Leclerc dominates wet qualifying
Prema’s Charles Leclerc has claimed his seventh pole position of the season at Spa-Francorchamps. The Monegasque driver emerged in a rain-affected qualifying with a time of 2:20.842, six tenths ahead of the DAMS duo Nicholas Latifi and Oliver Rowland, who finished second and third respectively.
Qualifying got underway on a very wet circuit following an earlier heavy storm, but with the rain holding off there was the potential for times to improve: all of the field was immediately on track just in case, with Nyck De Vries (Racing Engineering), Luca Ghiotto (Russian Time) and Antonio Fuoco (Prema) all spending time on the top spot before Leclerc claimed the honours at the halfway mark with two laps in succession improving the times before most of the field headed back to the pits for fresh rubber.
The rain had started again just as they re-emerged on track, and although some drivers were improving their times, most notably Artem Markelov (Russian Time) who set the fastest 1st sector time and was looking a real threat to Leclerc’s P1, they were all slowed again almost immediately when a spin for Sergio Sette Camara (MP Motorsport) brought out the red flags, undoing all their good work.
The session eventually restarted with just under 4 minutes on the clock, but with the rain increasing there was no chance of any improvement, ensuring Leclerc retained the honours. Behind the top 3 good drives by Gustav Malja (Racing Engineering), Fuoco, De Vries, Ghiotto and Roberto Merhi (Rapax) were not reflected in their laptimes, will all of them hoping that their race pace tomorrow will be able to overturn their poor luck.