Belgian GP: Max Verstappen targeting victory from P15 at Spa after grid penalty


Anthony Davidson compares Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz's performances in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

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Anthony Davidson compares Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz’s performances in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

Anthony Davidson compares Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz’s performances in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

Both Max Verstappen and his rivals expect him to compete for victory in Sunday’s Belgian GP, regardless of the world championship chief beginning fifteenth on the grid after receiving a penalty.

Verstappen dominated qualifying on Saturday to comfortably high the timesheet, however was one among seven drivers – together with his nearest title challenger Charles Leclerc – who’ve opted to take a grid penalty after exceeding the permitted variety of engine components allowed for the season.

That meant that Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who certified second, took pole, and might be joined on the entrance row by Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen, who holds an 80-point lead over Leclerc, received from tenth in Hungary within the ultimate race earlier than the summer season break, and admitted he is considering bettering that feat in Belgium.

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“I think it has been really positive for us,” Verstappen mentioned. “It’s always really hard to expect how you are going to rock up here but I think we prepared really well before we got here and as soon as we put the car on the track it has been really enjoyable to drive.

“I’m stunned with the hole, I do not anticipate it to be that huge tomorrow within the race, however it is rather constructive, particularly when you need to begin from the again.

Max Verstappen reflects on a successful qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, as he secures the fastest lap, but will start at the back of the grid due to a penalty

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Max Verstappen displays on a profitable qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, as he secures the quickest lap, however will begin at the again of the grid resulting from a penalty

Max Verstappen displays on a profitable qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, as he secures the quickest lap, however will begin at the again of the grid resulting from a penalty

“If you have a competitive car it can Help of course a lot to move forward again.

“I’m simply targeting a podium and expectantly a win.”

Verstappen ended qualifying 0.6s faster than Sainz, regardless of the Dutchman opting to not come out for a ultimate run in Q3.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels the Belgian GP will be an exciting race with Sergio Perez starting in P2 and Max Verstappen fighting his way back up the grid

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels the Belgian GP will be an exciting race with Sergio Perez starting in P2 and Max Verstappen fighting his way back up the grid

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels the Belgian GP will be an exciting race with Sergio Perez starting in P2 and Max Verstappen fighting his way back up the grid

“Unbelievable, I imply the tempo that he had, the lap time was so good that he did not must do the second run so we saved the engine mileage,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said.

“Starting in the midst of the pack there’s all the time dangers related to that, however we’re set for a superb race tomorrow with Max and Charles preventing their means by means of the sector then Checo (Perez) completely poised to tackle Carlos at the entrance as effectively. There goes to be rather a lot to maintain on high of.”

Sainz: Fair for Max to target win | Leclerc: Red Bull way too fast

Sainz backed up the first pole position of his career with his first race victory earlier this season at Silverstone, and has a brilliant chance to repeat that feat with his most likely challengers starting so far down the grid.

Despite being hopeful that relatively superior race pace and warmer conditions could aid his chances, the Ferrari driver admitted he was wary of Verstappen’s pace, and accepted that it was realistic for the world champion to target victory.

“(The hole) has been there all weekend,” Sainz said. “In P3 it was eight tenths and in qualy we got here a bit nearer however nonetheless six tenths.

Carlos Sainz feels the slipstream into turn 5 could challenge his chance of winning, despite starting on pole at the Belgian GP

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Carlos Sainz feels the slipstream into flip 5 might problem his probability of successful, regardless of beginning on pole at the Belgian GP

Carlos Sainz feels the slipstream into flip 5 might problem his probability of successful, regardless of beginning on pole at the Belgian GP

“It is a very big gap and something that puzzles us a bit. It has never been like that all year over one lap but today was cold – Budapest was cold and they were very quick.

“Tomorrow is getting hotter and we’re a bit higher on race tempo so I believe all the pieces is feasible tomorrow however there’s a little bit of digging in to see the place we’re fast.

“I think it is fair for him (Max) to target the win because around Spa, with the top speed they have to overtake, with these cars that are a lot easier to overtake.”

Leclerc, who begins a spot behind Verstappen in sixteenth, additionally expressed concern over Red Bull’s superiority.

Charles Leclerc says he and Ferrari will have a discussion over driving with the wrong tyres in Q3

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Charles Leclerc says he and Ferrari can have a dialogue over driving with the flawed tyres in Q3

Charles Leclerc says he and Ferrari can have a dialogue over driving with the flawed tyres in Q3

“There is some potential because we didn’t prepare qualifying as much as we normally do, but when you see the gap to Max it’s a bit worrying,” Leclerc mentioned.

“They are extremely quick and that has been the case since the beginning of the weekend and we can’t quite explain why. We need to work.

“We’ll strive our greatest tomorrow, however they appear to have discovered one thing this weekend.

“They are way too fast – there is nothing we could have done.”

Russell: Verstappen will in all probability win

If Verstappen is to return by means of the sector, he’ll additionally must cross Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who’re additionally hoping that hotter situations can Help them enhance on a woeful qualifying show.

Hamilton completed qualifying seventh, a spot forward of Russell, however they begin fourth and fifth, respectively, resulting from penalties for Verstappen, Leclerc and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

George Russell reflects on a disappointing qualifying for Mercedes as he finishes P8 in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

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George Russell displays on a disappointing qualifying for Mercedes as he finishes P8 in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

George Russell displays on a disappointing qualifying for Mercedes as he finishes P8 in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

Despite their robust beginning positions, Russell admitted the tempo of their rivals have left him with little hope of claiming a podium end.

“I think Max will probably still win the race,” Russell mentioned.

“I don’t know where he is starting, but I think he will still win the race with the pace he has got.

“Then Charles as effectively, who will in all probability come by means of, so I believe it’s unlikely we might be on the rostrum tomorrow in all honesty as a result of we nonetheless have Carlos and Checo there and Max goes to slice by means of the sector fairly shortly.”

Belgian GP beginning grid

1) Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
2) Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3) Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
4) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
5) George Russell (Mercedes
6) Alex Albon (Williams)
7) Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
8) Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
9) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
10) Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
11) Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
12) Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
13) Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
14) Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
15) Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
16) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
17) Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
18) Lando Norris (McLaren)
19) Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
20) Mick Schumacher (Haas)

Watch the race reside at 2pm on Sunday, August 28, with build-up from 12.30pm on Sky Sports F1.

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