Hamilton takes the 93rd pole position of his career, Ricciardo records his best Belgian qualifying result and Ferrari fail to qualify in the top ten at Spa for the first time in history. Here are all the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix!
HAMILTON ON POLE
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, lapping 0.511 seconds faster than his team-mate. It was the 93rd pole position of his career and his sixth pole at Spa Francorchamps. He becomes the first driver to have started from the front row nine times at the circuit.
With his pole position lap, Lewis Hamilton broke the Spa Francorchamps track record by 0.249 seconds.
With Valtteri Bottas qualifying in second place, Mercedes locked out the front row for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix. This is the team’s third front row lock out at the circuit, their first since 2015.
THE TOP TEN
With Max Verstappen qualifying third and Alex Albon fifth, this is the first time that both Red Bull drivers have qualified in the top five for the Belgian Grand Prix since 2016.
Alex Albon equalled his career-best qualifying position with fifth place. The Thai driver set a time one tenth faster than Max Verstappen in Sector 1 – the first time that he has been faster than Verstappen in any sector during qualifying so far in 2020.
For only the second time since taking his last pole position at the 2018 Mexico Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo qualified in the top four. He also did so at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix. Fourth place is the Australian’s best ever qualifying result at the track.
Esteban Ocon qualified in sixth place, making this the first time since 2005 that both Renault drivers have qualified in the top six for the Belgian Grand Prix. This is only the second time since the 2007 French Grand Prix that both Renault drivers have lined up in the top six on the grid. They also did so at last year’s Italian Grand Prix.
For the first time since 2014, both McLaren drivers qualified in the top ten for the Belgian Grand Prix. Carlos Sainz qualified in seventh, while Lando Norris qualified in tenth – the same positions in which Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button qualified the last time both McLaren drivers reached Q3 at this circuit.
Both Racing Point drivers appeared in the top ten. While Sergio Perez recorded his sixth consecutive Q3 appearance at Spa Francorchamps, this was the first time that Lance Stroll has qualified in the top ten at the circuit.
OUT IN Q2
For the first time in 53 Formula 1 races at Spa Francorchamps, no Ferrari driver qualified in the top ten. It’s also the first time since 2015 that a Ferrari driver has qualified outside of the top ten for the Belgian Grand Prix, as well as the first time since 2012 that Sebastian Vettel has failed to qualify in the top ten at the circuit.
This is only the eighth time since the current qualifying system was introduced in 2006 that neither Ferrari driver has reached Q3. They also failed to do so at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix, the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix, the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, the 2012 European Grand Prix and the 2014 British Grand Prix.
With eleventh place, Daniil Kvyat recorded his best qualifying result of the season so far. Meanwhile, his AlphaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly qualified in twelfth position, equalling his worst qualifying result of the season.
George Russell reached Q2 and became the first Williams driver to progress past Q1 at the Belgian Grand Prix since both drivers appeared in the top ten in 2016.
OUT IN Q1
Both Haas drivers were eliminated in Q1. The team had not previously recorded a Q1 elimination at this circuit. It’s also the first time since 2017 that neither Haas driver qualified in the top ten for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Kevin Magnussen qualified in last place. It’s the sixth time that the Dane has qualified 20th or lower, the first time he has done so since the 2017 United States Grand Prix.
For the eighth time in the last ten races, both Alfa Romeo drivers were eliminated in Q1. It’s the first time that both of the team’s cars have been eliminated in Q1 at the Belgian Grand Prix since 2017.
Kevin Magnussen, Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi had never been eliminated in Q1 at Spa before qualifying for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean recorded his first Q1 exit at Spa since his maiden appearance in 2009.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.