RACE DEBRIEF

    Spa provided a thrilling qualifying session, with Max Verstappen scoring the fastest lap but not starting on pole thanks to grid penalties. He wasn’t the only one who has penalties for tomorrow’s race, with Charles Leclerc spending much of Q3 offering his team mate a tow. In the end, it worked for Ferrari, with Carlos Sainz grabbing a second career pole.

    Here are the best facts and stats from qualifying in Belgium...

    • Max Verstappen has previously lost a pole due to a penalty at the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, when he was penalised for ignoring yellow flags in Q3.

    • The Dutchman was fastest here in Q3 for the second year in a row.

    READ MORE: Verstappen fastest in qualifying but Sainz set to start on pole after Belgian GP grid penalties

    • Carlos Sainz grabbed a second career pole position, having previously won the race from P1 at Silverstone.

    • Ferrari’s 11th pole at Spa ties McLaren for the circuit record.

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    Verstappen was quickest in Spa – but Sainz has pole
    • The Scuderia didn’t even reach Q3 at this track in 2020 or 2021.

    • The pole-sitter here has won six of the last seven races, which bodes very well for Sainz.

    • Sergio Perez has his fourth career front row start, which breaks the Mexican record held by Pedro Rodriguez since 1971.

    • Perez’s P2 is Red Bull’s 150th front row start in F1.

    • Fernando Alonso starts third, for his second top-three start of the year after being on the front row in Montreal.

    • It is the Spaniard’s first top-three start in Belgium for 15 years, after grabbing P3 on the grid for McLaren in 2007.

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    Perez starts second, and has the job of chasing down the Ferrari of Sainz
    • Lewis Hamilton starts fourth, which means the Mercedes drivers are tied at 7-7 in qualifying this season.

    • It is his third top-four start of the season, but he has yet to start in the top-three.

    • George Russell starts fifth, and has finished in the top five at every race this year bar Silverstone.

    • Alex Albon will line up sixth, for Williams’ highest start since Russell was P3 in Sochi last year. It was also the Thai driver’s first Q3 of the year.

    READ MORE: Horner, Perez and Vettel back Ricciardo to ‘find his mojo again’ after McLaren separation

    • Daniel Ricciardo missed out on Q3 but starts seventh, his highest start since Imola, 10 races ago.
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    Albon made Q3 for the first time this season
    • For Verstappen and Leclerc, the lowest winning grid position at Spa is 16th, which is where Michael Schumacher won from in 1995 – before Verstappen or Leclerc were born.

    • Verstappen has three career podiums from outside the top 15 on the grid.

    • Leclerc’s lowest career start when scoring a podium was seventh in Austria 2020.

    • Sebastian Vettel was knocked out in Q1 by just 0.002s, for his fifth Q1 elimination in the last six races.

    • Kevin Magnussen was eliminated in Q1 for the fifth time this season.

    • Valtteri Bottas ends a 148-race streak of Q1 progressions, with his first Q1 elimination since Monaco 2015.