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2011 Belgian Grand Prix (Rd 12, Qualifying, Aug 27th, TV Notes)

August 28, 2011

Spa-Francorchamps © Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel secured his eighth pole position of the season ahead of today’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

A late run in drying conditions was enough to give the reigning Champion a four-tenths advantage over McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
It was a reassuring run for Hamilton who survived an assault from William’s Pastor Maldonado at the end of Q2. As that stint drew to a close, the Venezuelan appeared to deliberately swipe Hamilton on the exit of La Source, earning Maldonado a five place grid penalty.

Mark Webber assumed 3rd on the grid following his final run, although the Australian lost time through the final sector behind Sergio Perez (Sauber).
Felipe Massa once again out-qualified Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso.

Nico Rosberg broke into the top five in his his Mercedes machine, but the real surprise came from Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari, who powered his way to 6th on the grid.
Bruno Senna went some way to silencing his critics with a good effort to 7th place, three places and 1.2 seconds quicker than fellow Renault pilot Vitaly Petrov, while Alonso and Perez took 8th and 9th respectively.

Both Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) and Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) only just missed out on the final portion of qualifying.
Remarkably, Jenson Button could only manage 13th in his McLaren. The Briton was brought in early during the session, only to fall down the order as the track began to dry out.

Rubens Barrichello leads the charge for Williams in 14th place, ahead of Adrian Sutil (15th) who crashed his Force India lightly at the top of Eau Rouge.
A good session for Heikki Kovalainen means he starts 16th for Team Lotus, two spots ahead of veteran teammate Jarno Trulli.

Paul di Resta lost out in Q1. Like Button, the Force India driver was called into the pits with a time that was assumed to be safe, only for the Scot to drop out as the chequered flag flew.
Timo Glock leads an all-Virgin tenth row, ahead of the penalised Maldonado.
Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo assumed 22nd and 23rd respectively for HRT F1, while a lose wheel ended Michael Schumacher’s qualifying before he had even set a lap.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m48.298s
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m48.730s   + 0.432
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m49.376s   + 1.078
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m50.256s   + 1.958
 5.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m50.552s   + 2.254
 6.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m50.773s   + 2.475 
 7.  Bruno Senna           Renault              1m51.121s   + 2.823
 8.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m51.251s   + 2.953
 9.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m51.374s   + 3.076
10.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault              1m52.303s   + 4.005
Q2 cut-off time: 2m04.625s Gap **
11.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari   2m04.692s   + 1.924
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       2m04.757s   + 1.989
13.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     2m05.150s   + 2.382
14.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth    2m07.349s   + 4.581
15.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 2m07.777s   + 5.009
16.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault        2m08.354s   + 5.586
Q1 cut-off time: 2m07.194s Gap *
17.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 2m07.758s   + 5.945
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault        2m07.773s   + 5.960
19.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth      2m09.566s   + 7.753
20.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth      2m11.601s   + 9.788
21.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth    2m08.106s   + 5.338 ***
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth         2m11.616s   + 9.803
23.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth         2m13.077s  + 11.264
24.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             no time
107% time: 2m10.339s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
*** 5-place grid penalty
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