Rosberg beats Hamilton as Mercedes dominates wet qualifying session at Spa

By on Saturday, August 23, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas. File Photo.

Mercedes AMG Petronas. File Photo.

Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix at a wet Spa Francorchamps as he edged out Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton during a session in which the pair dominated.

Rosberg and Hamilton diced for the fastest time as they lapped almost two seconds faster than nearest rival Sebastian Vettel.

A torrential downpour 45 minutes before the start of qualifying soaked the circuit, although it dried slightly for Intermediates to be used in Q1.

Times naturally tumbled as the session progressed and during a frantic few minutes it was Pastor Maldonado who ended in 17th, having spun under braking for the Bus Stop chicane. Nico Hülkenberg complained of losing confidence in the brakes and he was a lowly 18th, ahead of Max Chilton, who was denied a final run due to a Power Unit issue.

Esteban Gutiérrez stopped by the side of the track at Stavelot and ended up in 20th, while Andre Lotterer bedded himself in across the wet session but still managed to beat Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson by almost a second.

Rain kept falling throughout Q2 as several drivers struggled for grip. Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg both ran wide at Rivage, while Lewis Hamilton saved a moment at Raidillion and also took to the run-off at Les Combes.

Eventually it was Daniil Kvyat who ended in 11th position, ahead of team-mate Jean-Éric Vergne and Force India’s Sergio Pérez. Adrian Sutil managed 14th, while Romain Grosjean spun on his way to 15th, with compatriot Jules Bianchi rounding out the Q2 runners.

Q3 began with it being one session apiece for the dominant Mercedes duo as the rain stopped, albeit leaving a drenched track.

Hamilton started his flying lap first but ran deep into La Source, compromising his run from the very first corner. Vettel took top spot briefly but his time was smashed by Rosberg, who moved two and a half seconds clear of the reigning champion. Hamilton continued onto a second lap and moved into second place, albeit almost seven-tenths down on Rosberg.

Hamilton made another minor error into La Source at the start of his second run and lost a tenth to Rosberg in the first sector and while he improved his time, Rosberg did likewise, with the German driver winning the battle by 0.228s.

Such was Mercedes’s dominance that Vettel finished in third place, almost two seconds down on Rosberg, with Alonso close behind in fourth position.

Daniel Ricciardo ended in fifth despite a hairy moment at Blanchimont, while Valtteri Bottas was sixth for Williams.

Kevin Magnussen set the seventh quickest time, with Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button rounding out the top 10.

16Nico RosbergMercedes2:07.1302:06.7232:05.59122
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes2:07.2802:06.6092:05.81922
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault2:10.1052:08.8682:07.71724
414Fernando AlonsoFerrari2:10.1972:08.4502:07.78621
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault2:10.0892:08.9892:07.91121
677Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes2:09.2502:08.4512:08.04923
720Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes2:11.0812:08.9012:08.67922
87Kimi RäikkönenFerrari2:09.8852:08.6462:08.78021
919Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes2:08.4032:08.8332:09.17820
1022Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes2:10.5292:09.2722:09.77622
1126Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault2:10.4452:09.37716
1225Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault2:09.8112:09.80513
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes2:10.6662:10.08416
1499Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari2:11.0512:10.23817
158Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault2:10.8982:11.08716
1617Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari2:11.0512:12.47014
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault2:11.2619
1827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes2:11.2678
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari2:12.5668
2021Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari2:13.4144
2145Andre LottererCaterham-Renault2:13.4699
229Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault2:14.4389

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