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Verstappen takes pole from the garage! 2022 Belgian GP Qualifying Highlights

Verstappen becomes the second driver in F1 history to take a Pole Position from the garage other than Vettel

A pretty entertaining qualifying session which definitely went in the favour of the RedBulls. Ferrari yet again made a mistake, which though was not very expensive, but still notable enough to point out deficits in their race management team. In this session we also saw Max Verstappen claim Pole Position, that too while sitting in his garage. This is reminiscent of Singapore 2013, when Sebastian Vettel had achieved a similar feat. It’s a pity that he will be starting from the back of the grid, but in his words, “It’s a shame if we don’t get a podium with a car like this.” 


It was a tough day for Magnussen and Bottas who could not get a proper lap due to a variety of reasons. Magnussen locked up heavily on his flying lap and Bottas could not get his tyres adequately warmed up and finally gave up deeming it unnecessary as he would anyway begin at the back of the grid. Similar was the fate of Tsunoda who locked up at the final chicane and could not get his lap in. Sebastian Vettel was also relegated in Q1, after a superior lap from William’s Albon. Vettel missed out by just 0.002s. Ouch!


Albon shined in this session as well. A late but strong run from him saw him just push Ricciardo out from the next session. Ricciardo’s fate could not get worse than this, along with the fact of him not having a drive for next year, yet. Apart from him, Gasly, Zhou, Stroll and Schumacher were also eliminated. Leclerc took the top spot in this session setting a new benchmark of 1:44:551, setting the stakes another notch higher.


A game of slip streams and team responsibilities was played through this session. Both Alpine and Ferrari drivers, Ocon and Leclerc helped their teammates claim a higher spot on the grid by helping them out with drafts from their cars. It worked out in the case of Alpine, where Ocon and Alonso claimed P5 and P6 respectively. Obviously Ocon will fall back due to his penalty. For Ferrari, for some reason, they sent out Leclerc on a new set of soft tyres, which is not usually the kind teams use for helping teammates. In either case he helped Sainz post a time of 1:44:297. In either case it was not enough as Verstappen blasted through his flying lap to set the bar at 1:43:665. This was tough enough for the other drivers and none of them could beat it. Verstappen did not even appear for another lap, a confidence only seen before in Vettel when he drove for RedBull.

Mercedes were one of the hot topics of the Belgian GP with one of the most modified cars on the track. It did not seem to pay off as both drivers quietly positioned themselves at P7 and P8 respectively. In fact Hamilton was even 1.8s off the pace of Verstappen. Sausage kerbs were a culprit for this as the low downforce, stiff suspension setup did not perform well on the kerbs, bouncing the car through them. Another notable feat is of Alex Albon who will start P6 tomorrow, after grid penalties are in place. With this he becomes the final driver to have qualified in Q3 in this season. The complete driver standings from the session are given below:

1 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:44.581 1:44.723 1:43.665 9
2 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:45.050 1:45.418 1:44.297 14
3 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:45.377 1:44.794 1:44.462 12
4 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:45.572 1:44.551 1:44.553 14
5 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:46.039 1:45.475 1:45.180 15
6 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:46.075 1:45.552 1:45.368 16
7 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:45.736 1:45.420 1:45.503 20
8 63 George Russell MERCEDES 1:45.650 1:45.461 1:45.776 20
9 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:45.672 1:45.675 1:45.837 18
10 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:45.745 1:45.603 1:46.178 14
11 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:46.212 1:45.767 9
12 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:46.183 1:45.827 12
13 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:46.178 1:46.085 12
14 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:46.256 1:46.611 12
15 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:46.342 1:47.718 13
16 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:46.344 6
17 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:46.401 7
18 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:46.557 6
19 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:46.692 6
20 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:47.866 5
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Abhishek S.

Loves long drives, sunsets and skylines (pun intended ;)). Will miss a date but not an F1 race!

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