F1: Carlos Sainz on Pole Position for Belgian Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz Spa 2022

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is on Pole Position for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix, despite Max Verstappen setting the fastest time in qualifying.

Verstappen, along with title rival Charles Leclerc, elected to take power unit penalties, and will therefore start the race alongside each other in 15th and 16th. Sergio Perez will start the race 2nd alongside Carlos Sainz, with Fernando Alonso 3rd.

Despite lapping over a second slower than the Red Bulls, Mercedes will be buoyed as the engine penalties – including one taken by Esteban Ocon – sees Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell line up 4th and 5th.

The surprise story of the day was Williams’ Alex Albon, who will start 6th after a series of barnstorming laps over the whole session, vindicating the team’s decision to retain the Thai driver for the long-term.

All eyes will be towards the back of the grid at lights-out, as both Verstappen and Leclerc will be looking to avoid any collisions and to work their way through the field. The Red Bull’s pace looks hard to match over a single lap, and on a circuit where overtaking opportunities are aplenty, the legions of Verstappen fans who will pack Spa-Francorchamps tomorrow will still be hopeful of a good result for their man.

Max Verstappen:

“It was amazing qualifying but the whole weekend we’ve been on it. The car has been working well and it all came together in qualifying. Of course I had to be careful with the tyres I was using and starting at the back. We need to move forward, Especially a car like this – it will be a shame not to be on the podium.”

Ferrari were less than optimistic in regards to their chances, with Leclerc admitting that keeping up with Red Bull will be difficult.

Charles Leclerc

“When you see the gap to Max it is a bit worrying and they are extremely quick and we need to find something this weekend. With a gap like this in qualifying it will be strange if we are as fast as them in the race.”

Initial Q3 Results (Before Penalties):

  1. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:43.665
  2. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari
  3. Sergio Perez – Red Bull
  4. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari
  5. Esteban Ocon – Alpine
  6. Fernando Alonso – Alpine
  7. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  8. George Russell – Mercedes
  9. Alex Albon – Williams
  10. Lando Norris – McLaren

Starting Grid After Penalties:

  1. Carlos Sainz
  2. Serio Perez
  3. Fernando Alonso
  4. Lewis Hamilton
  5. George Russell
  6. Alex Albon
  7. Daniel Ricciardo
  8. Pierre Gasly
  9. Lance Stroll
  10. Sebastian Vettel
  11. Nicholas Latifi
  12. Kevin Magnussen
  13. Yuki Tsunoda
  14. Valterri Bottas
  15. Max Verstappen
  16. Charles Leclerc
  17. Esteban Ocon
  18. Lando Norris
  19. Zhou Guanyu
  20. Mick Schumacher
Featured Image Credit: JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images