Nico Rosberg took his fourth consecutive pole position of the season today at Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps circuit by beating teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton by two tenths of a second in wet conditions.
Heavy rain an hour prior to qualifying made life difficult for the drivers all through the pitlane, but Mercedes maintained their lead at the top, with the Silver cars setting lap times that were two seconds faster than rest of the field.
Of the Mercedes duo it was Nico Rosberg who emerged on top, setting a time of 2:05.591. Lewis Hamilton made two crucial errors in two of his flying laps - both at the La Source hairpin - and could only manage second.
Last year’s Belgian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel will start tomorrow’s race from third on the grid, alongside fellow world champion Fernando Alonso. Vettel’s teammate and Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest, having lost a heap of time when he made a mistake in the final sector.
Williams who looked to be Mercedes’ closest challenger in the dry part of FP3 had to settle only for sixth and ninth in wet conditions in qualifying. If the conditions turn out to be dry on Sunday, expect them to move up the field.
Meanwhile, both the McLarens made it into Q3 as the Woking based squad continue to put new bits in the car with the aim of returning to the sharp end of the grid. Kevin Magnussen qualified in seventh place, three places ahead of Jenson Button whose future at the squad remains uncertain.
On a comparatively better weekend for Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn locked his Ferrari in eighth place for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. He is the most successful driver at Spa on the current grid.
Both the Toro Rossos were eliminated in Q2 including Jean Eric Vergne who has previously showed good pace in wet conditions.
Sergio Perez couldn’t qualify his Force India any further than 13th on a track his team took its first pole position back in 2009. His teammate Nico Hulkenberg had an ever worse day at the office with the German eliminated in Q1 for the first time since 2012. The 27 year old was seemingly unhappy with the brake temperatures on his VJM07.
Jules Bianchi made it into Q2 for a second weekend running, showing his class again. Andre Lotterer on his debut out qualified his Caterham teammate Marcus Ericsson by a second to earn praises from the fans and the pundits alike.