• Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Webber secures pole at Spa

ESPNF1 Staff
August 28, 2010

Mark Webber will start on pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix after a weather affected qualifying session at Spa threw up a few surprises.

The Australian clocked a 1:45.778 with his first effort in Q3 to take his fifth pole of the season as Lewis Hamilton nailed his final lap to line up on the front row next to the Red Bull.

Robert Kubica continued his fine season for Renault by setting the third quickest time and both Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button remain in with a good shout on race day, the duo lining up fourth and fifth respectively.

After the dominance shown in all conditions on Friday, much was expected of Ferrari but Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso could only manage the sixth and tenth quickest times. Rubens Barrichello, who celebrates his 300th grand prix start on Sunday, enjoyed a fine session, setting the seventh quickest time.

With sun shining on the circuit at the start of the session but rain forecast, cars flooded out onto the circuit to get in a 'banker' lap. A rookie error from Vitaly Petrov at the top of the hill then caused the session to be red flagged, the Renault spinning off in the dry into a dangerous position. His mistake caused a re-think on strategy, with the Spa weather radars reporting imminent rain. Some teams bolted on slicks and others intermediates as the rain began to fall.

With both Saubers spinning off and Petrov's session over, Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen seized on the opportunity to dial in quick enough laps to make Q2, a great fillip for their respective teams.

In stark contrast to the inclement Q1 session, blue skies and sunshine meant that slicks were the order of the day. Whilst the McLarens of Hamilton and Button looked supreme in the dry the same could not be said of the team's engine supplier, Mercedes, as both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg failed to make it through to Q3. Schumacher will line up 21st on the grid after his ten place penalty and Rosberg 17th after receiving a five-place penalty for changing his gearbox before qualifying.

It was better news for fellow German Adrian Sutil, the Force India man qualifying eighth fastest ahead of compatriot Nico Hulkenberg.