F1 Belgian Grand Prix: Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole at wet Spa

Full Belgian Grand Prix qualifying result

  • Championship leader takes seventh pole of the season to beat team-mate by 0.2s
  • Hamilton fails to improve on final lap as track remains wet throughout session
  • Vettel and Alonso to start on row two ahead of Ricciardo and Bottas

Nico Rosberg SpaNico Rosberg took pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix as he beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton at a wet Spa-Francorchamps.

Heavy rain before qualifying soaked the circuit and showers throughout the session prevented it from drying out, but Rosberg took his opportunity to beat Hamilton by over 0.2s as his team-mate failed to improve on his final run.

The two Mercedes were even more dominant in the tricky conditions, with Sebastian Vettel qualifying third but over two seconds slower than Rosberg. He will start alongside Fernando Alonso on row two with Daniel Ricciardo just behind as the Hungarian Grand Prix winner ran wide at Blanchimont on his last lap.

It was a disappointing qualifying session for Williams with Valtteri Bottas only sixth and team-mate Felipe Massa ninth – separated by Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen – while Jenson Button completed the top ten.

Light rain throughout Q2 kept the track wet and the two Mercedes drivers were comfortably faster than the rest of the field. The main battle to get through to the final part of qualifying was between the Toro Rossos, Button and Vettel, with late laps from the latter two drivers dropping both Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne out in 11th and 12th respectively.

Sergio Perez was last across the line but could only qualify 13th alongside Adrian Sutil and ahead of Romain Grosjean – who complained of issues at the rear of his Lotus and spun at La Source – and the impressive Jules Bianchi who gave Marussia another Q2 appearance.

Heavy rain in the hour before qualifying started saw a very wet track for the start of Q1, with some drivers even opting to start the session on full wets. However, conditions improved throughout the session until more light rain fell in the closing laps, and the wet weather allowed Bianchi to comfortably make it through in 14th place.

A spin for Pastor Maldonado prevented him from improving until his very final lap, and although he momentarily climbed out of the bottom six he was soon knocked down again by Adrian Sutil. Nico Hulkenberg was caught out by the increasing rain and dropping brake temperatures, failing to improve on his last lap and also dropping out.

Esteban Gutierrez failed to make it through from Q1 as he stopped on track during the session with a technical issue, eventually dropping down to 20th below Max Chilton and ahead of the two Caterham’s, with Andre Lotterer impressively outqualifying Marcus Ericsson by a second.

Source: Crash,net