Home Formula 1 Charles Leclerc Claims Pole Position for Belgian Grand Prix Following Max Verstappen’s Penalty

Charles Leclerc Claims Pole Position for Belgian Grand Prix Following Max Verstappen’s Penalty

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Belgian Grand Prix

As a consequence of Max Verstappen’s sanction, Charles Leclerc has secured pole position in the F1 Belgian Grand Prix, marking his 20th time to start in the lead.

Although Verstappen clocked the quickest time during the qualifiers, he has been penalized with a five-place grid drop for overuse of gearbox elements this season, consequently placing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the pole position.

The Red Bull driver outperformed Leclerc by 0.820 seconds on the gradually drying track, while Leclerc barely outpaced the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez by 0.057secs. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was the fourth quickest, with Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

Despite the weather playing a crucial role in the day, the feared impact on qualifying due to potentially decreased visibility from the wet conditions was avoided as the rain stopped about an hour prior to the session, enabling the track to dry progressively.

Considering his outstanding performance along with Red Bull’s, Verstappen is projected to win the race starting from the sixth position on the grid, regardless of the weather.

Leclerc’s second pole position of 2023 offers a significant lift for the Monaco-born driver, who was Verstappen’s fiercest competitor for the title last year. Despite a less than stellar season due to Ferrari’s underperformance, Leclerc remains undeterred.

Leclerc’s pole position is particularly satisfying given his previous struggles under similar damp conditions in the Spain, Canada, and Austria races. He recognized and addressed this issue to improve his performance.

“We went slightly early [for the final run],” he admitted. “Although pole was unachievable, we could have been closer. Let’s see how things unfold.”

Despite a near elimination in the second knockout session and a radio dispute with his engineer, Verstappen remains confident about his performance. “To be on pole again, even though I must step back due to the penalty, was the best I could do today.”

McLaren’s Piastri demonstrated commendable performance, outdoing teammate Norris. In contrast, Mercedes’ George Russell expressed disappointment with his eighth position on the grid despite the team’s recent aerodynamic upgrade.

Hamilton narrowly avoided a penalty after a close encounter with Russell but was cleared of any wrongdoing by the stewards.

The Aston Martins ended up in ninth and 10th positions, reflecting their recent slump in form, while Alpha Tauri’s Daniel Ricciardo will start 19th due to his lap being invalidated for exceeding track limits.

Williams’ Alex Albon, ranked 16th, likely suffered due to the damp conditions favoring downforce over efficiency required for the dry Spa circuit.

Here’s how to follow the Belgian Grand Prix on the BBC:

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  • Florence Pugh’s exclusive interview: The Oppenheimer star reflects on her stellar career
  • Give your brain a challenge: Check out these entertaining quizzes for a test of your problem-solving skills

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Belgian Grand Prix

Who has secured the pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix?

Charles Leclerc has secured the pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Why is Charles Leclerc starting in pole position instead of Max Verstappen?

Max Verstappen, although initially clocking the fastest time during the qualifiers, received a five-place grid penalty for overusing gearbox components in this season. As a result, Charles Leclerc is set to start from the pole position.

Who was the second quickest driver after Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen?

The second quickest driver was Sergio Perez from Red Bull, who was outpaced by Leclerc by just 0.057 seconds.

What position is Lewis Hamilton starting from in the Belgian Grand Prix?

Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes is starting from the fourth position in the Belgian Grand Prix.

How did the weather conditions impact the qualifiers?

Although the weather played a crucial role, with rain threatening to affect visibility, the rain stopped about an hour prior to the session. The track progressively dried out, allowing the qualifiers to proceed without significant weather-related disruptions.

What has been Verstappen’s performance so far this season?

Verstappen’s performance has been superior so far this season, leading many to project him as the winner of the race despite starting from the sixth position on the grid.

How has Charles Leclerc performed in previous races under similar weather conditions?

In previous races in Spain, Canada, and Austria with similar damp conditions, Leclerc struggled. However, after recognizing the problem, he worked on improving his performance in such conditions.

More about Belgian Grand Prix

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F1Fanatic July 29, 2023 - 4:39 am

Woah, leclerc on pole! This season is full of surprises, isn’t it? good luck to max too. He’s gonna need it starting from 6th place!

HamiltonLoyal July 29, 2023 - 4:53 am

Fourth place isn’t so bad, Lewis will catch up. He always does, jus watch! Mercedes upgrades gotta count for something right?

GearboxGuru July 29, 2023 - 5:12 am

A five-place grid drop for overusing gearbox components, that’s rough. Teams really need to strategize these things better…

RacingEnthusiast July 29, 2023 - 6:43 am

Gotta give it to Leclerc, he did well considering those weather conditions. Can’t wait for the race. its gonna be thrilling!

RedBullRacer July 29, 2023 - 11:29 am

Tough break for Max…5 place penalty, really? But hey, it’s Verstappen, he’ll find a way to the top, I’m sure! Lets get that win!

BelgianGPlover July 29, 2023 - 11:41 am

Spa Circuit is always a wild ride, wet or dry. This race is gonna be one for the books. Buckle up folks!


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