Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified in first and fourth positions respectively for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit after an eventful wet / dry qualifying session.
- Lewis took the team’s eighth pole position in the past nine races and his fourth consecutive pole this afternoon.
- Nico qualified fourth and was fastest of all until the dying moments of the qualifying session.
- Four Mercedes-Benz powered cars qualified in the top six and it was the third Mercedes pole in five years at Spa.
- Weather forecasts currently predict similar mixed weather conditions for tomorrow afternoon’s race.
Lewis Hamilton: A fourth pole in a row just feels fantastic! The team did a great job to get the timing at the end of Q3 absolutely perfect and I was in exactly the right track position. I was so surprised when I came across the line to hear I was P1. I went wide in the first corner and I thought I was down on time from the read-out on my steering wheel. I just kept pushing and did a strong middle sector, then I could see I was catching Sebastian towards the end so it was a great feeling. I hope we can try and fight it out tomorrow, whatever the conditions. The Red Bulls are still ahead of us in terms of performance so results like this feel even more special because I know I’ve got the absolute maximum out of myself and out of the car.
Nico Rosberg: It was a very difficult qualifying session and unfortunately luck wasn’t on my side today. When I took the chequered flag, I was quickest at that time, but the track [got] quicker and quicker for the guys who had got the extra lap and eventually ended up in the top three positions, so I must be happy with fourth place on the grid. Our car seems pretty good in all conditions here this weekend which makes me hopeful of a strong race performance tomorrow afternoon.
Ross Brawn: It was obviously a very tricky session for everybody this afternoon and we were far from perfect but we did enough things right to get the job done. In the closing seconds of Q3, track position was critical and Lewis – running last on the road on the final lap – did a great job with the opportunity he had. We were not sure how it would turn out as DRS had been disabled for that final lap, then we saw his time in the second sector and started to get excited. Nico didn’t get the extra lap but he was fastest of all when his session ended and it’s a fantastic team result to have two cars starting in the top four after such a mixed qualifying. We are expecting similar conditions tomorrow so we will have a good chance of success. But we will have to run a smart race and make the right decisions to do achieve it.
Toto Wolff: That was a very tough qualifying session and another one where it was easier to get things wrong than right. It was very close indeed for Lewis in Q2 when he made it through by just two-hundredths of a second and that showed how challenging the entire hour was in terms of tactics and strategy. It was crucial to get on track at the right time and our result in Q3 was a great team performance. Both drivers produced special laps; Nico was top of the timesheets when he took the chequered flag and then Lewis delivered another of his magic laps, especially in the middle sector. Our engineers have clearly found a good set-up for these mixed conditions and we are expecting more of the same kind of weather tomorrow. (Mercedes F1)
Subbed by AJN.