Max Verstappen believes there are “a lot of opportunities” from his P3-starting slot at Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver missed out on beating Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes to a place on the front-row of the Spa-Francorchamps grid by just 0.015s as Lewis Hamilton stormed to a dominant pole position by half a second.

Verstappen was left satisfied with his qualifying efforts and is eyeing a strong start to get in the mix with the Mercedes duo on the long drag up to the first major breaking zone on the circuit, Les Combes at the end of the Kemmel Straight.

"I think for us overall it’s been a very positive weekend so far," said Verstappen. "We came here and we thought it was going to be really tricky for us and actually to be P3 and that close to Valtteri... of course we were half a second to Lewis but overall I can be very pleased with that.

"It was very close with Valtteri – maybe we could be a little bit disappointed but I don’t think we should, because if you look at the gap between Valtteri and Lewis it was, from our side, quite big so I think we really maximised the car and pace in general in qualifying, so very happy with that.

"I’m very pleased, it was a good day and there a lot of opportunities for tomorrow.”

The Dutchman has never finished higher than third in Belgium and his race lasted less than a lap last year after damage picked up following contact with Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo at La Source put him out of the race.

Asked if he thinks rain might help his bid on Sunday, Verstappen replied: "I don’t know, if you look at the lap time difference to Lewis, I don’t think we suddenly in the race can start to fight him, but around here you never know.

"Like you said with the weather, I hope that will come into play – it makes it all the more difficult for everyone and more fun as well. And especially on this track, if it’s a bit wet around here it’s a lot of fun."

 

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