Belgian GP 2015
AUGUST 22, 2015
Qualifying Report - Domination
The Mercedes team dominated qualifying. Lewis Hamilton won the pole and Nico Rosberg will start from second on the grid. Hamilton's fast lap of 1:47.197 blasted the lap of 1:48.537 that Valtteri Bottas managed to get in his Williams Mercedes to claim third.
"I was really happy today with the performance of the car and the team," Hamilton said. "My goal today was to get pole position."
The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Centigrade). The humidity was 41 percent. There was zero percent chance of rain.
The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes ‘ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Red Bull Renault ‘ Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Williams Mercedes ‘ Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari ‘ Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren Honda ‘ Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Force India Mercedes ‘ Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Toro Rosso Renault ‘ Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Lotus Mercedes ‘ Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Marussia Ferrari ‘ Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi. Sauber ‘ Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
Bottas and Merhi were the first out, and Bottas set the first time at 1:50.195. But it did not take long for Hamilton to beat that with a 1:49.577, and for Rosberg to top that with a 1:49.498.
After all the drivers had set a lap time except Massa, Verstappen was 14th, Maldonado was 15th and Button was 16th, so that was the lay of the land as far as making the top 15 and the cut into Q2.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Perez took the top spot as Vettel and Raikkonen slotted into second and third. But Hamilton and Rosberg bounced back to take the top spots.
The top 10 at the end of Q1 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Perez, Bottas, Sainz, Vettel, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Kvyat and Hulkenberg.
The five drivers eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Nasr, Button, Alonso, Stevens and Merhi.
Bottas was the first out in the 15-minute Q2 session.
With 9 minutes remaining in the session, something broke on Raikkonen's Ferrari and he parked it at Turn 14. The session was red flagged.
Kvyat, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Sainz were out of the top 10 at this stage as they along with a number of other drivers had yet to set a time.
With 5 minutes remaining, the Q2 session was restarted. Massa, Kvyat and a couple others headed out while the rest waited until the last possible moment. There was a flurry of activity, and when it ended Rosberg and Hamilton, who had not gone out, remained first and second.
The pack got reshuffled behind them with the end result that Vettel was third ahead of Perez. Massa, Maldonado, Grosjean, Ricciardo, Bottas and Sainz rounded out the top 10.
The five drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Hulkenberg, Kvyat, Sainz, Raikkonen and Verstappen.
First out in the 12-minute Q3 was Bottas.
But it was Hamilton who went to the head of the field with a time of 1:47.449, beating Rosberg's 1:47.895.
Bottas was third ahead of Massa, Ricciardo, Vettel, Maldonado, Grosjean, Perez and Sainz at the end of round one of the runs.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, all 10 drivers set out for one last final lap.
Hamilton took the pole with a 1:47.197 while Rosberg, who had a slow middle sector, clocked a 1:47.655. Bottas, Grosjean, Perez, Ricciardo, Massa, Maldonado, Vettel and Sainz rounded out the top 10.