Max Verstappen made it a clean sweep of pole positions at the Belgian Grand Prix, finishing top of the timesheets in a thrilling Sprint Shootout.
Heavy rain once again meant the session was delayed, but by the time it got going the sun had broken through to make for another fascinating on-track battle.
The Dutchman left it late, but his 1:49.056 was good enough to deny Oscar Piastri by just 11 thousandths of a second.
Carlos Sainz will line up third for the Sprint after leading a Ferrari second row alongside Charles Leclerc.
Lando Norris had no answer to his team-mate’s pace in fifth, ahead of Pierre Gasly in sixth after a better session for Alpine.
Lewis Hamilton had looked like a pole contender but was thwarted on his final run by George Russell, who locked up badly into Turn 1 and then held up his team-mate throughout the first sector.
In eighth, Sergio Perez seemed to get his timing all wrong again, finding himself on track before it ramped up to its quickest, leaving him up against it for the Sprint.
Esteban Ocon and Russell finished ninth and 10 respectively.
F1 2023 Belgian GP Sprint Qualifying Result
|1.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|8.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull|
Aston Martin’s slick-tyre gamble backfires
The cutoff point for slicks arrived in SQ3 but Aston Martin gambled towards the end of SQ2, sending Lance Stroll out on the mediums.
However, on the Canadian’s final flying lap he was caught out by the camber at the corner with no name and crashed into the barrier to bring out the red flag.
To make matters worse, with just 30 seconds left on the clock, SQ2 would not be restarted, meaning both Stroll and Fernando Alonso failed to progress into SQ3.