F1

Belgian GP: McLaren Mercedes qualifying report

Pole Position for Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position after setting a time of 1m47.338 in the exciting third part of qualifying. His team-mate Heikki Kovalainen...

Pole Position for Lewis Hamilton

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position after setting a time of 1m47.338 in the exciting third part of qualifying. His team-mate Heikki Kovalainen posted a time of 1m47.815 and will start third on the grid. It is Lewis's 11th Formula 1 pole position, his fifth of the year and the 60th of the McLaren-Mercedes partnership, which began in 1995.

In the first part of qualifying, the top 15 drivers who moved up to the second session were covered by less than 0.8sec. Almost as close was the second part when the top 10 who fought for pole position were covered by less than 0.8sec.

Lewis Hamilton

"I'm really happy about my pole position. We've got a great car and the atmosphere within the team at home in Woking and here at the circuit is fantastic. After Valencia we knew we had to improve and that's what we did. Today's outcome is also a result of this great preparation and I felt very comfortable when we came here. First, I decided to drive with the harder compound, but obviously the option tyre was the better one. Today I gave it my all and so did the team. At the beginning of my first lap, I locked up my right front wheel for a moment, but afterwards I didn't make any mistakes. I'm confident for tomorrow's race."

Heikki Kovalainen

"A good weekend so far and we were able to improve throughout. Today's qualifying was fairly straightforward; however, in the end, I didn't quite do enough to make it onto the front row. I didn't make any mistakes on my lap, but obviously I lost a bit of time in the middle sector. Anyway, tomorrow is where it counts and I'm feeling optimistic."

Ron Dennis

"First and third is a pretty good qualifying result by anyone's standards, and it has set us up for what we hope will be a highly competitive showing tomorrow. We think we've worked out a decent race strategy, and we're confident that both Lewis and Heikki will therefore be in good shape. There was a bit of a fuel difference between them today, so you can conclude that both of them did a fine job."

Norbert Haug

"A very impressive pole lap by Lewis. With him being in first and Heikki in third position on the grid, we have achieved a great result. It's Lewis's 11th pole in his 30th Grand Prix and his 17th start from the front row, which is quite an impressive score. Hopefully we can make best use of these positions tomorrow. Thanks to everybody in the team -- first and foremost to Lewis and to Heikki for a very good job."

-credit: mclaren

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