Belgian Grand Prix LIVE: Max Verstappen starts from the back at Spa
Belgian Grand Prix LIVE: Championship leader Max Verstappen starts from the back of the grid alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Lewis Hamilton attempting to overcome massive pace disadvantage
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog as the Formula One campaign continues at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Get your drinks, grab your seats and get ready because we are just five minutes away until racing begins in Belgium!
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has said his team are ‘lacking the answers’ as to why their cars are so slow in Spa. He goes on to add that Lewis Hamilton doesn’t have confidence in the current car and admits it is confusing how they can start on pole last time out in Hungary and then be so slow in qualifying yesterday.
Formula One fans would have been cautious heading into today after rain at the event last year caused racing to last just two laps – the shortest race in F1 history.
Fortunately weather conditions are brilliant today with the sun beating down on the tarmac.
All cars are now out on track as drivers and mechanics make final changes to their cars as a host of celebrities and journalists make their way up and down the track.
This really does have all the makings of a classic grand prix with the quickest drivers split at the front and the back of the grid. Despite starting in 14th position on the grid, estimations suggest Verstappen will be up to P5 by the seventh lap.
Yesterday’s qualifying saw Max Verstappen smash out a brilliant time as he stormed to the front of the grid. However the championship leader will start from 14th place after incurring a grid penalty with Red Bull using too many engine parts during the season so far.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will also start from the back of the grid along with five other drivers from the same reason.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz starts from the front alongside Sergio Perez with it widely expected that Perez’s pace will see him take an early lead. Lewis Hamilton has a good chance from fourth spot behind them but his Mercedes car was well off the pace in qualifying.
Yuki Tsunoda will now start from the pit lane, so here's how the drivers will line up for lights out🚦#BelgianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/v9HVK4z8VW
Football superstars and celebrities are always spotted turning up at Formula One’s most glamorous events and today is no different with Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne joining the Red Bull camp for today’s race in Belgium.
De Bruyne will be cheering on Max Verstappen and was pictured earlier swapping shirts with the Dutchman. Pep Guardiola must have given his players a day off as De Bruyne makes the quick trip back to his homeland after playing in Man City’s 4-2 win over Crystal Palace yesterday.
All the drivers are heading out of the pits and onto the track as they warm their engines up before lining up on the grid with racing set to get underway at 3pm.
The future of the Belgium GP was in doubt after last year’s disaster that saw drivers complete just two laps behind the safety car as rain wreaked havoc on the historic event.
FIA Chiefs however have just announced that they will return to the Spa racetrack as part of the 2023 calendar but refused to reveal whether they track has a long term future in F1.
The drivers have been out doing their customary lap of the track with a host of vintage classic cars taking them on a trip around the circuit in front of a sea of orange-clad fans as thousands of Max Verstappen supporters make the short trip over from his home country of Holland.
Good afternoon and welcome to Belgium for the Spa GP. We are just under an hour away from lights out with Championship leader Max Verstappen starting from the back of the grid alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez lock out the front grid with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso lining up alongside Lewis Hamilton behind them.
Mercedes were well off the pace in yesterday’s qualifying session as Hamilton finished 1.8 seconds behind Verstappen and George Russell over two seconds.
So let’s build up to engines starting and stick with us as we bring you all the thrilling action from the Belgium grand prix.
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