Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

2021 Belgian Grand Prix grid

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen leads the grid for the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix.

Row 11. Max Verstappen 1’59.765
Red Bull
2. George Russell 2’00.086
Williams
Row 23. Lewis Hamilton 2’00.099
Mercedes
4. Daniel Ricciardo 2’00.864
McLaren
Row 35. Sebastian Vettel 2’00.935
Aston Martin
6. Pierre Gasly 2’01.164
AlphaTauri
Row 47. Sergio Perez 2’02.112
Red Bull
8. Esteban Ocon 2’03.513
Alpine
Row 59. Charles Leclerc 1’57.721
Ferrari
10. Nicholas Latifi 1’58.056
Williams
Row 611. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’58.137
Ferrari
12. Fernando Alonso 1’58.205
Alpine
Row 713. Valtteri Bottas 2’02.502
Mercedes
14. Antonio Giovinazzi 2’02.306
Alfa Romeo
Row 815. Lando Norris No time
McLaren
16. Yuki Tsunoda 2’02.413
AlphaTauri
Row 917. Mick Schumacher 2’03.973
Haas
18. Nikita Mazepin 2’04.939
Haas
Row 1019. Lance Stroll 1’58.231
Aston Martin
20. Kimi Raikkonen 2’04.452
Alfa Romeo

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Penalties

Valtteri Bottas – Five-place grid penalty for causing a collision in the Hungarian Grand Prix
Lance Stroll – Five-place grid penalty for causing a collision in the Hungarian Grand Prix
Lando Norris – Five-place grid penalty for gearbox change
Kimi Raikkonen – Pit lane start after rear wing assembly specification change

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “2021 Belgian Grand Prix grid”

    1. With Bottas starting 6 (or probably 5, because Lando should start from the pitlane) places behind Perez?! I hardly think so. More like a 1-3 for RB.

      1. he’s talking about Russel being a Mercedes academy driver, and also Williams being powered by Merc engines.

        1. And very, very unlikely to make Hamilton pay for it

          1. Oh, sorry! I didn’t think about that and thought you were talking about tomorrow xD

      2. Pretty sure they meant quali results and not the race results

      3. someone or something
        28th August 2021, 16:11

        He’s referring to Russell, who’s been publicly told by Wolff to treat the Mercedes drivers as team mates (after Imola), and has since been quoted as agreeing with that and basically apologising for racing Bottas.
        The pressure is very much on him not to race Hamilton too hard, or otherwise prove he’s capable of playing the team game for Hamilton, since that’s the key quality Mercedes are after in their number 2 driver.

        Also, 1-3 for Red Bull? Hamilton is 3rd. You should take a closer look at the grid …

      4. Bottas has his 5 spot grid drop he earned from winning at bowling in Hungary last time @srga91

        1. someone or something
          28th August 2021, 16:22

          @bascb
          I have to admit that Stroll qualifying 20th and Bottas 13th makes me rather happy. They end up paying a fair price, that’s all I can ask for.

  1. Wow imagine russel in that mercedes or red bull. 10 seconds faster than anyone.

    1. 30 seconds, easliy.

  2. Congratulations George! What a mega lap! Only 3 tenths off Verstappen who is in a massively quicker car and is widely regarded as an incredible driver in the wet.

    1. And a mistake in the final corner! He could’ve even grabbed pole! Unbelievable!

    2. With respect, erikje, it comes across that you have a very limited understanding of F1, seemingly based on having a personal issue with Hamilton which causes you to lose any common sense.

      1. Erikje attacks Hamilton every opportunity she gets. She must have a thousand photos of Max on her bedroom wall.

    3. Neah, the shock is that he beat HAM… not that he was “only” 0.3sec behind VER. HAM is regarded as a better driver than VER in wet conditions (the best of the current generation for sure), plus Mercedes is just as fast as RBR, so…………

  3. P2 for Russell, also known as Toto what the heck are you waiting for?

  4. Can’t imagine what russel can do in mercedes if he beats Hamilton with that car in track conditions where it’s 100% driver skill

    1. 100% driver skill? Nothing to do with the state of tyres vs fuel load, timing and even luck. By your standards, Lando has zero skills?

  5. Glad to see Lando all right. It was a scary crash. He was a pole contender.
    But Toto, give Russel a seat already man!
    Good job from Ricciardo and Vettel
    Again disappointing from Perez and wet weather disaster Bottas

  6. Nicely mixed-up grid.

  7. I was wide eyed watching Russell set purple sectors and my mouth was open in shock when Hamilton failed to beat him. Crazy to think Verstappen needed to dig pretty deep to beat a WILLIAMS!? The 2nd slowest car on the grid, qualifying 2nd on the grid. Mental.

    Though I feel mostly sorry for Norris because if it wasn’t for that crash I think pole was arguably his.

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      28th August 2021, 16:15

      Williams left their sole run for the end on a fresh set of warmed up inters. Hamilton, Verstappen, and Bottas 2 consecutive runs on the same set, so the final quali lap was actually on 4 lap old tires. The real eye catching point here is Verstappen coming from 9 tenths down to 3 tenths ahead even after Hamilton improved.

