With a recap of all the additional news and notes from Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, Crash.net F1 Digital Editor Luke Smith brings you his paddock notebook.

- Lewis Hamilton took the outright record for Belgian Grand Prix pole positions at Spa on Saturday with the fifth of his Formula 1 career. Hamilton previously shared the record with Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Juan Manuel Fangio.

- It marked the 78th pole position of Hamilton’s F1 career, putting him 10 clear of Michael Schumacher who is second in the all-time pole list. The highest active driver besides Hamilton is Sebastian Vettel, who is 23 behind on 55 poles.

- The result saw Hamilton extend Mercedes’ streak for pole positions at Spa, stretching back to 2013. The team has converted pole into victory in each of the last three years.

- Hamilton had been hoping to get a tow from Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in Q3, with the team opting to put the Finn through to the final session despite his grid penalty. Hamilton and Bottas ran together on-track during their outlap, only for wet conditions to force both drivers to pit, with Bottas also spinning at Blanchimont. Bottas will start the race from the back row of the grid after making power unit changes ahead of the weekend.

- Bottas was hit with a reprimand for the incident with Stoffel Vandoorne in FP3 that saw the McLaren driver be forced onto the grass before spinning into the wall. The stewards deemed the move from Bottas was “not intentional or reckless”, reasoning the decision to award a reprimand.

- Force India swept to a lock-out of the second row of the grid after capitalising on wet conditions in Q3, with Esteban Ocon recording his career-best qualifying result in third ahead of teammate Sergio Perez, who matched his own best Saturday result of P4 (last achieved in Abu Dhabi 2015).

- A decision to run low fuel in anticipation of the weather getting worse in Q3 left Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo stuck in the pits while others were out on-track finding time. None of the trio had time to refuel, leaving them sixth, seventh and eighth respectively on the grid tomorrow.

- Toro Rosso managed to perform above expectations at a power circuit such as Spa with Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley qualifying 11th and 12th respectively. Both drivers will gain a place for the start on Sunday as a result of Bottas’ grid penalty.

- Carlos Sainz Jr. was a surprise drop-out in Q1 after struggling for grip on his final set of tyres, leaving him 16th after a number of drivers found time on their final efforts. Marcus Ericsson was the final driver to bump Sainz out with a fast lap that sent the Swede en route to 14th in Q2.

- Fernando Alonso struggled to his worst qualifying result of the season, finishing 17th in Q1 (previous worst 16th in France). However, the Spaniard denied it was a new low point for McLaren this year, instead saying a lack of performance was expected given the nature of the Spa circuit, with the same due at Monza next weekend.

- McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran confirmed that junior driver Lando Norris will appear in FP1 at Monza next weekend following his maiden F1 race weekend appearance at Spa on Friday. Norris is due to take over Stoffel Vandoorne’s car.

- However, there is gathering momentum for a series of late-season driver changes amid suggestions that Esteban Ocon has undergone a seat fitting at McLaren, with Stroll having the same at Force India. It could also pave the way for Robert Kubica to make his first F1 start in nearly eight years at Williams should Stroll move to Force India.

- Bottas will be joined on the back of the grid by Nico Hulkenberg, who also took a grid penalty at Spa for a series of power unit changes. As Bottas qualified higher, Hulkenberg will start last at Spa.



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