Defending Formula One world champion Max Verstappen started the Sprint race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium after a rain delay.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who started the race from second place, made a great start and took the lead early on in the race after Verstappen pitted to switch from full wet to Intermediate tires; the Dutch driver soon managed to catch up and overtake Piastri who scored an excellent result for the team and earned valuable points for the Woking-based outfit.

On the weekend, it was announced that the Alpine F1 Team had sacked their Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer, and Sporting Director Alan Permane; Pierre Gasly scored a well-deserved podium with a third-place finish. At the same time, Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision and, as a result, was classified in seventh place, just ahead of his Mercedes teammate George Russell who rounded out the points-scoring positions in eighth.

Carlos Sainz was promoted to fourth place for Ferrari following Hamilton’s penalty, while Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris ended the race in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

There was disappointment for Sergio Perez, who was forced to retire from the race. In contrast, Aston Martin Aramaco Cognizant F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso retired from the race after getting stuck in the gravel.

Sunday’s main race will see Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc start the race from pole position after Max Verstappen was handed a five-place grid penalty.

The grid for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix:

1. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari
2. Sergio Perez – Oracle Red Bull Racing
3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
4. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari
5. Oscar Piastri – McLaren Racing
6. Max Verstappen – Oracle Red Bull Racing
7. Lando Norris – McLaren Racing
8. George Russell – Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
9. Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team
10. Lance Stroll – Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team
11. Yuki Tsunoda – Scuderia Alpha Tauri
12. Pierre Gasly – Alpine F1 Team
13. Kevin Magnussen – MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
14. Valtteri Bottas – Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stack
15. Esteban Ocon – Alpine F1 Team
16. Alex Albon – Williams Racing
17. Zhou Guanyu – Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stack
18. Logan Sargeant – Williams Racing
19. Daniel Ricciardo – Scuderia Alpha Tauri
20. Nico Hulkenberg – MoneyGram Haas F1 Team


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