      1. someone or something
        28th August 2021, 16:25

        You’re seriously talking down Russell’s shock performance as due to a simple trick that anyone could’ve copied (which I doubt had anywhere near the impact to explain his pace), in order to talk up Verstappen’s performance? Were you @asleepatthekeyboard?

        1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
          1st September 2021, 4:26

          Firstly, I am a Hamilton-Mercedes fan, but I try and keep my comments unbiased. I don’t see how I talked up Max’s performance by stating he improved by over 1.2 seconds, which he actually did.

          Secondly, Williams had nothing to lose if their ‘trick’ failed and they ended up P10 at worst in that session. However, Max and Lewis had to set a banker lap first as a P10 may have been fatal for their championship hopes. No one knew how the conditions would develop at that point of time.

          Thirdly, you contradict yourself by saying “you doubt the ‘trick’ had anywhere near the impact to explain Geroge’s pace” after you just saw him outqualify a Merc, 7 other capable cars, and almost beat RB to pole. After all these years of people moaning about Pirelli, you are still ignorant of the fact that tyre management and tyre temperatures are the key to success in current gen cars.

          Lastly, please use your grey matter before commenting on this forum. If you can’t, then don’t; we won’t miss your views.

          1. someone or something
            4th September 2021, 1:14

            I don’t see how I talked up Max’s performance by stating he improved by over 1.2 seconds, which he actually did.

            By saying “the real eye catching point here is Verstappen [improving]”. Verstappen finding some time and beating Hamilton is somehow more eye-catching than a Williams qualifying on the front row and beating Hamilton? Seriously?

            Thirdly, you contradict yourself by saying “you doubt the ‘trick’ had anywhere near the impact to explain Geroge’s pace” after you just saw him outqualify a Merc, 7 other capable cars, and almost beat RB to pole.

            That is only a contradiction if you want it to be one. I have eyes to see that George Russell qualified extremely well. You insist that this is due to that ‘trick’ that they used. I don’t. I don’t see it explaining anything. What did the trick consist in? Going out on the track with warm, fresh inters? So, basically the exact thing Verstappen and Hamilton did, just a few minutes earlier?
            Now tell me how that’s supposed to gain Russell so much time that he almost ends up taking pole.

            After all these years of people moaning about Pirelli, you are still ignorant of the fact that tyre management and tyre temperatures are the key to success in current gen cars.

            I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that I don’t know the importance of tyre temperatures. I can’t spell out every single fact I know, just to make sure someone doesn’t assume I don’t.
            But in this case, you’re simply committing a logical fallacy. Yeah, Russell may have had warmer tyres during his final (and only) flying lap than Verstappen and Hamilton did. However, it’s not just the final lap that counts, but every single one in the session. So what’s the matter with Hamilton’s and Verstappen’s first lap, on fresh, warm tyres? Why weren’t they clearly faster than George ‘One-Trick Pony’ Russell, with virtually identical performance parameters?
            No one really knows why. But the thing is, Williams’ ‘trick’ had little to nothing to do with it. There is no such thing as quantum entanglement for qualifying laps, so the fact that Hamilton and Verstappen did a cooldown lap and then a second flying attempt, on possibly somewhat cooler tyres, has no bearing on their pace in the first attempt. Your theory also fails to explain why Verstappen and Hamilton were able to go so much faster in their second attempt. I thought their tyres were getting so cold. But they weren’t in their first attempt, so what’s going on?
            I’ll tell you: Your theory is rubbish, that’s what’s going on.

            Lastly, please use your grey matter before commenting on this forum.

            Bold words in light of the fact that you don’t seem to grasp that what you’re saying is incoherent.

      2. The bigger question is why Mercedes were unable to keep a fresh set of warmed up inters for the final run

        1. Lewis personally flat spotted a set of inters. They used all available sets and have no fresh set for the race..

      3. Plus, on TV here they mentioned that Russell was driving with far more downforce than all others, which is a huge gamble considering the uncertainty about the conditions tomorrow.

        1. someone or something
          28th August 2021, 17:12

          @ Search
          I think your TV’s commentary team needs to sit down and do some reading, because the speed trap figures completely contradict what they’re saying. Russell was consistently among the fastest through the various speed traps on the circuit, particularly on the Kemmel straight. He was 2nd fastest in the official “top speed” speed trap (308.5 kph, just 0.4 behind Ricciardo), as well as 3rd fastest at the end of Sector 1 (315.7 kph – Bottas in 1st with 320.3 seems to be an outlier, probably slipstream).
          He does less well in the slower-speed speed traps (Sector 2 and finish line), where he was 5th at 187.2 kph and 8th at 219.7 kph respectively, indicating that he was indeed gaining more speed the longer the straight was. In other words: Less downforce than the rest, not more …

  8. Killer qually for Russell feel bad for Norris he was really showing how it was done. Good to see Ricciardo up there even if it was through attrition. I think Russel has just sent a message to the other to drivers, he’s going to be a force.

  9. That should be the final nail in the coffin for Bottas. Even if they don’t announce it for a while, I’m sure the Mercedes pit wall will have exchanged messages equivalent to “decision made”.

