Verstappen leads Russell in the spectacular qualifying for the Belgian GP; The gates last

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen mastered the soggy Spa-Francorchamps track to grab pole position from surprise star George Russell in a crash-interrupted qualifying session for the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix on Saturday. Lance Stroll of Montreal finished 20th.

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen mastered the dangerous conditions on a soggy Spa-Francorchamps track to grab pole position from surprise star George Russell in a qualifying session interrupted by a crash for the Belgian Grand Prix of Formula 1 Saturday.

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The Dutchman completed the seven km track in one minute 59.765 seconds.

Russell briefly looked like he was going to grab a pole of shock in his Williams, even Mercedes championship leader Lewis Hamilton unable to beat him, but was eventually passed by Verstappen with a lap of 0.321 seconds longer. fast.

Hoping to join Hamilton in the champion squad next season, Russell inadvertently ends up being a buffer between the seven-time champion, who will start third, and his title rival Red Bull.

“It was so tough there,” said Verstappen, who heads into Sunday’s race eight points behind Hamilton in the overall standings after losing a 33-point lead in just two races. “We needed this.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris pulled away from a big shunt in the qualifying final which forced a 40-minute timeout in the session.

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The Briton, who had led the first two parts of the qualifying hour, was the first driver on the track in the penalty shoot-out when his car lost control and crashed into the barriers in the quick turn of the Eau Rouge .

He was taken to the medical center for checks.

“I should have had a good one there. I let you down; my bad, ”Norris told his team over the radio.

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