Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, after going four tenths faster than teammate Nico Rosberg in the final part of Qualifying today.
Qualifying started under sunny conditions, with most of the drivers taking to the circuit on the Medium tyre before switching to the Soft later on in the 18 minute first part of the session. Max Verstappen was in the drop zone as the chequered flag came out after reporting a loss of power on the pit straight in his Toro Rosso. He managed to put in one final lap however, which would bump him up into Q2 and his teammate Carlos Sainz into the drop zone.
That caused a chain reaction as Sainz made it into Q2 with a lap time good enough for fifth, whilst Bottas got into fourth having been the next driver on the brink, meaning it was Sauber’s Felipe Nasr who ended up being knocked out alongside Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Will Stevens, and Roberto Merhi.
In Q2 the drama hit with eight minutes to go when Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen stopped out on track, after a drop in oil pressure seized his Power Unit. That brought out the red flag briefly before the session got back underway. When it did Toro Rosso told Verstappen that his session had ended after his power issue in Q1, meaning both drivers were the early casualties.
When the final laps did come in, it was Nico Hulkenberg who was the surprise drop out after he messed up his lap heading into Les Combes, prompting him to join Daniil Kvyat, and Marcus Ericsson on the sidelines.
In the final part of Qualifying Hamilton was ahead of Rosberg in the first runs, setting a time of 1:47.499 that put him four tenths faster than his teammate after he ran wide down at Blanchamont. That meant there was more to come out of Rosberg, and on the final run he managed to go faster in the first sector.
However Hamilton pulled out a bigger gap to the tune of half a second in the middle, which meant he secured pole position once he reached the final part of the lap. Meanwhile the battle was close for third between Bottas and Grosjean, with the pair separated by two thousandths of a second. Of course with his gearbox penalty, Grosjean will start ninth.
Perez meanwhile gets bumped up to fourth having set a time good enough for fifth fastest, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa and Sebastien Vettel who disappointed in the Ferrari. Carlos Sainz meanwhile rounds out the top ten having just done one run in Q3.