Welcome to news.com.au’s coverage of tonight’s Belgian Grand Prix. 

Max Verstappen will start way back at 15th on the grid as one of seven drivers to take engine penalties at the first race after Formula 1’s midseason break. 

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The championship leader had by far the quickest time in qualifying but Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz will start from pole position. 

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will start second while Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are expected to come charging through the field from the eighth row on the grid. 

Daniel Ricciardo will start seventh, almost by default as a result of being one of the drivers not taking on a new power unit.

The race is set to get underway at 11pm (AEST). 

Belgian Grand Prix Starting grid

Front row: Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari), Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull)

2nd row: Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault), Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)

3rd row: George Russell (GBR/Mercedes), Alex Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes)

4th row: Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes), Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Red Bull)

5th row: Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes)

6th row: Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes), Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari)

7th row: Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull), Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo)*

8th row: Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull)*, Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)*

9th row: Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault)*, Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)*

10th row: Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo)*, Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari)*

* Seven drivers including world champion Max Verstappen who posted the fastest time were hit with penalties and demoted to the back for the fitting of new power units and parts to their cars.

Live Updates

Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo appears a shadow of the driver he was during his time at Red Bull.

Ricciardo’s best results came during his time at Red Bull between 2014 and 2018 but his struggling form has seen him sacked by McLaren, leaving his F1 career up in the air.

Horner said the entire Ricciardo-McLaren saga was “very sad” .

“I don’t recognise him as the same driver that he was when he was with us,” he told Sky Sports.

“He’s one of the best guys out there. He’s definitely got that capability. I hope he finds a seat in Formula 1. I hope he finds his mojo.

“If you think back to some of the races he drove for us, (like) winning Monaco Grand Prix with 50 per cent of the power, he put in some amazing performances.

“You have to think when he was alongside Seb (Vettel), when he first came into the team, how he delivered, how close he was obviously with Max (Verstappen) as well.

“So obviously it’s tough for him, but I really hope that he finds something for the future.”

Read related topics:Daniel Ricciardo

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