Report: Opportunities remain despite tough Spa Qualifying

Published on
28 Jul 2023
Est. reading time
3 Min

Alex Albon qualified in P16 for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix with Logan Sargeant in P18

The run of rain-affected Formula 1 weekends has continued after several downpours throughout the first day at Spa-Francorchamps made conditions very difficult on track.
Heavy rain dominated the only practice session of the weekend.
An incident for Logan Sargeant at Les Combes midway through the hour meant he didn't record a flying lap heading into qualifying, whilst Alex Albon ended the session in P6.
The worst of the weather had passed by the time qualifying rolled around, but intermediate tyres were still required for Q1.
On a drying track, it would always come down to the last lap being the one that counted.
Sadly, Alex drifted wide at turn 8 meaning he was unable to improve.
Logan did improve on just his third complete lap of the day, but it was not enough to make it through to Q2.
The grid is set for Sunday
“It was a tough one today,” Alex shared after qualifying. “I don’t think we have the downforce for this kind of weather and were just sliding a lot, which overheats the tyres quickly and makes finishing a lap without the tyres going off a struggle.
“It wasn’t our day today; we’d prefer it to be fully wet or fully dry, as these mixed conditions make it tricky for us.
“We know our issues, it’s just not obvious how to fix them. We should be okay if the conditions are dry or fully wet but today was tricky and I normally like these conditions.”
Logan continued our reaction by commenting: “A disappointing day for sure, knowing our potential coming here.
“I think in these conditions we always struggle a bit when the track is drying.
“Being delayed compromised my session but still a big thank you to the team for putting in a great effort to get us out there.
“It’s a tough one, having a second set of tyres would’ve put us in a much better position.
“Having to do my best lap on the third lap of the tyre in drying conditions is never good.
“Confidence was there it was simply a lack of grip. We had good potential, but it’s not been the cleanest day. We’ll turn it around and see what we can do tomorrow.”

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Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, watched on from the pit wall as the action unfolded, concluding: “Inevitably in Spa, the day was dominated by the weather and conditions were quite different in FP1 and Q1.
“In FP1 the track remained very wet and the car was behaving well in those conditions on the intermediate tyre.
“Both drivers lost front grip when braking for T5 in the wettest conditions and this unfortunately led to some damage on Logan’s car, which delayed his appearance in Q1.
“In qualifying, the track dried incredibly quickly and although we were right to stop for a 2nd set of tyres with Alex, the run plan and tyre state didn’t quite suit the improving track.
“Logan drove well especially considering that he only had time for a single run and had to adapt to the conditions very quickly.
“It is frustrating not to have qualified for Q2 as we could have done well as the track became ready for the slicks.
“Nonetheless, there is still a lot of the weekend yet to come and there are opportunities, both tomorrow and on Sunday, to improve our position.”
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