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FACTS AND STATS: Ferrari set new record in Belgian GP qualifying as Leclerc maintains Sprint front-row streak

Virtual Statman

Sean Kelly
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SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 28: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-23 on track during

Spa threw up a dramatic qualifying session on Friday, with a wet track rapidly drying and the teams scrambling to work out when to change to slicks. Max Verstappen wound up fastest by a huge margin, but he won’t start on pole on Sunday thanks to a pesky grid penalty after needing a new gearbox. Here are all the best facts and stats from Belgium…

  • Charles Leclerc will claim the 20th pole position of his career, as he ties Valtteri Bottas for the most poles without winning the championship.

  • The only other occasion Leclerc started from pole here, he won the race back in 2019.

READ MORE: Penalty-hit Verstappen fastest in Belgian GP qualifying as Leclerc set to start from pole

  • Leclerc scored Ferrari’s 12th pole at Spa, which is the most by any constructor at the track, surpassing McLaren.

  • All of Leclerc’s front row starts this year have come in Sprint weekends.

SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 28: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red

Verstappen was fastest, but won't start on pole on Sunday

  • Sergio Perez has his first front row start since he grabbed pole in Miami nearly three months ago.

  • The Mexican starts second here for the second year in a row.

  • Lewis Hamilton has 12 top-three starts at this track from 17 visits.

  • Last year’s pole sitter Carlos Sainz starts fourth – but no one has won from P4 on the grid here in 55 previous championship F1 races.

READ MORE: Verstappen takes five-place grid penalty at Belgian GP for gearbox change

  • Oscar Piastri is fifth, the third consecutive race he’s started in the top five as he out-qualified his team mate for the second time this year.

  • Verstappen was fastest in Q3 by 0.632s last year and by 0.820s this year without getting pole on either occasion.

SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 28: Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes on track

Piastri out-qualified his team mate for just the second time this season

  • The gap in Q3 from Verstappen back to Leclerc was the largest leading margin at Spa since Juan Pablo Montoya took pole by 0.887s in 2001.

  • Verstappen starts sixth, and has never won from that position. If he does so on Sunday, he will equal Fernando Alonso’s career record of winning from nine different grid positions.

  • Lando Norris starts P7, his career-best qualifying at Spa in his fifth visit.

  • George Russell was eighth, so will start 10 places higher than he did in Hungary, where he finished sixth.

READ MORE: F1 Commission reveal plans to defer tyre blanket ban as dates and location confirmed for 2024 pre-season testing

  • Alonso was ninth, maintaining his record of being the only driver to reach Q3 at every race this year.

  • His team mate Lance Stroll reached Q3 at Spa for just the second time in his career.

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