F1 2012 Belgian Grand Prix: Hamilton bids for Spa pole position

Lewis Hamilton at the Belgian Grand Prix [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Lewis Hamilton at the Belgian Grand Prix [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

HOCH ZWEI

FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton battles for pole position in qualifying for the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon (Saturday).

"A Formula 1 car would be fun to drive even if it were snowing, so I just enjoyed every little bit of lap I had."

Lewis Hamilton

The 27-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star from Hertfordshire goes in qualifying today after Friday’s two free practice sessions were badly hit by heavy rain.

With rivers of water running across the track, Hamilton spent most of Friday inside the McLaren garage.

He was only 15th fastest in P1 and didn’t even set a time in second practice.

However, he’s hoping to secure a good grid result in qualifying around the famous Spa circuit in Belgium.

Belgian Grand Prix facts

* Race distance: 44 laps (191.410 miles/308.052km)

* Start time: 14:00 (local)/13:00 BST

* Circuit length: 4.352 miles/7.004km

* 2011 winner: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

* 2011 pole: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m48.298s

* Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren-Mercedes MP4-19) 1m45.108s (238.931km/h)

Speaking after practice, 2008 F1 world champion Hamilton said: “It’s going to be challenging tomorrow [Saturday], but everyone is in the same boat – no joke intended!

“If it dries out, the track will be green in the morning, so you’ll be setting the car up during a couple of runs in FP3.

“Nevertheless, it’s great to be back out on track. A Formula 1 car would be fun to drive even if it were snowing, so I just enjoyed every little bit of lap I had.”

Team-mate Jenson Button added: “Hopefully, the worst conditions have blown over and we can get down to business tomorrow [Saturday].

Lewis Hamilton out on track at a wet Spa during 2012 Belgian Grand Prix practice [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]Lewis Hamilton out on track at a wet Spa during 2012 Belgian Grand Prix practice [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

“It’s been such a long break that we just want to get out there and enjoy ourselves.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh said after Friday’s rain-hit practice sessions: “Despite the limited running, we were able to conduct a little bit of useful work, evaluating the performance of our aerodynamic upgrades and looking at tyre performance.

“With the field so closely covered, even the tiniest scrap of data can be useful.”

With no car particularly standing out as a potential winner after Friday’s torrential rain, bookies William Hill make Hamilton the 3/1 favourite for victory, while the well-backed Kimi Raikkonen is 4/1 second favourite.

Hamilton is also the 5/2 favourite to qualify fastest in the much better conditions on Saturday, with Sebastian Vettel 11/4 second favourite and Raikkonen 7/1.

Qualifying for the 2012 Grand Prix of Belgium start at 1pm on Saturday.


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