Verstappen now leads Hamilton 6-3 for pole positions this season and is in a good position to claw back Hamilton's eight-point lead in the championship.

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates taking pole position in the parc ferme after the qualifying session of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa on August 28, 2021.
Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates taking pole position in the parc ferme after the qualifying session of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa on August 28, 2021. (AFP)

Red Bull's Max Verstappen has mastered the rain to claim Belgian Grand Prix pole, snatching the fastest time in qualifying from surprise package George Russell of Williams.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes will start on the second row as he goes for his 100th Grand Prix win.

Verstappen now leads Hamilton 6-3 for pole positions this season and is in a good position to claw back Hamilton's eight-point lead in the championship.

“That is simply lovely. Great start after the (midseason) break," Verstappen said. “It's a great track to drive but very challenging in the wet.”

READ MORE: Hamilton clinches British Grand Prix after Verstappen crash

Qualifying was marred by a heavy crash in Q3 involving the McLaren of Lando Norris, whose hopes of a first ever pole bit the dust at Eau Rouge.

With the Briton thankfully escaping serious injury nine cars took to the track when the shoot-out resumed after a 40-minute red flag intervention.

Fellow Briton Russell was poised to give Williams an astonishing first pole since 2001 with seconds of Q3 to go.

But the young driver's brilliant time was narrowly shaded by Verstappen in the Dutch driver's final flying lap.

Russell still had the satisfaction of placing in front of Hamilton, with Russell in contention alongside Valtteri Bottas for the second Mercedes drive in 2022.

READ MORE: Verstappen wins Austrian Grand Prix, extends overall lead

Source: TRTWorld and agencies