Webber pips Hamilton for Spa pole position (Belgian Grand Prix qualifying)

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Spa-Francorhamps, 2010

Mark Webber gave Red Bull their 12th pole position of the year in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

He beat Lewis Hamilton by less than a tenth of a second, and the McLaren driver will start alongside him on the front row for tomorrow’s race.

Robert Kubica put his upgraded Renault in third place after an exciting, rain-hit session.

Q1

The first session began with most of the cars queuing up at the exit of the pit lane as they anticipated an incoming rain shower. But as the cars negotiated their out laps Vitaly Petrov spun his Renault into the barriers at the exit of turn nine, bringing out the red flag.

The meant the rain hit after a hiatus in proceedings, as the drivers went back out to begin their laps. That caused chaos when they reached Curve Paul Frere, which was the wettest corner.

Several cars spun and others had to slow down to get around them – including Michael Schumacher who had to dodge from side to aide to avoid spinning and re-joining cars.

It was hard to pick out whether anyone had transgressed in the mayhem, but the stewards announced they would investigate it.

Meanwhile some drivers had made it through unscathed and registered lap times. The two McLaren drivers went quickest to begin with but the Red Bull pair, who’d left it late to set their times, had to go out on intermediates.

As the rain passed over the track tried quickly and the lap times came tumbling down. Robert Kubica set a new fastest time but McLaren kept their drivers in the pits.

That decision was vindicated when both Sauber drivers spun in the closing stages, leaving the pair in the drop zone.

That allowed two of the new teams’ drivers to capitalise, Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock both making it into Q2.

Q2

No more rain fell during the second part of qualifying, but the first laps on a damp track made for a fascinating spectacle. Lewis Hamilton’s first effort was an impressive 1.7 seconds faster than anyone else, the McLaren driver finding more grip than anyone else, particularly in the middle sector.

Most cars did two runs but Hamilton regained the top spot once again by half a second over his team mate.

Neither Mercedes driver made it into the final ten, Schumacher finding traffic on his final run.

Both Toro Rossos, Vitantonio Liuzzi and the two drivers from the new teams were also knocked out.

Q3

Mark Webber hit the top of the times at the start of Q3, four tenths of a second faster than anyone

This proved crucial as the weather was about to play a role once again. A small shower hit the start line area as the drivers were heading out for their second runs.

This was a disaster for Fernando Alonso, who had only managed tenth with his first run and wasn’t able to improve. Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari went off at turn seven trying to find more time.

But the McLaren pair each bettered their times. Button did a 1’46.206 to take fifth place, knocking Massa down to sixth.

And Hamilton found another four tenths of a second to join Webber on the front row of the grid, missing out on pole position by less than a tenth of a second.

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’57.352 1’47.253 1’45.778
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’56.706 1’46.211 1’45.863
3 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’56.041 1’47.320 1’46.100
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’58.487 1’47.245 1’46.127
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’57.981 1’46.790 1’46.206
6 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’58.323 1’47.322 1’46.314
7 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’55.757 1’47.797 1’46.602
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’58.730 1’47.292 1’46.659
9 10 Nico H?â??lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’55.442 1’47.821 1’47.053
10 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’57.023 1’47.544 1’47.441
11 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’56.313 1’47.874
12 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’54.826 1’47.885
13 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’58.944 1’48.267
14 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 2’01.102 1’48.680
15 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2’00.386 1’49.209
16 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 2’01.343 1’50.980
17 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2’01.316 1’52.049
18 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 2’01.491
19 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2’02.284
20 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 2’03.612
21 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 2’03.941
22 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 2’05.294
23 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2’18.154
24 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault

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93 comments on Webber pips Hamilton for Spa pole position (Belgian Grand Prix qualifying)

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  1. steph said on 28th August 2010, 14:17

    Great job by Webber. Good job by top 3. Ham clearly beat But and Kub did well as the sole Renault.

    Was hoping for a good weekend from petrov but hopefully he can put in a good race. Alo/Ferrari dropped the ball today. I’d like Mas to be quicker but next season as it’s pointless now.

