Well, We can say that this is a perfect way to restart what has been a unpredictable season all along. We all knew, Button just regained enough form before heading into the summer break and now with the season restarted, he nailed a perfect lap in Q2 and in Q3 to claim the pole position but what was more interesting is the fact that he got Kobayashi alongside followed by Maldonado. This makes it an unpredictable Top 3 and perhaps today’s qualifying session was actually one of the closest at Spa.
Maldonado started off by topping the charts in Q1. Rosberg who missed the practice session earlier in the day always had a tough task ahead of him as that was the only dry practice session of this weekend which remained dry and he missed the Q2 cut quite marginally as well. To make matters worse, Rosberg will have a 5 place grid penalty for a Gearbox change. The other casualties of Q1 who joined Rosberg in failing to make it to Q2 were Kovalainen, Petrov, Glock, de la Rosa, Pic and Karthikeyan.
While Button topped the charts in Q2, Raikkonen was eight tenths down on Button before Perez managed to squeeze in ahead of the Raikkonen. Vettel was the big name to miss out on the Q3 and he was joined by Hulkenberg, Schumacher, Massa, Vergne, Ricciardo and Senna. The field was closest ever in Q2 as just around two tenths separated Webber and Vettel while as many as six drivers were in between. Hulkenberg who was ahead of his teammate for much of the day struggled to nail a perfect lap in Q2. Senna was the other driver who missed the Q3 cut as he just managed to save himself from a potential crash and had to head back into the pits for repairs while he couldn’t do himself any favor on his final flying lap and that put him on 17th.
Button meanwhile having a different setup from his teammate managed to two nail two perfect laps in Q3 which put himself on the Pole. The big Surprises were Kobayashi and Maldonado who brought themselves into the 1.47” and were in striking distance of the pole. They were followed by Raikkonen who looked strong all through the weekend and perhaps it should be noted that Lotus have the best middle sectors, but unfortunately for them though, tomorrow is predicted to be a lot cooler and this will mean that they have to bring in enough heat into the tyres quite quickly. Sauber is the other team who should be wary of the cooler conditions and speaking of Sauber they had quite a strong qualifying today which was always their concern. Perez finished in 5th marking the strongest ever qualifying session for Sauber. They have all the characteristics for them to win the race and probably the best ever situation for them to do so. The championship leader, Alonso will start from round three of the grid and although at times they showed their potential to be in couple of rows, it looked like it was too much to ask from Alonso for the Pole. Webber meanwhile managed a 7th only for him to drop down 5 places as a result of Gearbox penalty. Hamilton as noted earlier seems to be on a different setup to his teammate and was considerably slower then Button. Grosjean and Di Resta rounded off the Top 10.
With no pecking order whatsoever, it would be an interesting race for tomorrow and although Button would be eager to break his winless streak, Kobayashi, Maldonado and even Raikkonen are all the favorites for the race.