Belgian Grand Prix weather update: Will it rain at Spa?

Belgian Grand Prix weather: Will it rain at Spa and how will conditions affect the F1 race on Sunday?

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The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix is set to take place in changeable conditions with yet more rain forecast for Spa, but the grand prix will also likely feature dry spells in keeping with the weekend so far.

Qualifying, the sprint shootout and the sprint race have all forced teams to pick the right crossover point between tyres on a drying Spa track, and that trend is set to continue into what should be a fascinating and unpredictable grand prix.

Charles Leclerc will start the race first after an upturn in form for Ferrari, while Oscar Piastri and Pierre Gasly rode the waves well in the sprint to secure podium finishes, and Max Verstappen is the only driver to finish in the top four of every session so far.

Saturday saw Piastri burnish his burgeoning reputation as one of the best wet-weather drivers in Formula 1 as he outqualified his teammate – and certified rainmaster himself – Lando Norris by three-tenths and held off the fast Ferraris for second on the grid.

He then led his first F1 laps in the afternoon, benefitting from a sound strategy call to emerge in the lead ahead of Verstappen and went on to finish second, a comfortable four seconds ahead of the Dutchman.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc at 2023 Belgian GP Sprint | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Ferrari have also had their best weekend in months at Spa, with both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz able to push the SF-23 to the limit and find grip where most of the grid can’t on the damp surface.

Meanwhile the Mercedes W14 hasn’t looked at its best despite new upgrades, but Lewis Hamilton in particular has been able to drag every last dreg of laptime out of the car in conditions he excels in.

However, the forecast is bad news for Sergio Perez. He actually pulled out one of his better wet performances in qualifying to stick his Red Bull fourth, but looked all at sea on intermediate tyres in the sprint race and dropped ten places in a single lap before retiring the car.

Spa weather

Max Verstappen of Red Bull during 2023 Belgian GP Sprint Shootout | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

There’s at least a 50% chance of rain on Sunday around the 3pm local time start, with some forecasts rising up to nearly 90%.

The good news is that we should see some racing, there’s even less rain expected to fall than on Saturday it’s just going to be focused around race time.

The showers should clear up towards the end of the race too so there could be a fascinating conundrum for strategists of whether to switch onto dry tyres for a final sprint to the end – and when to do so.

Belgium‘s national weather service is the most optimistic for rain and it also predicts a pretty lowly high of 16 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, so expect to see drivers struggling with tyre temperature especially if they switch to the softs.

And to add more potential trouble for the drivers, the wind speed is expected to be around 15 miles per hour with gusts of up to 30.

It looks like the race will remain in intermediate tyre territory given the rain is expected to be light, but who will have the nerve to go to slicks first? The race, or at least places on the podium, could depend on it.

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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