    Congrats to Schu outqualifying Nico and avoiding the carnage.

    • bosyber said on 28th August 2010, 14:27

      Well put, and also good job by Sutil, Vettel somewhat disapponting. I still think Ferrari can have a good race, their grid position is due to mistakes/wrong timing, not lack of pace. But unless there is a lot of changing weather with SC periods, I don’t think they can win.

      Hamilton looks good for the win – Webber doesn’t really have a clear advantage anywhere, not even S2, and Red Bull can’t use their engine-retardation thing the whole race. I think superior f-duct allows the running of a lot more wing on the McLaren.

      • It is a big gamble by Alo but maybe he saw they didn’t ahve the pace so tried it. I would have expected him to come out and say that straight away to show he is in fact the quicker one just because he’s so darn competitive.

        On his first run he was on used softs.

        I think Vettel in the end did a fairly good job. He had that small issue with the car this morning which would have been an unwelcome distraction but not really a problem but he so nearly screwed up in quali by leaving his run so late and going on the hards. Luckily the new teams are still slow and his lap on the inters was pretty good but it wouldn’t have been a comfortable time for him.

    • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 28th August 2010, 14:32

      really don’t understand what happened to Alonso on that first run. He didn’t make a mistake because he was down in every sector which makes no sense since he was 0.5 seconds faster in nearly identical conditions yesterdays. Will be interesting to see what the explaination is.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th August 2010, 14:56

        It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder if he’s gambled on a different set-up. But the conditions are so variable it’s be a big gamble if he did.

        • bosyber said on 28th August 2010, 16:07

          As I posted here, http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/08/28/belgian-grand-prix-grid-2/#comment-418998 – looking at the sector times, he is clearly doing something different. I would hope for him it is a wet setup, because he is really far down in S1 and S3, and both Ferrari’s are down in S2.

          I would guess both have less downforce than McLaren, to be able to keep up in S1, S3, where Massa is indeed 3rd. In S2 Alonso edges out Massa, but they both are half a second down on everyone around. So maybe Alonso thought his only real chance was to do something different.

          • Jack Peekoc said on 28th August 2010, 17:15

            He said he used an older set for his first run, saving the newer set for his second run, which was then wet.

        • miguelF1O (@) said on 29th August 2010, 1:02

          they change their front wing.because of the weather they might have got it all wrong and make a bad move

      • I think Alonso was expecting rain, so he used rain setups. If you look there were differences between Alonso and Massa rear wings.

        • DaveW said on 28th August 2010, 19:09

          According to Pravda, Massa was running an experimental low drag wing, for Monza. They have a drawing and stuff. So, Massa is now testing parts for Alonso? Anyway, it seems like they should have had that wing on the other car. Total strategic fail in qualifying for them today.

      • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 28th August 2010, 15:15

        Like Keith said if he has gambled on a wet wet race its a massive risk to take considering he’s just got himself back in the title race.

    • miguelF1O (@) said on 28th August 2010, 14:33

      did anyone notice mclaren new front wing its similar to ferrari concept but different design it is flexing like they wanted to strange is that the wing seems to be built with less carbon fibre maybe that was what made it flex more because without the big bridge they have less support less rigidity like expected ham ftw horrible qualy for ferrari but we never know on the rain anyway mclarens set up make them favourite for the wet cause the RW80 enables that but thankfully it is pointless to use that on monza so its imposible to predict the winner next gp

      • Victor. said on 28th August 2010, 14:36

        Please use punctuation…

        • Fer no 65 said on 28th August 2010, 14:49

          or catch a big breath before start reading…

          • Was a really good comment ignoring the punctuation and spelling.
            :D

            I didn’t notice that Miguel, We must have a look at the photo’s when Keith releases them, maybe that will show us.

            Did you see if the Ferrari or Red Bull wings were flexing?

      • Nick F said on 28th August 2010, 16:16

        I just watched Q3 again. I noticed that Hamilton was running the old wing and Jenson the new one.

        • RBR were back to the same flex as China… not the hitting the floor as at Silverstone onwards. Ferrari wing also seemed more rigid as pointed out y’day.
          Personally I’m convinced they have both changed their wings, but that is only based on TV pictures and is a bit subjective, however you can not dispute that the RBR wing is no longer hitting the track.

