Hamilton snatches pole in thrilling Belgian qualifying

By on Saturday, August 24, 2013
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton snatched pole in dramatic circumstances in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was last over the line in wet conditions and took top spot, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Nico Rosberg was fourth, with Paul di Resta in fifth.

Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10.

Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez failed to progress to Q3.

Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde and Marussia duo Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton all made it through to Q2 courtesy of tyre calls.

Pastor Maldonado, Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Gutierrez and Charles Pic were eliminated after Q1.

The session began in damp conditions, courtesy of rain that fell 15 minutes before the start of qualifying.

There was a concerning moment for Marussia early on in the session when Chilton almost ran into the back of team-mate Bianchi.

Fortunately the Brit was able to avoid his team-mate, thus avoiding further embarrassment.

Other drivers struggled during the early stages; Maldonado, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button all ran wide at Les Combes, while Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil had to take to the tarmac run off under braking for the Bus Stop chicane.

Giedo van der Garde was the first driver to switch to slick tyres as he bolted on the medium compounds with five minutes of Q1 remaining.

But while van der Garde circulated a few seconds off the pace, Maldonado set the quickest time on Intermediate tyres.

Times soon began to tumble, with Paul di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg and Mark Webber all enjoying spells at the front.

But with a minute remaining, Van der Garde's times improved sufficiently for the Dutchman to set the third fastest time.

Marussia duo Bianchi and Chilton also switched to slicks early and progressed through to Q2.

The second segment of qualifying took place in dry conditions but Q3 began with the rain returning to the circuit.

The drivers initially took to the circuit on option tyres but immediately had to switch to wet tyres. Only Di Resta initially took to the track on Intermediate tyres.

Di Resta set a benchmark time of 2:02.332 in slippery conditions but his time was soon overhauled by the two Red Bulls and Hamilton.

Neither Ferrari driver excelled in the conditions as they rounded out the top 10.

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