  10. Ocon trashes Alonso again. Raikkonen is also nowhere. Lewis losing to Russell… no wonder Lewis wants Bottas to stay.

  11. Davethechicken
    28th August 2021, 16:12

    Russell and Norris showed today their true class.
    Max needs to close out this championship as it might be his last shot at one!
    Give lando or George his car to see what their talent could do!

  12. IfImnotverymuchmistaken
    28th August 2021, 16:12

    Unbelieveable lap from Russel, great job. Hopefully the start is wet, because in the dry the Williams will fall back to it’s natural position.
    Glad Norris is ok, hopefully they are able to rebuild the car in time. I think Norris could’ve gotten pole, but now I just hope he starts the race.
    The weather will determine the winner tomorrow.

  13. Merc never once looked like getting pole all weekend in the wet it was only Hamilton doing a great first lap. Look at Max and Lewis both like 2.3 secs clear of there teammate. George was unreal but to say he suddenly beats Lewis week in week out which as never happend in his carear would say alot. Latifi is better than Alonso if that is the case

    Reply moderated
    1. If Merc never looked like getting pole, Williams looked like a pole car?!?! Let’s stop making ridiculous excuses.

  14. Amazing job by Russell! What a lap under these difficult conditions!

    Now Mercedes have no other choice. They simply have to sign…..Bottas again ;)

  15. Simply sensational from George Russell. I would say that is the biggest qualifying upset since Giancarlo Fisichella took pole here for Force India in 2009, and just beats Nico Hulkenberg’s Interlagos pole in 2010.

    1. For me it doesn’t beat Hulk’s Interlagos pole. I would also add Stroll’s pole in Turkey to the list…
      Rooting for George to have a great result tomorrow, maybe P5 or even a podium? Let’s see!

      1. someone or something
        28th August 2021, 16:38

        Stroll’s Turkey pole seriously lacks the main ingredient of Hulk’s pole and Russell’s P2 today: A car that wasn’t obviously the best car in these conditions.
        Back in Interlagos 2010, Hulk not only shocked the usual front-runners, but also his team mate Barrichello, who didn’t really have a reputation for being slow, much less in wet conditions.
        Today, Russell not only performed on the same level as drivers who usually outqualify him by 2 seconds, but he also put a lot of time between himself and his team mate Latifi (who, contrary to Barrichello, will probably never make it into anyone’s top 10 list, which further emphasises why Hülkenberg’s performance still stands out).
        Compared to that, Stroll’s pole position is far less spectacular. The Racing Point (?, whatever they were called back then) was clearly the fastest car under those conditions. Pérez was even faster than Stroll, but got unlucky with traffic before spinning his final attempt away. But even so, with just a single flying lap on an evolving track, Pérez qualified miles ahead of anyone that wasn’t driving a Red Bull: 2.2 seconds to 5th-placed Ricciardo, 3.2 seconds to Hamilton in the fastest Mercedes (!).

        1. For me, Giancarlo Fisichella’s pole definitely was the biggest upset as Force India had zero points before that point in both 2009 and the season before, were bottom in the championship, and it was a dry qualifying session. Also, he converted it into second in the race; we will wait and see what Russell does tomorrow. George Russell today and Nico Hulkenberg in 2010 are at a very similar level, but as Williams has overall been ninth quickest this season and they are eighth in the points, whereas it was sixth in the points in 2010 and sixth/seventh quickest car. I would say Nico Hulkenberg’s lap was more impressive (probably the most impressive qualifying lap I have ever seen in Formula 1) as he took pole by an entire second and, as you say, Barrichello is a much quicker in the wet than Latifi. But in terms of the biggest upset, Russell’s lap just edges it. I agree that Stroll’s lap wasn’t on the same level because the Racing Point was the third quickest car last season. Another potential candidate could be Pastor Maldonado in Spain 2012, particularly as he won the race, but I believe that the Williams that year was actually a lot faster than the eighth in the points suggests, and the driver lineup let them down massively.

          1. To be honest this goes to show what one (me) remembers (or not) of previous seasons, and how one can look at things from different (subjective) perspectives.
            Yes, Stroll did have the controversial Racing Point, so it wasn’t such a big surprise – but very unexpected as one doesn’t expect all that much of Stroll anyway. With George, I feel like we “know” he can win races and championships.
            With Maldonado’s win, as far as I remember, Williams had a very fast car all weekend. And Pastor did a good job controlling the race from the front, and was the 5th different winner in the first 5 races of the season. Somehow that wasn’t such a shock result – even though no one had high expectations of Maldonado either.

          2. My housemate and landlord at the time put money on a Force India to take pole position at that race based on their low downforce pace. I hadn’t seen any sign of it before (there hadn’t really been any low downforce races or tests) but Sutil backed it up with great pace at Monza after Fisi left for Ferrari.

  16. Turkey 2020…roles reversed.

  17. If Toto is still undecided about that 2nd Mercedes seat then Russell just made the decision a lot easier today.

  18. Hey, all you stat guys! When is the last time we had 6 different constructors heading up the grid?

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