        • Younger Hamilton said on 28th August 2010, 20:38

          Yes Lewis had the Turkey-spec Front wing while JB had the new Front Wing

      • spectator said on 29th August 2010, 0:20

        I assuming that hams wing is flexing more than usual mainly because of martin brundles comments

      • spectator said on 29th August 2010, 0:40

        ferrari was running the old spec front wing, maybe thats why didnt see the flexiness. redbulls was “wobbling” and maybe mclarens wing looked close to the ground because the car was also close to the ground

    • Massa quicker is unfortunetly probably only down to setup, which is prety different betwen dry and rain.

      If Alonso gembled with the setup and the whole race is wet than it might be quit different picture tomorow.

    • I love this quote from James Allen´s blog:

      Asking engineers from other teams they share that sense of wonder at Hamilton’s final lap. And given that it boosted him to the front row of the grid it may turn out to be an important moment in the championship story. Button too was able to improve in the final run, but not by as much as Hamilton.

  2. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 28th August 2010, 14:18

    Hamilton for the win in a dry race, in the wet too if he stays out of trouble. Not even a tenth off in qualifying, where Red Bull’s advantage always shows greatest. Great laps from him and Kubica also. Alonso in trouble, 30 (say) points with 6 races to go wouldn’t be a mountain to climb but he’d rather not have that gap increasing especially before Monza.

    • Would have been interesting to see how the times would have stacked up in the dry. Hamilton was within a tenth of Webbter on a lap that was clearly compromised by rain on the first corner, dropping 3 tenths in the first sector, but equally it’s hard to say if Webber had a great deal more in better conditions.

    • spectator said on 29th August 2010, 0:43

      everyone is ruling out ferrari and redbull from monza, but without the f-ducts monza will be a test to the straight line speed and to the mechanical grip.

  3. Steezy said on 28th August 2010, 14:19

    Hey Keith, could you confirm what compounds Hulk/Sutil were using in Q3? I didn’t catch it, I wonder if they were running on the same as Rubens with the harder compound.

    If not it’s fantastic for Rubens to outdo them with the harder tyres!

    Oh yeah red bull pole grats etc etc

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th August 2010, 14:28

      I think only Barrichello ran hard tyres, everyone else options.

      • miguelF1O (@) said on 28th August 2010, 14:34

        why with the rain prospects it would be logical to use the option?

        • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 28th August 2010, 14:48

          If rain is predicted towards the end of the race Rubens could run till it rains then when everyone comes in for rain tyres he’d be making his first stop everyone else making their second. Could prove to be a very clever gamble

          • bosyber said on 28th August 2010, 15:25

            And for the same reason, if it isn’t clear when it will be raining, the options allow running until it does.

          • Of course if it rains early, he’d have used the slower hard tyres when everyone else has gain advantage on the softs…

            He might do well out of this, I hope he does.

            Isn’t the softer compound the option tyre?

          • spectator said on 29th August 2010, 0:22

            okay so barrichello is hoping for late showers

        • As I understand it a softer compound will work better when the track is damp, as it’s easier to keep the temperature in the tyres, which is the most important thing.

  4. sato113 said on 28th August 2010, 14:19

    i believe HAM could have got pole were it not for the rain. congrats to webber tho!

  5. Damon said on 28th August 2010, 14:23

    Good job by webber, but I still think Hamilton had it in him to get pole if it wasn’t for the rain at the end. Massa didn’t do too bad for a number 2 driver, I bet alonso is gutted. I think they will be some serious drama tomorow, I’m not going to make any predictions about lewis because il jinx him lol

  6. HounslowBusGarage said on 28th August 2010, 14:24

    So MSC will start the race from P21 on the grid. Has he ever been so far from the front? If it’s wet, I expect hom to reclaim the ten place grid penalty in the first three or four laps.

  7. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 28th August 2010, 14:24

    I can’t believe Hamilton put that lap in! What a performance. Will be good to see him challenge up Eau Rouge, if anyone will try it it’ll be Lewis.

