Sainz takes Belgian GP pole position as host of drivers hit with grid penalties

The grid for the race will be significantly different from the pace on the day as a number of drivers took grid penalties for engine parts replacements.


Carlos Sainz secured a net pole position for Ferrari at the 2022 Belgian GP despite reigning champion Max Verstappen setting the fastest time of the qualifying session.

Verstappen will start the grand prix from 15th after he, alongside championship rival Charles Leclerc, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon for Alpine and a host of drivers were handed grid penalties for exceeding the permitted number of replacement engine parts.

Due to the penalties, Sainz was effectively battling Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez for pole, and the Spaniard managed to just put his car at the front despite a scruffy final flying lap when he struggled with tyre temperatures and a tap of the new gravel traps.

Leclerc had pushed Verstappen for top spot throughout the qualifying session, but with the Dutchman’s pace looking unbeatable he was unable to challenge, and he will start the race tomorrow just behind the championship leader in 16th.

F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 27, 2022 g REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

In yet another bizarre garage incident, Leclerc complained that Ferrari had put the wrong set of tyres on his car for his final flying lap, using a fresh set of soft rubber rather than used tyres as planned.

Despite qualifying in sixth on the day, Fernando Alonso will start the race on the second row from third as he benefited from a tow down the Kemmel Straight from his teammate Ocon.

Mercedes at a loss

Given their improved performance in the run up to the summer break, many had expected a significant leap forward from Mercedes at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, traditionally a strong track for the team.

However, both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggled for pace throughout the practice sessions, and that form carried over into qualifying as the pair could only manage to put their cars in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Mercedes’ George Russell in action during 2022 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying REUTERS/Johanna Geron

The penalties mean that Hamilton will start the race alongside Alonso from fourth on the second grid with Russell in fifth for the 2022 Belgian GP.

Hamilton was 1.8 seconds off the fastest lap set by Verstappen at the top of the timing charts, and the seven-time champion appeared baffled by the gap on the radio to engineer Pete Bonnington at the end of the session.

Wonderful Williams

Elsewhere on the grid, Alex Albon made it through to Q3 for the first time this season for Williams, meaning that all drivers have now managed to compete for a top 10 spot in 2022 qualifying sessions.

Albon’s and Williams’ straight line speed helped them to 9th on the timing charts, just ahead of Norris in 10th, and he will start the race from 6th on the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo once again failed to get his McLaren into Q3 as he could only manage 11th overall on the timing chart, but will start the race from 7th, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.

It was another tough outing for Aston Martin, with Sebastian Vettel agonisingly missing out on Q2 by just two thousandths of a second, while his teammate Lance Stroll was unable to capitalise on his promising practice performances and was knocked out in Q2.

However, with the host of grid penalties, Vettel was subsequently promoted to 10th overall for the race, with Stroll in 9th.

Matt Neill
Matt Neill
With years of experience in the motorsports field and Matt Neill founded to give clarity and more depth to the digital F1 landscape.
- Advertisment -


Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -