Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole at wet Spa

Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole at wet Spa

23rd Aug 2014 8:12 pm

Rain meant that the majority of qualifying was run using intermediate tyres and Rosberg's first flying lap at the start of Q3,

Nico Rosberg claimed his fourth consecutive Formula 1 pole position in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Rain meant that the majority of qualifying was run using intermediate tyres and Rosberg's first flying lap at the start of Q3, a 2m05.591s, proved to be good enough for pole position.

Although Rosberg did switch to a fresh set of intermediates and made a small improvement, he had already done enough to be sure of top spot. He ended up just over two tenths clear of world championship rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton, who set a slow time on his first flier, which was compromised by sliding wide at the first corner, leading him to ease off, before improving on his second.

He then pitted for fresh intermediates and got down to a 2m05.819s on his final flier, but it was only enough for second.

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, over two seconds slower than Rosberg, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fourth.

The pair had held third and fourth after the first runs, but improvements later on served only to defend their positions with the Mercedes pairing out of reach.

Daniel Ricciardo, who had an off-track moment on his final attempt, was fifth fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the best of the Williams cars.

Kevin Magnussen outqualified McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, the duo ending up seventh and 10th.

In between them were Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, with the Finn the biggest loser after the first runs and being bumped from fifth down to eighth.

Scuderia Toro Rosso pairing Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were the fastest of those eliminated in Q2.

Kvyat put in a lap that temporarily put him eighth in the closing stages of the session, but he was shuffled down the order by improvements by Magnussen, Button and Vettel, all of which were in the drop zone at times late on.

Sergio Perez was 13th ahead of Sauber driver Adrian Sutil, with Romain Grosjean 15th.

Although Jules Bianchi was slowest in the middle part of qualifying, the Marussia driver was one of the stars of the afternoon after reaching Q2 at Spa for the second consecutive year.

Pastor Maldonado appeared to have made it through to Q2 by improving his time on his final flying lap in a Q1 session that started off wet but improved throughout.

But the Lotus driver was bumped back down to 17th when Sutil also improved in the dying moments, with all the runners by then using intermediate rubber.

This also led to Force India's Nico Hulkenberg being eliminated as he slipped down to 18th ahead of Marussia's Max Chilton having been ahead of both Maldonado and Sutil as they started their final laps.

Hulkenberg admitted to making a mistake at the end of his final lap, which cost him a couple of tenths, also complaining of a lack of braking feel.

Esteban Gutierrez did not have the chance for a proper qualifying attempt as his Sauber stopped on his fifth lap while he was still on wet tyres.

This meant that the Mexican did not get to run in the best of the conditions, ending up ahead of only the two Caterhams.

Remarkably, Andre Lotterer outpaced Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson to avoid starting his debut grand prix last, with the gap between the two almost one second.

Pos Driver                Team                  Time       Gap   
 1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              2m05.591s            
 2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              2m05.819s  +0.228s   
 3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      2m07.717s  +2.126s   
 4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               2m07.786s  +2.195s   
 5. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault      2m07.911s  +2.320s   
 6. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes     2m08.049s  +2.458s   
 7. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes      2m08.679s  +3.088s   
 8. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari               2m08.780s  +3.189s   
 9. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes     2m09.178s  +3.587s   
10. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      2m09.776s  +4.185s   
Q2 cut-off time: 2m09.272s                                 Gap **
11. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault    2m09.377s  +2.768s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault    2m09.805s  +3.196s
13. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes  2m10.084s  +3.475s
14. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari        2m10.238s  +3.629s
15. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         2m11.087s  +4.478s
16. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari      2m12.470s  +5.861s
Q1 cut-off time: 2m11.081s                                 Gap *
17. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault         2m11.261s  +4.131s
18. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  2m11.267s  +4.137s
19. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari      2m12.566s  +5.436s
20. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari        2m13.414s  +6.284s
21. Andre Lotterer        Caterham-Renault      2m13.469s  +6.339s
22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault      2m14.438s  +7.308s

107% time: 2m16.029s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
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