F1 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying LIVE RESULTS: Verstappen tops FP3 with Perez second and Hamilton third – latest updates

THE F1 season is back today with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Lewis Hamilton leads rival Max Verstappen by eight points at the halfway point of a nail-biting campaign.


Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

  • Ben Hunt


    Verstappen tops the session. Perez second and Hamilton third.

    All delicately poised for qualifying, which will be in tricky conditions.

  • Ben Hunt


    Mid-way through the session, F1 have published their new F1 calendar. Turkey moves back a week. Austin becomes a stand alone race… hmmm

  • Ben Hunt


    The McLaren man has had a steady weekend in Spa so far. This is his 50th F1 race.

  • Ben Hunt


    A damp track here at Spa and Nikita Mazepin has already spun off. Both Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen complaining about their brakes.

  • Kealan Hughes


    Choosing to replace Valtteri Bottas with George Russell might be a call which costs Mercedes the constructors' title in 2022, according to a former racer and Sky Sports pundit Paul Di Resta.

    The Scot claimed the stability the Silver Arrows would have by keeping Bottas could help them fend off other challenges next season.

    He said on Sky Sports F1: "Lewis is going to probably be the most successful ever in Formula 1 for quite some time and Valtteri is a guy who 25 per cent of the time can outqualify him.

    "When it comes to wheel-to-wheel racing on a Sunday it's very different, but when you look at how people succeed in sport you generally need to have somebody at the top and somebody supporting them. Valtteri is playing that ideal support role for Lewis.

    "Red Bull openly said when they re-signed Sergio Perez that they've done it to give them stability to fight for this championship. If Valtteri gets told he's not in that car next season, how does he go and help fight for that championship for Lewis?"

  • Kealan Hughes


    Six W-Series drivers were involved in a horror crash during the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, the venue for Sunday's F1 race.

    Ayla Agren and Beitske Visser were taken to hospital following the shocking incident in the female-only event but evaded serious injury.

    The incident happened at Spa's notorious Eau Rouge corner, one of the most challenging in motorsport.

    It comes just two years after promising F2 driver Anthoine Hubert was killed at the exit of Eau Rouge.

    The drama unfolded when British driver Sarah Moore, 27, lost control at the corner and span into the tyre wall.

    Fellow Brit Abbie Eaton, 29, was just behind Moore and also went off the track and into the tyres, deflecting into her compatriot.

  • Kealan Hughes


    Valtteri Bottas was happy with how his Friday sessions went at Spa-Francorchamps, with the Finn ending inside the top two in both the morning and afternoon.

    Bottas feels it will be important to be fast in a straight line so he was experimenting with a lower downforce set-up, but he knows that set-up will not work if its wet.

    He said: “Everything felt pretty good out there today. As we saw from the timesheets, it’s going to be very close with Red Bull once again so we’ll look into the detail tonight and see what marginal gains we can find.

    “The pace on both the short and the long runs was pretty decent. It’s always tricky to compare in detail from the practice sessions, but at least the feeling is good, so that is a positive start to the weekend.

    “We looked quite fast on the straights with the wing level we ran and in the race, it’ll be important for me to be quick in sectors one and three, to make the overtakes. But then, if it rains, you want more downforce.

    “So, session by session, we need to see how it is going to look. That decision will be key for Qualifying.”

  • Kealan Hughes


    Lewis Hamilton has been open about his struggles with fatigue this season after suffering from long Covid.

    The four weeks rest between Gran Prix's would have been very welcome to him, therefore, and he has spoken about methods of relaxation which have helped him to recover.

    In an interview with T3, he said: "My mind is always on the go, I'm always thinking about something, I'm always thinking what's next, what am I doing next, you know?

    "One of the important things for training and health is sleep. And I don't sleep very well.

    "I got into meditation, which I didn't have time to do… well, not that I didn't have time to do before, but I hadn't had the patience to really, to do it more. So I started putting that into my daytime.

    "It definitely didn't come naturally! You sit there and then [you're] uncomfortable, so then you start moving. And you know, I get distracted relatively easily – except for when I'm driving – and so I find it really hard not to be distracted."

  • William Pugh


    It's little more than five hours until qualifying starts for the Belgian GP at Spa.

    Max Verstappen was fastest in FP2 yesterday with the two Mercedes hot on his tail.

    And both teams will hope they can manage the challenging conditions on the continent and give themselves the best chance of victory going into Sunday's race.

