Leclerc wins Spa pole ahead of Hamilton and Vettel


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Ferrari secured its first first-second qualifying since April as Charles Leclerc beat teammate Sebastian Vettel to pole position for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

The team has not won a race since October last year, but now stand the chance  of a first win in months this Sunday with its two cars starting from the front of the grid. This was the Monacan’s third pole position of his young career and was secured by over 0.7s faster than teammate Vettel.

While Ferrari clearly had a single-lap advantage at Spa-Francorchamps, data from Friday practice suggests Mercedes looks the team to beat on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton starts from third after his mechanics rebuilt his car over the lunch break following a big crash in final practice. He just missed out on beating Vettel by 0.015s but secured third ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.133s.

Max Verstappen will start fifth, while new teammate Alex Albon — who replaced the underperforming Pierre Gasly over the summer — starts at the tail of the grid after suffering a penalty for an engine upgrade.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, should have started in six and seven but will drop to 11th and 12th on the grid due to engine penalties of their own.

The Renault penalties will promote Kimi Raikkonen to sixth ahead of Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen, who also move up the order.

Romain Grosjean missed out on a place in Q3 by 0.059s to Haas teammate Magnussen, but will start in the top ten due penalties for the Renault drivers. Lando Norris will also move up to 11th after qualifying 12th, while Lance Stroll will drop to the back of the grid with an engine penalty after qualifying 13th. Red Bull’s new recruit, Albon, qualified 14th.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz also missed out on a second run in Q1 due to Giovinazzi’s engine failure and qualified 17th, but was due an engine penalty regardless.

George Russell was over a second off Kvyat and 19th fastest overall in the sole surviving Williams from the session.

Belgium Spa-Francorchamps hosts the Belgian gran-pix on sunday September 1

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