Start of Belgian F1 GP qualifying delayed due to barrier repairs

The start of Formula 1 qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix has been delayed due to barrier repairs following a crash in the Porsche Supercup support race.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Update: The FIA confirmed at 4:09pm that qualifying would begin at 4:25pm following the completion of repairs.

Qualifying was due to begin at Spa at 4pm local time, only for a crash at Fagnes to result in damage to the barrier on the left-hand side of the track just 35 minutes before F1 was set to hit the track again.

Fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of qualifying, race control issued an update confirming the start of qualifying will be delayed.

“The start of qualifying will be delayed due to track repair work needed following an incident in the previous support session,” a short statement from the FIA read.

“An updated start time will be published once it is available.”

The barrier was damaged after a collision between two cars in the Porsche Supercup race on entry to the corner, resulting in a large dent in the armco from the impact.

Seven drivers are carrying grid penalties heading into qualifying at Spa, including world championship leader Max Verstappen and primary title rival Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen and Leclerc have both taken fresh power units for this weekend, along with Zhou Guanyu, Mick Schumacher, Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris. Their starting order will be defined by their qualifying results.

Valtteri Bottas has a 20-place grid penalty, but he will start ahead of the drivers with back of grid penalties as only 15 places were accrued due to power unit changes.

There is a 30% chance of rain for qualifying, according to race control.

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