Jenson Button has dominated the final period of qualifying at a dry Spa Francorchamps to score pole for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The Briton was one of just two drivers to complete two runs in Q3, setting 1:47.69s and 1:47.53s laps on his respective attempts, both of which proved faster than anything recorded by his rivals.
The result marks Button’s first pole position since his World Championship season with Brawn GP in 2009.
Kamui Kobayashi was the best-of-the-rest to score a career first front-row start in his Sauber, while Pastor Maldonado, Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez made up a surprise top five. Raikkonen had joined Button in heading out twice during Q3, but unlike the McLaren driver failed to improve on his second effort.
The championship’s top two- Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber – filled sixth and seventh, although the Australian will start 12th thanks to a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean and Paul di Resta completed the Q3 field, while reigning Spa winner Sebastian Vettel will start 11th after failing to progress through Q2 by just 0.012s.
Nico Rosberg had earlier been the major casualty of Q1. The Mercedes driver saw the chequered flag fall on the opening segment as he scrambled to start his final flying lap.Like Webber, Rosberg will also take a five-place gearbox change grid penalty into the race.
A 13th placed run in Q2 for Rosberg’s team-mate Michael Schumacher ended a difficult day for Mercedes.
See below for the full qualifying result
|7||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:49.859||1:48.546||1:48.392|
|10||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:50.033||1:48.729||1:48.890|
|11||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:49.722||1:48.792|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:49.362||1:48.855|
|22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:53.030|
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Belgian Grand Prix Race Guide