Hamilton Takes Epic Pole!

Updated: August 24, 2013

Lewis Hamilton has taken his 4th consecutive pole in tricky conditions at Spa in the dying moments of Q3

Q1 started of with both Toro Rossos and both Williams out on track first. Williams quickly set the pace with their cars going 1st and 2nd, with the Toro Rossos going 3rd and 4th. The big boys soon came out to play though with Nico Rosberg going fastest. Lewis managed to set the second fastest time, being held up behind the squabbling Marussias probably didn’t do him any favours. Shortly after that Esteban Gutierrez but in a surprising second fastest time, but a few hundredths of a second behind Nico. Out came the Red Bulls though and they quickly showed everyone how it’s done, with Sebastian Vettel leading Mark Webber. Lewis comes back with a vengeance though, going over a second faster that Vettel and claiming the fastest time so far. The usual suspects are in the drop zone, along with Paul Di Resta. Max Chilton and Giedo van der Garde take a gamble and head out on slicks. The gamble pays of massively and Giedo puts in an incredible 3rd! Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi have great runs too, going 11th and 16th respectively. The losers here are Suaber’s Esteban Gutierrez, a shame after his quick time earlier. Charles Pic is the only one of the 4 to not make it out of Q1, qualifying a lowly 22nd. Neither Williams made into Q2 but most surprisingly, neither of the Toro Rossos made it to Q2. That will surely put a dent in Ricciardo’s Red Bull bid.

Nico Hulkenberg was the first driver out in Q2, setting a 1:51.193. He is immediately punted of the top spot by Mark Webber though. Lots of driver have been making mistakes at the bus stop today, and Kimi Raikkonen is no exception. He locks his front right and goes 3rd fastest. As the track dries out it turns into musical lap times, with each driver knocking another down a place. Bianchi, Chilton and van der Garde are all in the drop zone, no surprises there. But Perez, Rosberg and Massa might want to make a move and get them self into the top 10. The chequered flag falls and everyone finishes their fastest laps. Paul Di Resta is an impressive 4th fastest, and Jenson (who was in the drop zone at this point) puts in a quick one to finish 5th. Unfortunately his team mate is not so lucky, qualifying a disappointing 13th place. He’s got it all to do on Sunday. Even worse for Perez, he’s out qualified by Nico Hulkenberg, who takes 11th. Also in the drop zone separating the two is Adrian Sutil. But that means that Caterham starts the race 14th and 22nd, and Marussia start 15th and 16th!

Excellent job by VDG

Excellent job by VDG

Typically Spa-like it starts raining for no obvious reason, so almost all the drivers queue up, raring to go. The only exception is Paul Di Resta and Felipe Massa. Have they got something up their sleeve? All the drivers go round the track but the radios become a chorus of drivers saying they need inters. So the drivers pull straight back into the pits to put on new tyres, but is it too late? Meanwhile Di Resta headed out, already on inters while the track was still relatively dry. The move was as excellent as it was well timed, and Di Resta posted what appeared to be an unbeatable lap time. The only other person to follow in his footsteps was Massa, but he went out a lap later so the track was in a worse condition. The rest of the drivers though were several seconds of the pace, and it looked like Di Resta had it in the bag, Force India’s second pole, at the same track they achieved their first. But typically Spa-like, it stopped raining for no obvious reason. This allowed the track to dry out just enough for the drivers to put in one more flying lap. Di Resta’s pole position was soon just a memory as he was demoted to 5th. Rosberg set the pace, but he was soon surpassed by the Red Bulls. Hamilton made a mistake on the first part of the lap but managed to take an unlikely pole in to final moments.

So close, yet so far

So close, yet so far

So for tomorrows race the order is as follows:

  1. Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes
  2. Sebastian Vettel-Red Bull
  3. Mark Webber-Red Bull
  4. Nico Rosberg-Mercedes
  5. Paul Di Resta-Force India
  6. Jenson Button-McLaren
  7. Romain Grosjean-Lotus
  8. Kimi Raikkonen-Lotus
  9. Fernando Alonso-Ferrari
  10. Felipe Massa-Ferrari
  11. Nico Hulkenberg-Sauber
  12. Adrian Sutil-Force India
  13. Sergio Perez-McLaren
  14. Giedo van der Garde-Caterham
  15. Jules Bianchi-Marussia
  16. Max Chilton-Marussia
  17. Pastor Maldonado-Williams
  18. Jean-Eric Vergne-Toro Rosso
  19. Daniel Ricciardo-Toro Rosso
  20. Valtteri Bottas-Williams
  21. Esteban Gutierrez-Sauber
  22. Charles Pic-Caterham

Stay tuned for the race on Sunday at

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F1 article by Harry Wright

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