoardings at that spot, which ripped a number of of those off and badly broken Ocon’s entrance wing.

He managed to maintain going and made it again to the pits, however Ocon didn’t participate within the ultimate Q2 working, and the gravel that had been introduced onto the observe throughout this incident needed to be swept away earlier than Q3 started, which triggered one other five-minute delay earlier than the ultimate phase started.

Q1, which Leclerc ultimately topped, was delayed by 10 minutes to permit additional time for the observe to dry out following the dousing it had had solely half-hour earlier within the previous System 2 qualifying session.

The Mercedes drivers have been despatched to the tip of the pitlane nicely forward of the remainder, the place Russell famous the intense sunshine burst by means of the clouds over the La Supply hairpin on the opposite aspect of the pitwall, whereas Hamilton noticed his right-side mirror had change into dislodged.

When the motion did get going, the vehicles circulated kind of all through aside from coming into change inters at some groups, for worry of extra raining arriving from the course of the Les Combes chicane, because the instances fell from Russell’s preliminary 2m02s bracket to Leclerc’s then better of 1m58.300s.

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He jumped from sixteenth within the drop zone forward of finishing his ultimate lap, with the instances getting ever faster and the enhancements that means Albon was shuffled down the order as he didn’t full his lap following an off at Flip 9, which can be investigated now qualifying has been accomplished for a doable unsafely rejoining.

Albon was joined in exiting in Q1 by Zhou Guanyu, who couldn’t produce a private finest on his ultimate flier, whereas Logan Sargeant simply behind did however nonetheless acquired eradicated in 18th.

Sargeant missed the primary half of Q1 as Williams labored to alter his gearbox following his FP1 crash, with the American prone to have missed any qualifying working forward the session’s begin not been delayed.

Daniel Ricciardo thought he had executed sufficient to progress however the Australian’s second 2023 qualifying for AlphaTauri was dropped at an early finish as his finest time, set on his ultimate lap, was deleted for a observe limits violation at Raidillon.

Nico Hulkenberg missed collaborating within the ultimate fliers as Haas needed to attempt to work to repair a hydraulic difficulty on his automobile and though he headed again out within the closing minutes of Q1 he didn’t have sufficient time to get round and begin a full-speed lap.

F1 Belgian GP: Beginning grid

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