Max Verstappen and pole devent George Russell

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) took pole at the Belgian GP ahead of the surprising George Russell (Williams), which delayed qualifying and was then interrupted by heavy rain at Spa.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), the world championship leader, achieved the third fastest time before this 12th round of the year, eight points ahead of Verstappen, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren).

It is a 9th, sixth pole of the season for Verstappen, determined to return to the leader in front of Hamilton, who is aiming for Sunday’s 100th Grand Prix victory.

Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Pierre Gasly (Alfatori) will be in third row after this qualifying session, which started twelve minutes late due to raining conditions.

The session was interrupted at the start of the third section, reserved for the best time of ten (Q3), after a rain that again made the track dangerous. Under these circumstances, 21-year-old Briton Lando Norris lost control of his car in the upper corner of the Radilon.

His car was vandalized after a heavy blow to the security walls. The pilot managed to eject without any damage, but he caught his elbow. He then joined the Circuit Medical Center as debris was cleared from the car and the track.

After about forty minutes the session could resume. On a track that didn’t even have time to dry for a moment, George Russell, along with a Williams who was accustomed to the back of the grid, almost caused a surprise.

The 23-year-old Briton, who could be a Mercedes driver with Hamilton next year, was on virtual pole for a few seconds, before being passed three tenths by Verstappen at the last minute.

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This is the best result qualifying for Russell. If he had already finished second, in 2020, he would have been driving a Mercedes, replacing Lewis Hamilton, who had been infected with Covid. This time it was with limited Williams, when their best qualifying result this season was 8th place.

Alfa Romeo-Ferraris did not progress beyond Q1. Antonio Giovinazzi finished 15th and Kimi Raikkonen 18th.

This article was automatically published. Source: ATS/AFP

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