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Max Verstappen

Verstappen delivers worrying warning to rivals

The Dutchman narrowly took Sprint pole ahead of McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

Max Verstappen has conceded he was "a bit careful" during SQ3 despite securing pole for the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint.

The Red Bull driver pipped McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri by only 0.011secs at Spa-Francorchamps as drivers battled with slicks on a drying track.

Sprint Shootout played to a script akin to Friday's qualifying session, with initial laps being run on Intermediates before a critical swap to Softs in the final session left the drivers a chance to deliver heroic laps.

"It was pretty difficult, quite similar to qualifying," said Verstappen.

"It was a little bit later that you could switch to slick tyres but we stayed calm - the gap was not as big as yesterday but there was no need to risk it all.

"Probably my second sector was a bit careful but still on pole, that's all that counts."

Clear vision the key

Further rain is expected ahead of the 15-lap Sprint, which has been delayed by 35 minutes due to the late start to the Shootout.

On track conditions, Verstappen explained: "It was getting better and better but Turns 8 and 9 were still super slippery.

"It's ok. We will see if it will rain again in the afternoon.

"We will try to have a good start and have clear vision, that will be very important if it is wet."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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