F1 2013 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton snatches pole at a wet Spa

PUBLISHED: 14:13 24 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:01 24 August 2013

Lewis Hamilton on track ahead of the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton on track ahead of the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix


FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position in a thrilling qualifying session for the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix at a wet Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Belgian Grand Prix

* Race distance: 44 laps (308.052km/191.424 miles)

* Start time: 14:00 (local)/12:00 (GMT)

* Circuit length: 7.004km/4.352 miles

* 2012 winner: Jenson Button (McLaren MP4-27) 44 laps in 1hr29m08.530s (207.344km/h)

* 2012 pole: Jenson Button (McLaren MP4-27) 1m47.573s (234.393km/h)

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

The 28-year-old Mercedes star from Hertfordshire qualified fastest on a drying circuit in Belgium with a sensational last flying lap of 2m 01.012s to snatch an unexpected pole from the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Hamilton was the last to post a lap on a drying track – and made it count following a dramatic, topsy-turvy and unpredictable session in Spa.

“I can’t believe it. Wicked,” said Hamilton over the team radio after claiming the 31st pole of his F1 career and fourth in a row this year.

The Silver Arrows driver will line up on the front row at the historic circuit in the Ardennes region with world champion Vettel alongside him in second place.

Webber was third in Q3 with Nico Rosberg placing the other Mercedes on the second row in fourth place with a time of 2m 02.251s.

Vettel clocked 2m 01.200s to claim second place ahead of Webber’s 2m 01.325s.

Force India’s Paul Di Resta and McLaren man Jenson Button will make up the third row of the grid.

With rain falling at the beginning of Q3 and most of the drivers having to switch from slick tyres, Di Resta claimed provisional pole position on a clear track on intermediate tyres with a time of 2m 02.332s.

2013 F1 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying result

Provisional Spa qualifying result:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

3 Mark Webber (Red Bull)

4 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

5 Paul Di Resta (Force India)

6 Jenson Button (McLaren)

7 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)

8 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

9 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

10 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

11 Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)

12 Adrian Sutil (Force India)

That looked enough when the Force India driver entered the garage with the track wet.

But the rain stopped and the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers relegated Di Resta down to fifth place on the starting grid as the track dried and lap times got faster in the final seconds of Q3.

The Lotus cars of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen will start behind Button in seventh and eighth places respectively, with the Ferrari pair of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa completing the top 10 grid positions.

On a drying track after earlier rain, 2008 F1 world champion Hamilton did just enough to qualify for the top 10 shootout in 10th place with a time of 1m 49.067s, as Kimi Raikkonen topped the Q2 timesheets.

Following a damp start to qualifying, Hamilton hard earlier clocked a last-gasp lap of 2m 00.368s to post the second fastest time of Q1.

Fernando Alonso was fastest in the opening phase of qualifying for Ferrari.

The 2013 Grand Prix of Belgium starts at 1pm on Sunday.

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