Vettel snatches pole for Belgian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel will start on pole position for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was set to take pole, but will start 2nd, with Mark Webber 3rd. Bruno Senna, in his first qualifying session for Renault, took a fantastic 7th place. Here is the full report:

Q1

Schumacher hits the wall after his wheel detaches

Schumacher hits the wall after his wheel detaches

As the cars left the pits for their first laps on intermediate tyres, a crash disrupted the session. Michael Schumacher was on an out lap, when his back right wheel detached, and the Mercedes spun and crashed into the barriers.

While the double yellows were out straight away, the session continued. Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the first few minutes with a 2:09.506.

Within minutes though, that time had been reduced by 3 seconds. With 8 minutes to go, Mark Webber posted a 2:04.481.

Both McLarens soon topped that, Jenson Button taking a 2:01.813. The track was drying out, but not quickly enough for drivers to put on the slick tyres. Both Ferraris pitted with 3 minutes to go, while the Force Indias took on new sets of intermediates.

A spin by Paul di Resta on his penultimate lap, and Heikki Kovalainen pushed him into the drop zone.

Michael Schumacher will start 24th, the worst qualifying performance in his entire career.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Paul di Resta – 2:07.758

19) Jarno Trulli – 2:08.773

20) Timo Glock – 2:09.566

Outside 107% rule

21) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 2:11.601

22) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 2:11.616

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 2:13.077

24) Michael Schumacher  РNo time

Q2

Another accident - this time it's Sutil in the wall

Another accident - this time it's Sutil in the wall

Intermediates were still the way to go, as Q2 began. A small shower of rain before the session slowed the cars a little, with the fastest time being a 2:06 by Webber.

However, with 7 minutes to go, the red flag was thrown for the second crash of the day. Adrian Sutil used too much kerb at the exit of Eau Rouge, spun and hit the left-hand side barriers.

The cars all queued up as the session restarted, with all the drivers looking to get a quick lap in before potential rain.

Before any cars could start their laps, medium intensity rain hit part the circuit. In 11th position, Fernando Alonso braved the conditions to go fastest, pipping Sebastien Buemi and Vitaly Petrov.

However, the times soon began to crash once again – Vettel posting a 2:03.317. Pastor Maldonado was held up by a Lotus car, then Lewis Hamilton pushed him aside on the final corner on a last-gasp run. Maldonado was forced to stay 16th, while Hamilton went fastest.

Pastor wasn’t finished with Lewis yet, though. On their cool-down lap, Pastor swerved into Lewis’ car, damaging the McLaren. The stewards are investigating the incident.

Bruno Senna took a fantastic 5th place, while Fernando Alonso took top spot. Jenson Button allowed his teammate past on the final lap, and was unable to post a faster lap, dropping out of Q2.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Sebastien Buemi – 2:04.692

12) Kamui Kobayashi – 2:04.757

13) Jenson Button – 2:05.150

14) Rubens Barrichello – 2:07.349

15) Adrian Sutil – 2:07.777

16) Pastor Maldonado – 2:08.106

17) Heikki Kovalainen – 2:08.354

Q3

Senna excelled to take 7th position in the dry conditions

Senna excelled to take 7th position in the dry conditions

An interesting tyre situation emerged at the start of Q3, as the drivers took on soft tyres on a damp track. Felipe Massa running into a gravel trap just showed how difficult the conditions were.

Alonso set a 1:54.550, while Webber went 8 tenths faster. Sebatsian Vettel struggled slightly to 4th position.

Webber soon improved to a 1:50. Lewis Hamilton, carrying sticky tape on his sidepods after the clash with Maldonado, went 3rd.

Webber and Hamilton’s times continued to crash as they entered the final lap. Mark made a mistake at Pouhon, allowing Lewis to post the fastest time as the chequered flag fell. However, Vettel crossed the line half a second faster than anybody else, snatching pole position out of the McLaren’s hands.

Felipe Massa was 4th, well ahead of Alonso in 8th. Nico Rosberg was 5th, while it was an amazing qualifying session for Jaime Alguersuari and Bruno Senna, taking 6th and 7th respectively.

Times in Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:48.298

2) Lewis Hamilton – 1:48.730

3) Mark Webber – 1:49.376

4) Felipe Massa -1:50.256

5) Nico Rosberg – 1:50.552

6) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:50.773

7) Bruno Senna – 1:51.121

8 ) Fernando Alonso – 1:51.251

9) Sergio Perez – 1:51.374

10) Vitaly Petrov – 1:52.303

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