Verstappen's pole, Russell and Norris' feat to the hospital

'Mad Max' returns to pole ahead of Williams and Hamilton. Czech was seventh. Sainz was 13th and Alonso 14th on a bad day for Ferrari and Alpine.


It was Norris's day, the first great door of a wand-touched pilot. The McLaren was flying on the asphalt of Spa-Francorchamps whether it was difficult, wet or simply impractical, on the way to a pole of those that are remembered in the history books. The boyish Englishman led Q1 three seconds behind his teammate and finished first in Q2, ahead of the World Cup winning cars. When Q3 arrived, he alerted his hydroplaning engineers moments before crashing in Eau Rouge, at very high speed, and traveling from side to side of the track clutching a useless steering wheel, on a carbon fiber wagon that would rotate six times. before stopping in front of the Radillon guardrail. Red flag, "sorry guys" and a scrapped McLaren. The pilot was rushed to the hospital for precautionary tests and an x-ray of the elbow. The deluge of Spa in the Belgium classification was looking for a hero, but it would not be Lando.

During three-quarters of an hour the damage from the crash was fixed (on a circuit with questionable safety features) before resuming the final qualifying with nine cars. The sun came out again in the Ardennes forest and it was played on intermediate tires. First Hamilton, then Bottas, Pérez's response, an erratic Verstappen… nothing escaped the script in excess on an exciting Saturday until George Russell began to paint all the microsectors of the computers purple! The Englishman planted Williams on virtual pole two minutes from the conclusion, there was the employee of the month.

Hamilton did not beat him, Valtteri fell to eighth place. Only the last desperate attempt by Mad Max removed the humble Williams from the top spot in exchange for a thunderous applause from the stands and a few orange flares. Verstappen starts first this Sunday while Russell leaves in a Mercedes, in all likelihood. They say that if his signing for Brackley's team has not yet been announced, it is so as not to sour Bottas' birthday this Sunday. The lanky English driver has already spoiled the party for cold Valtteri. Hamilton and a reborn Ricciardo completed the second row with Vettel, Gasly and Checo in the top-7.

Wreck of Ferrari and Alpine

McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin raced, apart from Mercedes, but Ferraris and Alpine did not contribute much. It was a constant. The strategy didn't help either: the Italians' wall bet on rain in Q2, from the start they informed the drivers that there would be water in the middle of the session, so Leclerc and Sainz rushed to change tires to complete the second run. with new intermediates before anyone else. It was a mistake, it did not rain until the end and by then the SF21 were walking with the hook, with some worn tires, at the mercy of George Russell. The Monegasque was 11th and the Madrilenian, 13th, separated by Latifi.

After Carlos will leave an Alonso who could not do much more under the curtain of water. In this case, the strategy failed in the opposite direction: until the last moment he did not release tires and had to 'destroy' them on the starting lap to be able to complete the timed session on time. In any case, it went from 15th to 14th, there wasn't much more to extract either. Ocon saved the cut into Q3 with a slim margin, but will still start ninth this Sunday. The Spanish will gain a position, predictably, for the sad outcome of Norris.

The rain dance. For the race (Sunday, 3:00 p.m. CET, Dazn F1), the forecast predicts an 80% probability of water during the race, and the trend of the weekend forces us to think that at some point in the test he will gladly juggle at Spa-Francorchamps. That will open up opportunities and lead to mistakes, as has happened in the last big prizes. Another Sunday for those who bought the ticket to sit in the gallery with the feeling that anyone could win.

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