Webber's Red Bull charges to pole position, in a very wet qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix With all of the attention on Fernando Alonso, following his impressive start to the Formula One weekend in practice yesterday, it was Mark Webber for...
Webber's Red Bull charges to pole position, in a very wet qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix
With all of the attention on Fernando Alonso, following his impressive start to the Formula One weekend in practice yesterday, it was Mark Webber for Red Bull who emerged from the woodwork today, and surprised everyone to take pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix tomorrow.
There was a deluge of rain early on in qualifying, which the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is famous for, as well as the challenge of the track itself, to make way for an action packed race weekend. These were two of the obstacles that Webber managed to battle through, on his way to clinch the top spot ahead of the race.
"We had a rain shower, which spiced things up and made it hard for people to improve. I'm pleased to be on pole and tomorrow's race is going to be interesting, I don't think the race will be won on the first lap. I'm looking forward to it."
The Australian secured his fifth pole of the season, with an impressive lap time set late on in Q3, of 1:45.778, ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton who gained one place, after performing well in the practice sessions.
Robert Kubica also improved from his final practice result, and will start from the second row in third place, and will be accompanied by Sebastian Vettel in the other Red Bull.
Defending World Champion Jenson Button also had a reasonable run in qualifying, despite the terrible track conditions with the rainfall. Button will start from the third row of the grid in fifth place, alongside Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
Although Alonso was the talking point yesterday, after setting some incredible lap times, he had a completely different end in today's qualifying. The Spaniard just managed to grab the last place in the top ten.
"Obviously, I can't be pleased with this result, but it has to be said that if there is one track where grid position is less critical than others, then it is this one, both because of the track characteristics and because the weather can be very changeable".
Adrian Sutil, who gave Alonso a run for his money in practice, also had a bad day on the track, and did not achieve as high a grid slot as he had hoped. The German is in a Williams sandwich, and will start from eighth position for the race.
Of the two Williams drivers, it was Rubens Barrichello who performed best, as he celebrates his 300th race start in Formula One tomorrow. He seemed very pleased to mark the occasion by qualifying in seventh, with his team mate, Nico Hulkenberg in ninth position.
Outside of the top ten, Michael Schumacher qualified eleventh, which he knows is just a temporary measure, with his automatic ten-place penalty, after his incident with Rubens Barrichello in Hungary. This now means that the Mercedes driver, will start way down on the last row, in twenty-first place and next to Sauber's Pedro de la ROsa.
The Renault's Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov had a disappointing qualifying during Q1: just before the downpour of rain set in, he lost control of his Renault, and spun off the track into the barrier on Turn 9. His incident resulted in a red-flag situation, and when the session restarted the rain really began to fall.
Schumacher's team mate, Nico Rosberg will also suffer a grid drop for the race, but only by five places due to a gearbox change. As a result of this Rosberg will now begin the race from seventeenth position.
There was more drama in qualifying with the treacherous conditions, as the new teams found it hard to stay on the track. Jarno Trulli for Lotus, and Lucas Di Grassi in his Virgin both went off, and they will start from eighteenth and twenty-third place respectively.
However, Trulli's teammate Heikki Kovalainen had the best result of the new teams and drivers, as he made it through to Q2 and secured himself sixteenth position on the grid. With Rosberg's and Schumacher's penalties, he will actually start 14th.
Another chaotic day can be expected at Spa tomorrow, with the ever-changing track conditions and possible incidents as a result, the race is still very much alive to decide the winner, and continuing battle to pick up valuable Drivers' and Constructors' Championship points.