  • William Pugh


    Max Verstappen hit the wall but believes his title push is far from over as his Red Bull beat Mercedes' two drivers to fastest place in practice for the Belgian GP.

    But the Dutchman, eight points behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Championship, blamed himself for one of yesterday's dramatic crashes

    Verstappen ended his session early by losing control at the Malmedy right-hander and backed into a wall.

    He said: "I just lost the rear, a bit too much oversteer to correct and unfortunately hit the wall."

    Verstappen beat Valtteri Bottas by 0.039 seconds, with Hamilton a further 0.031s behind in third.

    Tellingly, perhaps, Red Bull and Mercedes used different tyres to set their times.

    Verstappen performed best on the soft-compound tyre, with Bottas and Hamilton peaking on medium.

    Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was another crash victim, forcing a brief red-flag incident after he went a little too fast and wide into the Les Combes chicane.

    Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda and Alfa Romeo ace Kimi Raikkonen spun at the La Source hairpin, with the latter also hitting a wall as he entered the pits.

    Finally, Red Bull have signed on Sergio Perez to a second year until 2022. 

  • Ian Tuckey


    Charles Leclerc insists he still feels "quite good" about Ferrari's Belgium GP chances despite crashing into a wall during practice.

    The Monaco-born ace's session ended halfway through when he went a little too fast and wide at the Les Combes chicane – one corner before Max Verstappen's over-steer crash.

    Leclerc, 23, said: Leclerc said: "It has been a very tricky day overall, for everyone because of the conditions.

    "I would have preferred not to end the day in the wall, but it is part of free practice and I will try not to do these mistakes later.

    "It felt quite good [in the first session] but P2 didn't feel great. We need to understand it because we did not change too much on the car."

    NINTCHDBPICT000675554297Credit: Splash
  • Ian Tuckey


    Red Bull have tied Sergio Perez to a second year, 2022.

    Max Verstappen's team partner for next season was confirmed today amid practice for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull principal Christian Horner said Perez's "experience and race-craft are invaluable".

    And 31-year-old Perez added: "I'm really happy to be continuing with a great team like Red Bull into the new era of Formula 1. It's a great opportunity for me."

  • Ian Tuckey


    Max Verstappen blamed his crash after setting the fastest time on Friday's crash on "oversteer".

    The Red Bull ace, who is eight points behind Lewis Hamilton in the title race, beat both Mercedes drivers but backed into a wall at the Malmedy right-hander.

    Verstappen said: "I just lost the rear, a bit too much oversteer to correct and unfortunately hit the wall."

  • William Pugh


    Lewis Hamilton said it was an 'OK day' at Spa and reckons the 'car wasn't quite underneath' him.

    Speaking after he was third fastest in FP2, the Brit said: "It’s been an OK day.

    "A bit miserable here huh? But it’s been an OK day.

    "The sessions are very short so… there’s not a lot of knowledge you’re gaining from the short time you have so we’re trying to navigate the best way you can.

    “At least it was dry for [F]P2 so we got some laps in. but the car wasn’t quite underneath me today.

    "We’ll do some work tonight and try to figure that out."

  • William Pugh


    "So I think it's definitely a very positive start but a few things to take into consideration with the weather as well."

    Lewis Hamilton was blocked on his flying run in FP1 and was down in 18th place, but he was up to third in FP2, behind Verstappen and teammate Valtteri Bottas.

    He said: "It was an OK day. These sessions are very short so there is not a lot of knowledge we are gaining but we have some work to do tonight.

    "Everyone keeps telling us different things about the weather for Sunday. If it rains you generally want more downforce, but if it doesn't rain you're stuck and you're a sitting duck on the straights.

    "We have to be very cautious because the set up changes."

  • William Pugh


    Max Verstappen brushed off a late crash into the barriers as his Belgian GP got off to a mixed start.

    The Dutchman topped second practice after being second in the morning's session but slammed into the barriers late on bringing an early end to proceedings.

    He lost control at turn seven and hurtled backwards into the crash barriers, doing plenty of damage to his Red Bull.

    Afterwards he said: "I don't know, I just lost the rear. I did a bit too much oversteer to correct. And, unfortunately hit the wall.

    "I think, the whole day, we were quite happy. Of course, there are a few things to fine tune from FP1 to FP2 and overall we're very happy…"

  • William Pugh


    Max Verstappen was fastest in Thursday's practice with the two Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton next in line.

  • William Pugh


    Sergio Perez has signed a contract extension with Red Bull to remain with the team for next season.

