Lewis Hamilton took a dominant pole position for tomorrow’s Belgian GP, clinching pole by half a second.
Hamilton, who dedicated his pole position to the late actor Chadwick Boseman, was head and shoulders above his competitors as he continued Mercedes’ run of securing pole for every race this season.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas lined up second, but he had no answer to Hamilton’s pace and made several errors throughout qualifying.
Q1: Ferrari Just Escape as Both Customer Teams Eliminated
Ferrari celebrated their 1000th race as an engine manufacturer by seeing both of their customer team entries eliminated in Q1 and their work entries very nearly join them.
Sebastian Vettel spent most of the session in 19th place but he improved to qualify 13th place.
Last year’s pole position and race winner Charles Leclerc managed to slip into Q2 finishing 15th just under a tenth of a second from being eliminated.
Nicolas Latifi‘s Williams was the only non Ferrari powered runner to fall foul of Q1 with both Alfa Romeos and Haas cars being eliminated.
Kevin Magnussen went off on his final lap and qualified last, while team-mate Romain Grosjean only managed to qualify 17th, a severe blow for the team which had qualified in the top 10 for the previous two years.
Q2. Ferrari Join Alpha Tauri in Elimination
Both Ferraris were failed to make Q3 with last year’s pole position winner Leclerc qualifying 13th, just in front of his team-mate Vettel.
The Scarlet cars lacked the power on this important power circuit and their speed deficit in sector 1 proved to be fatal.
The two Alpha Tauri entries were eliminated finishing 11th and 12th despite the team running their ‘Monza’ low downforce wing in a bid to crack the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat out-qualifed Pierre Gasly for the first time this season but that was small consolation for missing Q3 by 0.060 seconds.
George Russell had managed to escape Q1 again and the Williams finished the last of the Q2 runners in 15th place.
Racing Point initially had difficulty in the session as they lacked pace on the medium tyres and left both of them in the elimination places. A switch to the soft compound tyres enabled the team to easily make Q3.
Max Verstappen gave Red Bull team-mate Alex Albon a helping tow to enable the Thai driver to grab third position albeit on the soft compound tyre, giving him less strategy options for tomorrow’s race.
Q3: Lewis Uses ‘Double Party Mode’ to Break Track Record
Hamilton used what his race engineer called ‘double party mode’ to magnificent effect to set the Spa track record with a 1 minute 41.252 seconds time to seize pole.
Bottas was unable to get into Hamilton tow on his final lap and eventually finished 0.511 seconds down on his team-mate but only 0.015 seconds in front of Verstappen who had the advantage of team-mate Albon repaying the tow favour of Q2.
Bottas had a poor error strewth first flying lap but Mercedes’ pace over the rest of the field was such that he was still second ahead of the mightly impressive Daniel Ricciardo in the Renault.
Ricciardo attempted to use the tow from team-mate Esteban Ocon in an attempt to beat Bottas for his final lap but eventually aborted the lap and pitted.
His first lap was still good enough to secure fourth on the grid, his best qualifying effort since he joined the Renault team a year ago and all this was accomplished despite a break by wire issue which hampered him throughout the session.
Both Racing Point Cars only accomplished one flying lap in Q3, the only runners to do so, as Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll lined up 8th and 9th respectively.
They were sandwiched by both of the McLaren’s with Carlos Sainz qualifying seventh with Lando Norris rounding out the top 10.
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||0.526s||17|
|5||Alex Albon||Red Bull||1.012s||15|
|8||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1.280s||15|
|9||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1.351s||15|
|16||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing||1.420s||6|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing||1.627s||6|