“F1: Rosberg takes dominant pole in Belgium”
Nico Rosberg took his fourth consecutive Formula One pole position at Spa-Francorchamps today.
In wet, but drying conditions, the German racer had some three-tenths in hand over championship rival and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
It was not just a dominant lap for Rosberg – even his second quickest tour, the son of the 1982 champion would have headed the times.
Lewis Hamilton did improve with his final run; however the Briton’s Q3 stint was peppered with errors on a tricky surface.
Sebastian Vettel led the Red Bull charge, albeit over two seconds adrift of the pole time. The reigning champion may have lost some time as he was the first driver to complete the final run, leaving others to improve after he had finished.
Fernando Alonso brought his Ferrari to 4th, just two-tenths ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who made a mistake in Stavelot on his final lap. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas could do no better than 6th.
Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) made it an all-Scandinavian fourth row, while Felipe Massa (Williams) and Jenson Button (McLaren) took 9tha nd 10th respectively.
It was an-Toro Rosso sixth row. The Italian squad lost out in the final moments as others found time late on. Both Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne made the move to intermediate tyres by mid-session; however as their Pirelli rubber aged, the young duo dropped behind those who changed later.
Sergio Perez was the first of the Force India’s in 13th, with Sauber’s Adrian Sutil taking 14th. Romain Grosjean leads the Lotus charge in 15th, emerging some 1.4s faster than Marussia man Jules Bianchi.
Pastor Maldonado once again failed to break out of Q1 in his Lotus-Renault, although the real surprise came when Nico Hulkenberg could not progress. The German complained of a lack of confidence in his brakes in the cold conditions around the legendary Belgian circuit.
Max Chilton lined up 19th in the second Marussia. He enjoyed a nine-tenths advantage over Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) who suffered a mechanical failure early in the session. It was an all-Caterham back row; however Formula One debutante André Lotterer out-qualified teammate Marcus Ericsson by almost one second.