Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix from pole position after narrowly beating teammate Lewis Hamilton in wet conditions at Spa. Hamilton looked to have had the better of his German teammate Rosberg however it was the championship leader than had the upper hand when it really mattered.
On his first attempt in the top 10 shootout for pole position Hamilton made a costly error at the first corner and resulted in him losing time. The error instantly put Hamilton on the back foot, Hamilton repeated his La Source error on his final run at the end of the session whilst Rosberg improved further to clinch pole by .2 of a second.
Behind the two Mercedes cars the surprise of the session came courtesy of Sebastian Vettel. The defending champion who missed out on any running on Friday afternoon due to a cracked exhaust will line up in third tomorrow. The German will share the second row of the grid with the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso with Daniel Ricciardo one row behind in a respectable fifth place.
Excitement in spite of the rain
With the rain lashing down at various stages throughout the afternoon we saw the likes of Pastor Maldonado, Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg fall at the first hurdle. Maldonado spun his Lotus at the final chicane whilst Nico Hulkenberg struggled in his Force India.
The track seemed to dry out in Q1 however the heavens opened once again to start Q2. Jules Bianchi did well to make it that far however he will line up in 16th place tomorrow. The rain caught a number of drivers out including the two Mercedes. Both drivers had offs during the session however lived to fight another day at Rivage.
Daniil Kvyat was unlucky not to book his place in the final part of qualifying, however he just missed out. The other Q2 casualties included teammate Jean-Eric Vergne, Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil, Romain Grosjean and Jules Bianchi.
The track got progressively drier during the final part of qualifying as the two Mercedes cars locked out the front row. Both Williams’ cars had a disappointing day with Valtteri Bottas setting a time good enough for sixth whilst his Williams counterpart Felipe Massa will start just ninth.
Jenson Button brings up the rear of the top ten after being out qualified by Kevin Magnussen by an astonishing 1.1 seconds, his younger teammate lines up tomorrow in seventh .1 of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Thankfully for Hamilton whilst he had a scruffy Q3, his teammate is in sight and will be able to challenge Rosberg from the outset tomorrow. Whilst the battle for the top two will be between the two silver cars watch out for Fernando Alonso.
Whilst he was beaten by the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel today it was by the slenderest of margins. It is clear that the Ferrari has improved an awful lot over the summer break with the upgrades working very well.
Williams tomorrow will be hoping for a much better day, with the power advantage that they posses over the cars in front Bottas should not be underestimated.
Who do you think will be on the top step of the podium tomorrow? Leave your comments and predictions below.