F1 star spews venom after crash 'disgrace'

3 weeks ago 16
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Qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix was marred by a heavy crash in extremely wet conditions involving Daniel Ricciardo's teammate Lando Norris, whose hopes of a first ever pole went begging at Eau Rouge.

The Briton lost control of his McLaren, his car spinning multiple times from one side of the track to the other after the rear end hit the barriers. He only had one of his four tyres intact after the smash.

Norris was taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks before being given the all-clear and will be fit to race Sunday, but the moment caused outrage among drivers, especially former world champion Sebastien Vettel.

The four-time champ, on track in his Aston Martin, was unhappy the session was allowed to go on and expressed anger when he radioed his team calling for the session to be halted.

Lando Norris' McLaren. (Getty)

"Well what the f--- did I say? What did I say!? Red flag! Unnecessary," an agitated Vettel, said on the team radio as he pulled up alongside the crash site.

Vettel said he spoke to FIA race director Michael Masi after the session to air his concerns.

"I think Michael is not proud of what happened either," Vettel told Sky Sports.

"It's always easy to play Captain Hindsight. I think we need to find a way that we listen more to the information that we have.

"Inside the garage, it's very limited, it's like looking out of a window. Three kilometres that way, I have no clue.

"When I went down to Eau Rouge and up the hill, it was a lot of water and was calling for a red flag. The truth is, the session should not have started at all.

"So I think the people that were standing on the Kemmel Straight, they were in the rain and maybe we should have listened to those."

Nine cars took to the track when the shoot-out resumed after a 40-minute red flag intervention.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen mastered the rain to claim pole, snatching the fastest time in qualifying from shock contender George Russell of Williams.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes will start on the second row as he goes for his 100th Grand Prix win, Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren completing the second row.

Russell was poised to give Williams an astonishing first pole since 2001 with seconds of Q3 to go.

But the young driver's brilliant time was narrowly shaded by Verstappen in the Dutch driver's final flying lap.

Russell still had the satisfaction of placing in front of Hamilton, with Russell in contention alongside Valtteri Bottas for the second Mercedes drive in 2022.

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