Carlos Sainz will begin from pole on the Belgian Grand Prix regardless of not setting the quickest time in qualifying, after a slew of engine and gearbox penalties for drivers arrange a wildly combined up grid for Sunday’s race.
In a bizarre quirk of F1’s guidelines, it means no driver is beginning Sunday’s race from the place they certified.
The combo up is because of the quantity of engine parts allowed for drivers earlier than penalties are incurred — the character of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit makes it a really perfect place to make a tactical engine change as there are many overtaking alternatives to permit recoveries from lowly grid positions.
The seven drivers who took engine and gearbox penalties will hope to make the top of the season with no need to take one other.
Championship chief and reigning champion Max Verstappen and title rival Charles Leclerc begin on the rear finish of the grid because of this.
Six of these seven begin from the again and their positions have been all dictated by their ultimate qualifying place. However, Alfa Romeo made use of a loophole within the rules to suit Valtteri Bottas with a brand new energy unit and a gearbox with out incurring a “back of grid” penalty (defined beneath).
Beginning order (and the place they certified):
1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) Certified 2nd
2. Sergio Perez (Crimson Bull) Certified third
3. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) Certified sixth
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) Certified seventh
5. George Russell (Mercedes) Certified eighth
6. Alex Albon (Williams) Certified ninth
7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) Certified eleventh
8. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) Certified twelfth
9. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Certified 14th
10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Certified sixteenth
11. Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Certified seventeenth
12. Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Certified 18th
13. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Certified nineteenth
14. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) Certified twentieth *Penalty
Though Bottas’ whole penalty equated to twenty locations on the grid — which might usually be a “back of grid” penalty — as a result of Alfa Romeo unfold the penalties with 15 locations for the facility unit and 5 for the gearbox, fairly than making 20 locations value of adjustments in a single penalty, he technically has a 20-place penalty fairly than a “back of grid” penalty.
Because of this, his 20-place penalty means he begins forward of drivers with a “back of grid” penalty.The FIA intends to shut the loophole for future races.
15. Max Verstappen (Crimson Bull), Certified 1st *Penalty
16. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Certified 4th *Penalty
17. Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Certified fifth *Penalty
18. Lando Norris (McLaren) Certified tenth *Penalty
19. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Certified thirteenth *Penalty
20. Mick Schumacher (Haas), Certified fifteenth *Penalty
Nice spectacle awaits
The combined up grid ought to create an exhilarating occasion, with a Ferrari and Crimson Bull sharing the entrance row and previous rivals Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton sharing the second row.
Mercedes has lacked tempo this weekend however will fancy its possibilities of taking benefit from its two drivers being shuffled just a few positions up the order, whereas Alonso will look to assault from third on the grid.
Alex Albon will begin from sixth place after a really spectacular qualifying efficiency
Daniel Ricciardo did not make it by way of to Q3 however he’ll begin from seventh place simply days after McLaren confirmed he is not going to stick with the workforce subsequent yr.
The Australian driver can be fired as much as show McLaren flawed with a robust efficiency.
Ricciardo’s teammate Lando Norris may even be one to look at from the again finish of the sector after displaying sturdy type all through follow.