Hamilton storms to 10th pole of 2015

By on Saturday, August 22, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton cruised to his 10th pole position from 11 races in 2015 as he topped qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton set two laps quick enough for top spot during Q3 and ultimately finished the session with a 1:47.197, as Nico Rosberg ensured it was a Mercedes 1-2.

Rosberg, who made a minor error at Stavelot on his first lap, improved on his second run but still finished the session 0.458s down on Hamilton.

Hamilton also secured the FIA’s Pole Trophy, as no rival will be able to surpass his total across the remainder of the campaign.

While Mercedes locked out the first row of the grid, Ferrari endured a difficult day, with Sebastian Vettel eighth and Kimi Räikkönen knocked out in Q2.

That paved the way for Valtteri Bottas to collect third place, albeit 1.3s behind Hamilton, as he headed a group separated by just three tenths of a second.

Romain Grosjean qualified in fourth but will drop to ninth on account of a gearbox penalty, meaning that Force India’s Sergio Pérez inherits the Frenchman’s fourth position.

Daniel Ricciardo will start from fifth place, ahead of Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado and Vettel.

Grosjean will slot into ninth position, while Carlos Sainz Jr. made it to Q3 but was somewhat adrift on his sole flying lap in the session.

Nico Hülkenberg was eliminated in Q2 after locking up at La Source, while Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was unable to convert his pace from Friday practice and ended 12th.

Marcus Ericsson claimed 13th for Sauber, though was the slowest of the drivers to post a time in the second segment of qualifying.

Räikkönen’s misfortune struck during the early stages of Q2 as he suffered a drop in oil pressure at Stavelot, with his SF15-T crawling to a halt.

The session was briefly halted to allow Räikkönen’s car to be safely recovered.

Räikkönen placed 14th as Max Verstappen opted not to set a time in Q2, on account of his impending grid penalty.

Felipe Nasr failed to make it out of Q1 for the third successive race after placing 16th, missing the cut-off point by a tenth of a second.

Jenson Button was half a second ahead of Fernando Alonso in the intra-team battle at McLaren, albeit still a second adrift of nearest rival Nasr.

Due to a litany of engine penalties, both Button and Alonso will drop to the back row of the grid, behind Manor Marussia duo Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.

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