Rosberg Takes Pole At Wet Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

A solemn Nico Rosberg acknowledges the crowd after taking pole on Saturday for the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa. [Photo by Sutton Images]

SPA-FRANCHOCHAMPS, Belgium- Nico Rosberg braved the rain and the fast track, as well as the unfortunate luck of teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole Saturday afternoon for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Belgium at this historic 4.4 mile circuit. Hamilton was second despite his problem, while Sebastian Vettel, who completely missed Friday’s free practice due to a change in his power unit, took a deserving third.

“It’s awesome to be on pole,” Rosberg said, “especially at this track”. The German told the BBC.

The opening session saw rain, which is not a surprise here, as the driver opted early to use intermediate tires with only a selected few gambled, selecting the full wets instead. The first casualty was Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez, who with six minutes left in the session, pulled off the track with engine issues. Rosberg grabbed the fastest time of this period, clocking a 2:07:130. Pastor Maldonado, Nico Hulkeneberg, Gutierrez, Max Chilton and the two Caterhams of Marcus Ericsson and newcomer Andre Lotterer, who replaced Kamui Kobyaschi this weekend, all failed to advance.

As the second session began, the rain picked up in pace and it increased with eight minutes to go as Hamilton took the fastest time at 2:06:609, while the eliminated drivers were Dani Kvyat, Jean-Eric Vergne, Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil, Romain Grosjean, and Jules Bianchi.

The rain finally stopped in the final session, but the wet track continued to give drivers problems, one of them was Hamilton, who struggled with his brakes and had no chance to catch Rosberg, despite his Mercedes had good speed. The final ten drivers all kept their intermediate tires on, with Fernando Alonso leading the rest of the grid in fourth, while Daniel Ricciardo, who won the last race, was fifth. Valterri Bottas took sixth in his Williams, Jan Magnussen finished seventh, Kimi Raikkonen eighth, while Felipe Massa and Jenson Button wrapped up the top ten, respectively.

Despite his pole victory, Rosberg claimed once again to his interviewers at the BBC that there was still the race to be run.

“It’s only qualifying and there is a long race tomorrow.” He concluded.

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