Webber takes pole in mixed conditions
Mark Webber has secured another Red Bull pole in a largely dry final session of qualifying. The weather did play in though with raindrop in the final minutes. Lewis Hamilton put in the second fastest time in the final seconds, while Robert Kubica is a brilliant third.
At the start of qualifying, track conditions are interesting. As it rained 30 minutes ago, the track is still damp of the racing line, but skies are clear, at least for now.
With changing conditions expected, a queue of cars goes on track as soon as the light went green. At the double left hander though, Petrov spun off on the kerb and was unable to get back on track, causing a red flag and seeing everybody go back into the pitlane again.
10 minutes later, Petrov's Renault is pulled away and the session can continue. By the time the pack is in Bruxelles, rain is already falling out of the sky, although initially it appears local. Vettel at that time is only leaving the pits, a gamble as he's a minute behind the others.
Down at Stavelot Trulli slightly bumped into Di Grassi, both drivers ending up in a spin. Michael Schumacher was just behind them and he navigated well through the rumblings. At the finish line, Hamilton was fastest, ahead of his teammate.
Vettel and Webber though are in trouble and with 12 minutes to go return to the track on intermediates. Sutil does as well, and they manage to improve their times considerably, ending up in 3rd, 5th and 7th.
2 minutes from the end Kubica is setting the quickest time on inters, and few seconds later De La Rosa goes off the track on their soft slicks, both being pulled away.
As the clock ends, Rosberg sets the fastest time on option slicks. With al times set, including a final lap of Michael Schumacher to go through to Q2. Out r Trulli, Kobayashi, Senna, Yamamoto, De La Rosa, Di Grassi and Petrov. Kovalainen and Glock are through for the new teams.
Hamilton is the first man to set a time in Q2 but almost all cars are out, all drivers steadily improving lap after lap as the track conditions improve. Only at Stavelot there are many who find it difficult to ind any grip.
After most completed 3 or 4-lap stints, Vettel is quickest with 4 minutes to go. Michael Schumacher is second, Kubica third, Hamilton 4th and Webber 5th, ahead of a stunning Alguersuari and both Ferraris.
With the sun coming out, the track is quickly improving and times tumble down further as drivers complete their final laps.
Hamilton keeps the lead after his final lap in Q2, followed by Button. The Red Bulls are 3rd and 4th and move through to Q3 with the Ferraris, the Williams, Sutil and Kubica. Out are both Mercedes GP cars, along with Rosberg, Alguersuari, Liuzzi, Buemi, Kovalainen and Glock.
Q3 kicks off with 5 cars queuing in the pitlane. Ahead of Hamilton, followed by Massa, Button, Alonso and Kubica. The Red Bulls are closely behind the McLaren and Ferrari group.
After these first laps, Webber is fastest, ahead of Kubica, Vettel and Hamilton. Alonso had a dismal first lap and has the slowest first lap of all, even slower than Barrichello who is lapping on the harder tyre.
3 minutes before the end of the session, rain is falling in the pitlane. The Red Bulls, Ferraris and McLarens were all in the pitlane at that time and immediately decided to take the track. With one minute left and when these six start their final flying laps, only La Source is slightly humid.
Alonso stunningly was unable to improve and stayed in 10th. Webber didn't improve but it was good enough for pole, ahead of Hamilton and Kubica.
|8||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:58.730||1:47.292||1:46.659||18|
|11||3||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1:56.313||1:47.874||16|
|12||4||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:54.826||1:47.885||16|
|14||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||2:01.102||1:48.680||14|
|19||23||Kamui Kobayashi||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||2:02.284|
|22||22||Pedro de la Rosa||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||2:05.294|
|23||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||2:18.754|