F1 Qualifying LIVE: Lewis Hamilton aims for first pole position of the year at the Belgian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo reacts to ‘bittersweet’ exit from McLaren

The Formula 1 season returns after the summer break this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit with Max Verstappen 80 points clear of Charles Leclerc in the standings.

The 2021 world champion has won eight of his first 13 races this season, the latest coming at the Hungarian Grand Prix a month ago after a dominant performance as the Belgian-Dutchman stormed through the field from P10. F1’s return to Belgium will come after some big news at the end of the summer break with Daniel Ricciardo leaving McLaren at the end of this season, paving the way for Oscar Piastri to move to McLaren after the 2021 F2 champion dramatically turned down a position at Alpine. .

In practice on Friday, Sainz was fastest in FP1 with Verstappen fastest in second practice. However, Verstappen and Leclerc are among six drivers suspended for this weekend, meaning they will start at the back of the grid for Sunday’s race. Sergio Perez went fastest in FP3 on Saturday, while Leclerc crashed into the barriers. Qualifying was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (BST), but were delayed while a broken dam was repaired.

Follow all the action as it happens with The Independent:


F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: WEATHER UPDATE

It’s dry at Spa-Francorchamps for qualifying this afternoon – for now.

Remember last year’s dramatic qualifying session in the wet? Lando Norris’ heavy overtaking and George Russell’s memorable second-place finish in a Williams? Let’s hope the rain stays away this time…

Still no update on the start time of the qualifiers here…

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F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: QUALIFICATIONS DELAYED!

The qualifying start time has been delayed here, with the start of the session delayed as the Marshalls try to fix a broken track barrier…

The crash occurred in the Porsche Supercup race that took place before qualifying, after two cars collided.

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F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: Current driver standings

1. Max Verstappen – 258 points

2. Charles Leclerc – 178 points

3. Sergio Perez – 173 points

4. George Russell – 158 points

5. Carlos Sainz – 156 points

6. Lewis Hamilton – 146 points

7. Lando Norris – 76 points

8. Esteban Ocon – 58 points

9. Valtteri Bottas – 46 points

10. Fernando Alonso – 41 points

11. Kevin Magnussen – 22 points

12. Daniel Ricciardo -19 points

13. Pierre Gasly – 16 points

14. Sebastian Vettel – 16 points

15. Mick Schumacher – 12 points

16. Yuki Tsunoda – 11 points

17. Guanyu Zhou – 5 points

18. Lance Stroll – 4 points

19. Alex Albon – 3 points

20. Nikolaos Latifi – 0 points

21. Nico Hulkenberg – 0 points


F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: Christian Horner insists historic races like Spa should be ‘circumscribed’ on F1 calendar

Red Bull boss Christian Horner insists big and historic races must remain on the Formula 1 calendar with the future of the Belgian Grand Prix uncertain. Formula 1 returns after the summer break this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, but the future of the race is unclear as it enters the final year of its current contract.

There have been indications that Spa may lose its place on the 2023 calendar as F1 tries to fit in as many races as possible while catering to new venues such as Las Vegas, possibly South Africa and the possible return of China.

With the long-term future of the Monaco Grand Prix also far from certain, Horner told Sky F1 it was imperative that Formula 1 protect traditional venues from falling out of the busy tournament schedule.

“Spa, definitely … it’s one of those historic races,” Horner said. “Monza, Silverstone, Spa, they are the big and historic ones, we have to fence them off and protect them.”


F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: F1 boss insists Belgian Grand Prix at Spa could remain on calendar for 2023 with ‘discussions still ongoing’

Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali says the Belgian Grand Prix could survive next season’s calendar. The future of the race at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps venue – last year it was called off after just two laps of rain behind the safety car – is in doubt as F1 chiefs continue to expand the sport’s schedule. A record 24 games have been submitted for next year.

But speaking ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, the first since F1’s four-week summer shutdown, Domenicali said: “I saw a comment that Sunday’s race in Belgium would be the last, but I would be very cautious about this. Discussions continue.

“We are working and talking to other organizers to see if they are ready for a full commitment next year, but the balance is to find a mix of races with one third in Europe, one third in the Far East and the other third in the Americas. and the Middle East.

“We’ve always said that the traditional races, even though they can’t bring in the same money as others, have the utmost respect from us, and you’ll see that respected this year and in the future.”

A debut race on the Las Vegas strip has already been confirmed for 2023, while the return of the South African Grand Prix to Kyalami is also on the cards. However, it is unclear whether the Kyalami circuit, last used by F1 19 years ago, will be ready for next season, giving Spa a possible reprieve.


F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton confident Mercedes can win first race of 2022 Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has raised the prospect of ending the toughest period of his Formula One career by winning Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. The second half of the season begins at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, kicking off a run of nine races in twelve weeks. Hamilton is 112 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen after a poor start to the season for the seven-time world champion and the Mercedes team.

But the British driver headed into the summer close off the back of five successive podiums – including runner-up finishes at the most recent rounds in France and Hungary.

Hamilton’s hopes of ending his 14-race losing streak could also be helped here if Red Bull’s Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz opt to get new engines, relegating them to the back of the grid.

And when asked if he feels he’s getting closer to a win, 37-year-old Hamilton said: “I definitely do. We are improving and have become consistent in the last few races. The team is coming together, making great progress and we keep pushing.

“The car has become more of a racing car and not what it was at the start of the year. This is positive, and the last race [Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell finished third] it was the best performance we’ve had so far.”


F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: ICYMI yesterday… Audi to join Formula 1 from 2026 as power unit supplier

Audi will join Formula 1 from 2026 as a power unit supplier, following an announcement on Friday morning. The new F1 power unit regulations for 2026 – with increased electric power and 100% sustainable fuel – are designed to make entry to the sport more attractive for newcomers, and the German manufacturer is the first confirmed new entry for four years.

Audi says it will announce a decision on the team it will “line up with in 2026 by the end of this year”, with the company expected to focus on Swiss-backed Sauber (currently racing as Alfa Romeo). and enter as a full manufacturer.

Hours after Audi’s announcement, Alfa Romeo announced that it will end its Formula 1 ties with Sauber from the end of next year. “I am delighted to welcome Audi to Formula 1, an iconic car brand, pioneer and technological innovator,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the launch at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.


F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: What time is qualifying?

Qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps starts at 3pm. (BST)!

How can I watch it online and on TV?

The entire schedule of matches from Saturday to Sunday will be broadcast live Sky Sports F1 with the qualification on Sky Sports Main Event very. The highlights will be broadcast on Channel 4; for qualifying and the race at 6:30 p.m. (BST) on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

If you’re not a Sky customer, you can get a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch it without a subscription.

We may earn a commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow it to influence our content. This revenue helps fund journalism across The Independent.

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F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: FP3 – Perez, Verstappen, Sainz

Sergio Perez he goes faster in the final seconds and is on top – 0.137 seconds ahead of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen!

Carlos Sainz is third, with Lando Norris fourth and Fernando Alonso fifth.

Russell 6th, Hamilton down to 12th…

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F1 Qualifying – Belgian Grand Prix: FP3 – Green Flag

We came back really hard – that red flag was thrown a little too early there!

With four minutes to go, drivers will have one last chance or two to influence the timesheets…

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