F1 championship leader Verstappen was untouchable in qualifying, but the Red Bull driver will take a grid penalty for changing his engine and start 15th.  

In total, seven drivers will drop down the order for Sunday’s grand prix, making for a highly unusual qualifying session. 

Mick Schumacher's F1 future - STAY or GO?

Verstappen’s blistering lap left him more 0.632s clear of Sainz, who failed to improve on his final run in Q3 after dipping his wheels into the gravel, though the Spaniard will still take pole. 

Sergio Perez was third-quickest but will move up to the front-row of the grid for Sunday’s grand prix at Spa-Francorchamps. 

Charles Leclerc ended up fourth but also has a grid penalty for exceeding his power unit allocation and will therefore drop to 16th, directly behind his title rival. 

Fernando Alonso will line up third despite being outpaced by penalised Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon, and will be joined on the second row by former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton. 

The seven-time world champion was left shocked to end up 1.8s off the pace of Verstappen as he qualified seventh, ahead of Mercedes teammate George Russell. 

A superb performance from Alex Albon saw the Anglo-Thai driver make it into Q3 for the first time this season. Albon was ninth-quickest but will line-up from sixth on the grid. 

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified 11th but will start from seventh due to a host of penalties for drivers changing engine components. 

Also starting the race inside the top 10 are AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who was 12th-quickest, and Aston Martin pair Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel, despite the latter setting the 16th-slowest time. 

Williams’ Nicholas Latifi will line-up 11th, ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, who will be the highest-placed penalised driver in 14th. 

Behind Verstappen and Leclerc, Ocon and McLaren’s Lando Norris will start 17th and 18th after their respective engine penalties are applied. 

Guanyu Zhou and Mick Schumacher will share the back row for Alfa Romeo and Haas respectively due to their grid penalties.