The start of the qualifying session was delayed due to the wet conditions, which are quite unsurprising for the beautiful track of Spa-Francorchamps, located in the Belgian Ardennes. The forecast for the weekend expects more rain, but as we all know when it comes to F1 the forecasts are not necessarily true.
Q1 started with most of the drivers trying to get out of the pits immediately, to have a try of the wet conditions at the track. When it comes to the tyre compounds, some of the drivers went out on wets with some others on full wets. The first driver that set a lap time during this part of the session was George Russell, with a time of 2:11.727s. Although this lap time seems painfully slow for Spa, it is of course set on a very wet track. Due to lack of grip, some drivers (Latifi, Hamilton, Verstappen just to name a few) had some problems with staying on track. Throughout the session, many of the drivers started to pit for inters, as this compound was much faster than the blue full wet tyre.
The 5 drivers eliminated in Q1 were: Giovinazzi, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Raikkonen and Mazepin.
Q2 began once again with many drivers out immediately, due to the information from the engineers that the conditions will worsen throughout this part of the session. All of the drivers that made it into Q2 went out on intermediates. In Q2 the first driver with fastest time was set by Norris, with 1:57.235s. Many drivers started to have problems with their middle sector times, due to the fact that the rain (presumably) intensified there more than in other parts of the track (due to the track length; Spa-Francorchamps is the longest track in the F1 calendar).
The 5 drivers eliminated in Q2 were: Leclerc, Latifi, Sainz, Alonso and Stroll. Both Ferrari drivers did not get into Q3. George Russell, known for his stellar performances on Saturday, got his Williams into the last stage of qualifying.
The last part of the qualifying session started with the rain intensifying, with some heavier flow than in the previous parts of the qualifying. Because of that some of the drivers went out on full wets again. Sebastian Vettel, who was at that moment on track, said on the radio that the session should be red-flagged, with Norris confirming the heavy aquaplaning. Almost immediately after, the session was red-flagged, due to Lando’s crash at Eau Rouge. Thankfully Norris got out of the car by himself, but that big of a shunt will result in pit lane start for him for sure. There was a lot of debris on the track that took quite some time to be cleaned. After a long time, the session was restarted, and the first one to set a time was Lewis Hamilton, with the time of 2:01.552s.
In a spectacular end of the qualifying for the Belgian GP, Max Verstappen took the pole position by 0.3s, with George Russell starting a remarkable P2 [Williams' first front row since Monza 2017] and Lewis Hamilton starting P3. The rest that completed the top 10 were: Ricciardo, Vettel, Gasly, Perez, Bottas, Ocon and Norris.