A Ferrari driver inherits pole at Spa for a second consecutive year, McLaren record their best combined qualifying result in Belgium since 2010 and Bottas out-qualifies his team-mate at Spa for the first time in seven years. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN FASTEST, LECLERC ON POLE AT THE 2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
For the second year in a row, Max Verstappen set the fastest qualifying lap time at the Belgian Grand Prix. However, for the second year in a row, a grid penalty means that Verstappen will not start from pole. Instead, also for the second year in a row, Ferrari inherit the pole position.
While it was Carlos Sainz who started from pole last year, it is Charles Leclerc who moves to the front of the grid at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix. This will be Leclerc’s 20th pole position, making him the 17th driver to have taken 20 poles in their career.
Leclerc equals Valtteri Bottas as the non-champion to have started from pole position on the most occasions during their Formula 1 career.
This is Leclerc’s first pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix since 2019. He is the 11th driver to have taken multiple poles at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
This is Ferrari’s 12th pole position at Spa-Francorchamps, seeing them set a new outright record for most poles at the circuit. They were previously tied for most poles at the track with McLaren.
Max Verstappen secured the fastest qualifying time at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix by 0.820 seconds – the largest margin by which a driver has set the fastest lap time in qualifying at Spa since Juan Pablo Montoya took pole for the 2002 Belgian Grand Prix by 0.887 seconds.
As a result of his grid penalty, Verstappen will start the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix from sixth on the grid. A win from that position would make him only the second driver, after Fernando Alonso, to have won from nine different grid slots during his Formula 1 career.
IN THE TOP TEN
Red Bull reached Q3 with both cars at consecutive races for the first time since the Azerbaijan and Miami Grands Prix.
Setting the third fastest time in Q3, the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix marks Sergio Perez’s first top three qualification since he took pole position for the Miami Grand Prix.
Perez equalled his best Belgian Grand Prix qualifying result, having also qualified third last year.
With Oscar Piastri sixth and Lando Norris seventh, this is the first time since 2010 that both McLaren drivers have qualified in the top seven at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Piastri out-qualified his team-mate for the second time this season. The 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is the only other race at which the Australian has qualified ahead of his team-mate.
With seventh place, 2023 is the first time that Norris has qualified above tenth at the Belgian Grand Prix. He qualified tenth at the event in all of the previous three seasons.
The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix marks the first time since the 2021 United States, Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix that McLaren have reached Q3 with both cars at three consecutive races.
Both Aston Martin drivers reached Q3 for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix. It’s the first time the team has reached Q3 with both cars at the Belgian Grand Prix since 2020.
Qualifying ninth for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso equalled his worst qualifying result of the season for a second consecutive race. He remains the only driver to reach Q3 at every race this year.
Lance Stroll reached Q3 at Spa for only the second time in his career. He last reached the top ten in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix in 2020, when he qualified ninth.
OUT IN Q2
With 11th place, Yuki Tsunoda reached Q2 for the first time since the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix. 11th is his best qualifying result since he last reached Q3 at the Monaco Grand Prix.
For the first time since 2018, neither of the Alpine team’s drivers reached Q3 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Kevin Magnussen qualified in 13th place for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix, making this the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix that he did not qualify on the back row of the grid. Magnussen received a three-place grid penalty.
For the first time since the 2022 Miami and Spanish Grands Prix, neither Alpine driver reached Q3 for a second consecutive race at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.
Pierre Gasly recorded his fourth Q2 exit at the Belgian Grand Prix, equalling the record for most Q2 exits at Spa-Francorchamps. Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean have also recorded four Q2 exits here.
The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix marks the third time in the last four years that Gasly has qualified 12th at Spa.
Qualifying only 15th, Esteban Ocon recorded his worst qualifying result of the season to date – and his worst qualifying result in a conventional qualifying session since setting the 18th fastest time at the 2022 United States Grand Prix.
This was the first time since his first appearance in 2016 that Ocon failed to reach Q3 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas qualified 14th for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix, out-qualifying his team-mate at Spa for the first time since 2016.
OUT IN Q1
After having his top ten lap time deleted for exceeding track limits, Daniel Ricciardo was out in Q1. This marked his first Q1 exit since the 2022 United States Grand Prix and his first Q1 elimination at the Belgian Grand Prix since 2013; his last appearance here with the Red Bull junior team.
This was the first time Ricciardo qualified on the back row since qualifying last at the 2017 British Grand Prix and his first back row qualification at the Belgian Grand Prix since qualifying 23rd with HRT in 2011.
With Alex Albon qualifying 16th and Logan Sargeant 18th for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix, Williams recorded their first double Q1 exit at Spa since 2019.
Alex Albon was eliminated in Q1 at the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time in his career. He reached Q3 at Spa in each of the previous two seasons.
This is the first time since the 2022 Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix that both Williams drivers have been out in Q1 at consecutive races.
Nico Hulkenberg was eliminated in Q1 for the third time in the 2023 season. This was Hulkenberg’s first Q1 exit at the Belgian Grand Prix since 2014.
This was Hulkenberg’s first back row qualification since the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, as well as the first time he qualified outside of the top 18 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg’s Q1 exit made this the fourth consecutive season in which at least one Haas driver has been eliminated in the first part of qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix.