F1 results: Timings from Belgian Grand Prix qualifying

Jamie Woodhouse
A sodden Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps. Belgian GP July 2023.

Rain falls on an already wet track surface at Eau Rouge ahead of the weekend. Spa-Francorchamps July 2023.

Max Verstappen destroyed the competition at Spa-Francorchamps in Friday qualifying, but it will be Charles Leclerc on pole for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

While Verstappen had the beating of the pack by north of eight-tenths, his rumoured five-place grid drop for taking a new gearbox was confirmed mid-session, meaning P6 instead is where he will launch from on Sunday.

Not that it likely matters, considering the gulf in performance he seemingly is enjoying over the field here at Spa, with Ferrari’s Leclerc instead on pole alongside Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

With the sprint format in use this weekend, traditional qualifying shifted forward to Friday, determining the grid for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

With the pre-qualifying rain deluge which caused a 10-minute delay to Q1 now clear of the circuit and the sun shining, Mercedes remained on rain alert as they got George Russell and Lewis Hamilton to the end of the pit lane ready for the green light, having seen further rain pop up on their radar.

Said rain did not arrive though in that opening segment as the intermediate tyres went to work clearing the standing water, though not for Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg, with a hydraulics problem sealing his elimination. He was joined by Daniel Ricciardo, Logan Sargeant, Zhou Guanyu and Alex Albon as Charles Leclerc topped Q1 from Verstappen.

As the track continued to dry in Q2, Valtteri Bottas was the first driver onto slick tyres, Russell’s Mercedes W14 squirming around as he too made that switch. He at least kept it on the track, which Esteban Ocon was unable to do as he wrecked the front wing on his Alpine against the barriers.

In the final minute of Q2 though the track came to the dry tyres, Oscar Piastri topping the session as Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly, Kevin Magnussen, Bottas and Ocon dropped out. Verstappen just squeaked through to Q3 in P10.

The Dutchman went on to blitz the field in Q3, going eight-tenths of a second clear than his nearest challenger, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, but it was Leclerc on pole as Verstappen drops to P6 on Sunday’s grid.

Q3 times

1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:46.168
2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.820
3 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.877
4 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.919
5 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.984
6 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +1.197
7 Lando NORRIS McLaren +1.501
8 George RUSSELL Mercedes +1.637
9 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.675
10 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +2.673

Q2 times

1 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren 1:51.534
2 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.177
3 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.483
4 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +0.659
5 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.718
6 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.811
7 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.819
8 George RUSSELL Mercedes +1.071
9 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.217
10 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +1.250
11 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +1.614
12 Pierre GASLY Alpine +2.137
13 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +2.626
14 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +3.160
15 Esteban OCON Alpine +4.838

Q1 times

1 Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:58.300
2 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.215
3 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.263
4 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.388
5 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.534
6 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.572
7 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.599
8 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.735
9 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +0.744
10 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +1.184
11 Pierre GASLY Alpine +1.211
12 Esteban OCON Alpine +1.334
13 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +1.363
14 Lando NORRIS McLaren +1.681
15 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +1.720
16 Alexander ALBON Williams +2.014
17 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +2.532
18 Logan SARGEANT Williams +3.235
19 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri +3.859
20 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +4.866