    The Mexican will continue to partner Max Verstappen, who already has a contract in place until the end of 2023.

    Red Bull Racing Honda CEO and Team Principal, Christian Horner, said: "Checo is a highly respected team member and his experience and race-craft are invaluable as we fight for the Constructors' Championship.

    "His integration into the wider team has been seamless and we have been impressed by his performances during the first half of the season which demonstrate what he's capable of in our car.

    "Next year we move into a new era of Formula One with completely revised regulations and cars, and with over 200 races and a decade of experience under his belt, Checo will play an integral role in helping the team navigate this transition and maximise the RB18."

    Perez added: "I'm really happy to be continuing with a great team like Red Bull into the new era of Formula One and it's a great opportunity for me. Everyone starts from zero next year with the new regulations, so my only goal is to go all the way to the top with Red Bull."

  • Kealan Hughes


    Ferrari's Charles Leclerc has crashed into the barriers on turn five.

    According to Ferrari's Twitter account the driver is okay, but the session has now been red flagged.

  • Kealan Hughes


    Max Verstappen has hailed his "invaluable" team-mate Sergio Perez, who will remain his partner for the 2022 F1 season.

    Red Bull announced Perez will be remaining with the team as he continues to "play a key role" in its fortunes.

    On the news of Perez's new contract, Verstappen said: "Checo is a highly respected team member and his experience and race-craft are invaluable as we fight for the constructors’ championship."

  • Kealan Hughes


    Williams has suggested that it will retain Nicholas Latifi at the team for the 2022 Formula 1 season.

    Latifi joined Williams for the 2020 campaign alongside George Russell, and was kept on board for 2021. Last time out in Hungary, he scored his first championship points, classifying in seventh.

    Latifi recently stated that he was “100% ready” to lead Williams’ driver line-up next year, should Russell depart the squad.

    Williams CEO Jost Capito said of Latifi’s leadership comments: “I agree with him.

    I think maybe not now yet, but he is really improving race-by-race and I’m sure by the end of the season he is ready to do that.

    “Especially his personality is in the right spot to lead the team. He works very well with the engineers, he is very motivational, he is very clear in his direction, where he wants the car to develop and he’s very much liked by the team.

    “He’s very demanding. I think he also learned a lot with George, they work together and spend a lot of time together on and off the track, so it’s a fantastic relationship and I’m sure by the end of the season he will be in that position that he can lead the team.

  • Kealan Hughes


    Sergio Perez has re-signed for Red Bull and will continue to race for the team in 2022.

    Perez, currently fifth in the world drivers’ championship, will continue to race for Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen for another year.

    He scored the second victory of his career for the team in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June. By doing so Perez became the first driver other than Verstappen to win a race for Red Bull since Daniel Ricciardo’s departure from the team in 2018.

    In reaction to the deal Perez said: "I’m really happy to be continuing with a great team like Red Bull into the new era of Formula One and it’s a great opportunity for me."

  • Kealan Hughes


    Mick Schumacher is donning a tribute to his dad, Michael, this weekend.

    The special helmet design comes 30 years after the legend’s first F1 appearance, which came at Spa in 1991.

  • Kealan Hughes


    Sebastian Vettel has outlined his frustration at losing his second-placed finish in Hungary due to fuel regulations.

    Aston Martin withdrew their appeal against the punishment having failed to provide the necessary amount of fuel for testing post-race.

    Vettel stated: “It’s very bitter because I think first, we did not have an advantage.

    “Second, there was no intention, or no way we could actually explain that too little fuel was in the car.

    “So something happened over the course of the race, I don’t know, a leakage or something, that the fuel simply wasn’t there anymore.

    “I think it was the last lap, we found out something might not be right and we were very surprised when the fuel wasn’t in the car. It’s very bitter but those are the rules, so we have to accept and carry on.”

  • Kealan Hughes


    George Russell and Valtteri Bottas have remain tight-lipped on their tussle over next season’s Mercedes seat.

    A decision from the championship leaders was expected this weekend but no announcement has been forthcoming.

    Bottas told reporters: "Maybe I know something, maybe I don't. But like I said, there's no news to share.

    "I think the same for me and George, that we have a job to do here, and there's no news, and we're going to focus on racing and getting maximum points for the team we are racing with."

    Russell said: “There's nothing to announce one way or another this weekend, and probably not next weekend either, to be honest.

    "I think it's no problem. Do things right rather than quickly, let's say."

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