    Kubica also did a great lap and will be interesting with him in the mix tomorrow.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 29th August 2010, 2:59

      Imagine how fast he could have gone when the track was at its driest… I’d love to see his lap onboard. And I too can not wait for the start, but I will be hoping Webber can Hamilton off. It is going to be so interesting!

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th August 2010, 14:25

    Nice grid mix up but over all a rather tame and subdued session. Just a stream of white and yellow on the official timing app until the last two sectors!

    Nice to see Kubica up there again..first time since Monaco? Shame for Petrov, was interested to see how the f-duct would have suited the team, given the weather which was bound to throw a spanner in the works and mix it up anyway.

    Looking forward to tomorrow!

  9. sTeVe said on 28th August 2010, 14:25

    Realy thought that McLaren had no chance in todays qualifying, judging by all their talk of damage limitation this weekend. Maybe the changable conditions played there part and showed up some faults in the redbull and ferraries. Hope tomorrow is more of the same…..cant wait

  10. David BR said on 28th August 2010, 14:28

    Great driving by Lewis today, particularly the last run for second. Really enjoyed seeing Massa outdrive the Ferrari number one too…

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th August 2010, 14:28

    Going to be interesting up Eau Rouge! Any other course I would expect RBR to walk the first corner, but not so convinced now.

    Great pic of EJ too for Barrichello’s 300th Grand Prix! He doesn’t half get some stick from Jake.

  12. Calum said on 28th August 2010, 14:30

    Great for Hamilton, I’ll be hoping he can get the jump on the run up through the Eau Rouge/Kemmel straight section.

    As for 12 poles in one season by a constructor, it matches:
    Ferrari 2004
    Mclaren 1990, 1998
    Lotus 1978
    Williams 1987, 1995, 1996

    One more pole this season would make them outright 5th most poles, 3 more to become first equal along with:
    Mclaren 1988, 1989
    Williams 1992, 1993.

    • Steezy said on 28th August 2010, 14:33

      Really it shows how badly Red Bull are throwing this compared to how all these teams during those seasons dominated.

      I don’t think Red Bull are going to win tomorrow.

      Nice load of stats there though, cheers

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th August 2010, 14:59

        Not entirely – their car clearly works better in qualifying than in the race.

        All the same, they have thrown loads of points away.

      • dragon said on 28th August 2010, 16:53

        *sigh* This season, fastest car in qualifying no longer means fastest car on race day – especially when RBR have a system that they run only on Saturdays anyway.

        • bosyber said on 28th August 2010, 17:01

          And so far, that hasn’t really proven to be a good trade-off, so let’s hope next year teams might not follow it.

          • David BR said on 28th August 2010, 17:13

            Trade-off implies they’re sacrificing race speed for qualification, but is that the case?

  13. Our commentators mentioned that no penalties have been given following the incident in Q1. I presume it was the collision between di Grassi and Trulli which they were investigating.

    • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 28th August 2010, 14:35

      I think they were investigating any breaches of yellows but it was so chaotic I don’t think Alo or Schumi could have avoided lifting off even if they’d wanted to

    • miguelF1O (@) said on 28th August 2010, 14:36

      yes but the 3 we saw didnt touched what the cameras did not show is that other 2 cars had spun on front of that pack i think kubica and maybe a force india

    • bosyber said on 28th August 2010, 15:27

      … but now Glock got 5 places drop for impeding Yamamoto, as unlikely as that sounds, I guess they checked it a few times before confirming it.

  14. Perhaps the difference in tyre wear has a lot to do with this qualifying result. We’ve been saying all season that the McLaren’s are harder on their tyres than say the Ferraris… maybe that helped them to warm the tyres up faster in cool and changing conditions?

  15. Another Calum said on 28th August 2010, 14:35

    Hamilton would have been on pole if he did that lap in the dry it was crazy but then agian im happy it was damp because alonso is in 10th place and im sure hamilton will pull off a nice move through Eau Rouge :P

    One of the best quali’s to watch this season i think and i guarantee the race will be something special 0.0

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