Verstappen Edges out Piastri in a Wet Sprint Shootout
The rain continued to fall at Spa Franchorchamps during the Sprint Shootout. The drivers took to the track despite early rumors that the Belgian Grand Prix could be cancelled due to safety concerns. The session had mixed conditions. Max Verstappen finished his pole claiming lap with just 4 seconds left on the clock for the session. He set a 1m 49.056s which was 0.011 seconds faster than Oscar Piastri who’s McLaren has come to life in the last few race weekends.
Verstappen stated the following to F1.com, “It was good enough. Just tricky conditions, you don’t want to make big mistakes so I think the lap was okay – I just didn’t risk too much in the second sector where it was still a bit damp, and it was just enough for first so that’s good. If it’s going to be wet, dry, also if it’s wet, how you’re going to survive with the wet tires or the intermediates. So a lot of question marks still but we’ll figure it out along the way.”
Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) claimed third place ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc in fourth. Lando Norris finished fifth to round out the top 5. The Sprint race will take place later today and will be the first opportunity of the weekend to score championship points.
Elsewhere on the Grid
It was a nightmare of a qualifying for the Aston Martins as both Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll failed to make it to Q3 and finished behind both Williams cars. Lance Stroll crashed out of Q2 and Alsonso did not start the session.
Daniel Ricciardo (Alpha Tauri) once again out qualified his teammate Yuki Tsunoda. His pace appears to be improving as he gets more acclimated with the car. Second place driver’s championship sitter Sergio Perez has his work cut out for him as he will start from P8. Perez finished nine tenths behind his teammate Verstappen. Below are the results from the shootout that will set the grid for the sprint race later this afternoon.
2023 Belgian Grand Prix Sprint Shootout Results
|1||Max Verstappen||Oracle Red Bull Racing|
|2||Oscar Piastri||McLaren F1 Team|
|3||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari|
|5||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team|
|6||Pierre Gasly||BWT Alpine F1 Team|
|7||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|8||Sergio Perez||Oracle Bull Racing|
|9||Esteban Ocon||BWT Alpine F1 Team|
|10||George Russell||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia AlphaTauri|
|12||Alex Albon||Williams Racing|
|13||Logan Sargeant||Williams Racing|
|14||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team|
|15||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||Scuderia AlphaTauri|
|17||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||MoneyGram Haas F1 Team|
|19||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake|
|20||Nico Hulkenberg||MoneyGram Haas F1 Team|