F1 2023
Round 13

Max Verstappen Sets Fastest Time in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

be Spa Francorchamps

Round 13 of the season, Belgian Grand Prix is taking place at Spa Francorchamps. Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing, supported by Honda as a Team Partner, was P1, and Sergio Perez was P3.

Max Verstappen Sets Fastest Time in Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

Scuderia AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda was P11, Daniel Ricciardo was P19.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 1
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It was quite tough out there today; the conditions were tricky and there was only one dry line. Q2 was close, I had to abort my first lap because I went wide, we then did a slow lap and lost quite a bit of temperature in the tyres, the track ramped up pretty quickly so it was very close. The final lap in Q3 went well, we had to risk it all and to be on pole here feels great. We obviously have a very good race car and even in these tricky conditions we were able to show that again today. We have a gearbox penalty for the race on Sunday, last year we had more penalties and started even further back but the car is better this year, so I am still targeting a win. It definitely feels like a second home race, I grew up not far from here and it’s great to see so many fans. It was tough out here with the rain but everyone got stuck in and that’s great to see, so thank you very much! 

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Oracle Red Bull Racing
Every qualifying has its challenges, the conditions were super tricky: it took all Q1 to dry up and then the tyres were too warm in Q2 but then it all came together in Q3. We really needed to find the limits today and I am pleased to have finished in the top three. For the Sprint race tomorrow, we have good information about the crossover times and have a very busy day ahead of us. On Sunday, I will try my best and try to get Charles at the start which is always hard! But it is a long race, with high degradation and anything can happen. We certainly have a good position and are looking forward to it. 

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
The pace was pretty good, and I’m happy with the lap I put together. In the end, most of the cars were behind me, so they used the opportunity as the track was improving fairly quickly. The team called me in and put on the soft compound, which I didn’t expect to be quicker, but it worked. In the end, it was the right decision, so thanks to them. If you drive with the dry tyres on this track, and some corners flat out, it’s always a joy to drive here. It wasn’t quite flat out today, because the track was still drying, but it was still fun, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. The car was good and consistent, and I think the team gathered good knowledge about the car on the intermediate compound, which we struggled with three races ago, so we definitely made a huge step there. I was always feeling comfortable, and we were in good shape. Overall, I think it was a good day for the team; Daniel would’ve been through to Q2 if it wasn’t for track limits, so it’s encouraging for us. 

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo 3
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It’s frustrating to have my lap time deleted because of track limits at Turn 4. I tried to take Eau Rouge flat, I thought it was possible, but I was drifting off the good line and had to lift to try to stay on track, but it was just drifting. As soon as I got over the Turn 4 kerb, I knew I was probably over. I tried to put it behind me and keep going with the lap – you have an idea, but you never really know if you’re off, so I obviously kept pushing. I thought it was possible, but it wasn’t quite yet. Our qualifying position hurts me for Sunday, but fortunately, we have another chance tomorrow. I don’t like making mistakes obviously, but there’s the big picture where we’re doing ok. I’ll put it behind me and learn from it because there’s a lot to be encouraged by. 

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