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Carlos Sainz will start on pole at the Belgian Grand Prix

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz will start the Belgian Grand Prix from first place. The Spaniard benefited from the relegation of Formula 1 world champion and championship leader Max Verstappen (Netherlands), who drove away from everyone in qualifying.

Behind Sainz are Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez (Mexico) and former world champion Fernando Alonso (Spain/Alpine) on Sunday (3 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for Formula 1 and on Sky) on the high-speed circuit in Spa-Francorchamps. For Sainz it is the second Formula 1 pole.

Verstappen only starts from 15th place, at least he is one rank better than Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who was also sanctioned. Verstappen is 80 points clear of the Monegasque in the World Championship. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel starts the 14th race of the season from tenth place in the Aston Martin, Haas driver Mick Schumacher starts from 20th and last place.

Six drivers, including Verstappen, Leclerc and Schumacher, knew before qualifying that they would only compete for the last starting positions among themselves. New engine components or transmissions had been installed on a large scale on their racing cars, which is why they received hefty relegations. One of the beneficiaries was Vettel, who had only managed 16th place in qualifying.

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