Verstappen took center stage in a bumpy qualifier in Belgium

On a sweltering day due to bad weather marked by the very difficult crash of Lando Norris, Dutchman Max Verstappen took the lead at Spa-Francorchamps and on Sunday will start the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position. Formula 1 championship round.

Aboard Red Bull and in the last minute of the session, Verstappen set the stopwatch at 1:59,765 on the 7004m circuit (the longest in the current Formula 1 calendar) after a 45-minute hiatus of on-track activity.

That was because with 8.59 left in the first quarter, Lando Norris lost control of McLaren at the entrance to the Raidillon turn, hit the tire guard and turned a few times before coming to a halt on the road. Despite the massive impact, the pilot was unharmed.

Behind Verstappen in this ranking was the surprise George Russell (Williams), who had been flirting all day with the top spots, was located at 321 pts of the Dutch and ended up relegating just 13,000 to seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) captain. current tournament.

“It was very complicated qualifying, it was difficult to keep the car on the track and after that long stop, it was not easy to re-adapt to these conditions. We were the first thing and that is the most important thing. This circuit is incredible, but it is very difficult when it is wet, Verstappen said after determining the best time.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) ranked fourth, followed by German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), French Pierre Gasly (Alfa Toure) and Mexican Sergio Perez (Red Bull).

Finn Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) finished eighth, but will have to go back five places on the grid due to a penalty, so he will be replaced by Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Albin), winner of the last Hungarian Grand Prix. Out of time in Q1 was Norris, who would start ninth anyway if he and his car qualified to step into Sunday’s competition.

It wasn’t a good session for Ferrari, who couldn’t get past the second quarter. Charles Leclerc finished 11th in Monaco, while Spaniard Carlos Sainz finished 13th. Among them were Canadian Nicolas Latifi (Williams), Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Albin) and Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), who will also have to serve a five-place penalty in the event. the match.

Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (Alfa Tore), German Mick Schumacher (Haas), Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and Russia’s Nikita Mazbin (Haas) were closed.

George Russell shone in the rain at Spa-Francorchamps.  (Photo: Francisco Seco/AP)

George Russell shone in the rain at Spa-Francorchamps. (Photo: Francisco Seco/AP)

After this Belgian Grand Prix, which will cover 44 laps and start on Sunday at 10am (ESPN will broadcast from 9:30am), Formula 1 will move next weekend to the Zandvoort circuit for the Dutch Grand Prix, the 13th schedule of the season. That changed her last leg.

This Saturday, the category organization published a calendar with some changes regarding original programming and with a test whose place has yet to be confirmed. Three competitions have been postponed for a week: Turkey (October 3-10), Mexico (October 31-November 7) and Brazil (November 7-14).

The race remains to be confirmed on November 21, the date originally scheduled for the Australian Grand Prix, which has been canceled due to health restrictions drawn from the coronavirus pandemic. Qatar and Bahrain are the possibilities currently being considered.

Amber Cross

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