GP Belgium 2012 (qualifying): Button on pole

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GP Belgium 2012 (qualifying)
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S pa is known for bad weather and surprising results. On Saturday the sun was shining for once, but in qualifying it was still haywire. Many prominent pilots stumbled when the best starting positions were awarded. Only Jenson Button kept a cool head and secured the pole position in 1: 47.573 minutes.

'My last pole position was a while ago. Monaco 2009. That is an emotional thing for me 'said the Englishman, who drives his 50th Grand Prix for McLaren. 'The balance was already very good this morning. It wasn't always the case this season that the car fit in qualifying. So a thank you to the whole team.'

Clean with a strong performance

Kamui Kobayashi surprisingly takes the place next to Button on the starting grid. The Sauber driver has never been so far ahead in 51 races. 'After the rainy Friday, we didn't know what to expect today. We had a lot of hope for Spa. But we didn't expect second place on the grid. Our car is working well. It is of course a nice feeling to come back from the summer break like this. I am very happy. '

Even with Pastor Maldonado's third fastest time, very few experts would have expected. But Williams’s joy over the heated Venezuelan did not last long. In the first lap of qualifying, Maldonado stood in the way of Nico Hülkenberg's Force India in turns 18 and 19. As a penalty, the South American was moved from third to sixth.

Kimi Räikkönen was the first pilot to benefit from the downgrade. The Finn, who has already won four times at Spa, takes third place on the grid. He too had to go to the stewards because he left the track on his fast lap. But apparently the stewards did not see this as punishable. Behind them, Sergio Perez, is the next Sauber in the second row and thus ensures the best qualifying result for the Swiss racing team.

Alonso only in sixth place

World Championship- Front runner Fernando Alonso takes the race from fifth thanks to the Maldonado faux pas. As feared by the Spaniard, Ferrari is not the most powerful car in dry conditions. 'We can't count on the mistakes of the others forever,' complained the Ferrari driver afterwards.

The Red Bull competition, in particular, gave way in Spa qualifying. Best pilot of the world championship teamMark Webber was seventh. However, the Australian is downgraded five places after a gearbox change - so he will only start from twelfth place.

The front place in the fourth row is therefore taken over by Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren. The 2008 world champion was more than eight tenths behind the pole time of his team-mate. Hamilton had opted for a set-up with more downforce - obviously a mistake.

Romain Grosjean and Paul di Resta took the last two places in the top ten final, slipping up one place due to the penalty against Webber . For the first time this year, none of the German drivers reached the final round of qualifying.

Vettel in the top ten only thanks to Webber's penalty

Sebastian Vettel failed in Q2 by just under twelve thousandths of Maldonado's time. 'Actually, nothing went terribly wrong. We just weren't fast enough,' shrugged the world champion. 'But we've always been very good in the race the last few times. Let's see what else can be done tomorrow.' Vettel also slipped one place forward due to his teammate's gearbox change.

Behind Vettel, Nico Hülkenberg drove the twelfth best time - which means eleven on the grid. The mood of the Rhinelander was not particularly good after the sixth training defeat against team-mate Di Resta: 'Twelfth place is not entirely satisfactory.' The middle sector was not quite as I had imagined, there was one to two tenths left which would have been enough for Q3. '

The third driver in the German midfield block is Michael Schumacher in 13th position. The record champion had no chance of making it into the top ten on his 300th Grand Prix weekend In the end, three tenths were missing, although Schumi got everything out of his Silver Arrow.

'The German hopes fell through today,' Schumi later explained. 'But to be honest, I was quite satisfied, it just wasn't more in there. Updates will come and steps will be taken, but at the moment there is no more. We are too slow at the moment. I hope that I will score enough points tomorrow, but it will be very difficult when you can see who is all around me. '

Rosberg and Glock out in Q1

In the first qualifying segment two German drivers had to give up the sails. In addition to Timo Glock, Nico Rosberg was also caught surprisingly. The day began badly for the Silver Arrows driver when he had to give up the third practice session after only four laps with a gearbox defect .

'It was a bit difficult today until I was able to get used to the set-up in the few laps after we were almost unable to test yesterday and my car had broken down this morning,' said Rosberg then apologized. ' Then we got the timing wrong on the last lap. That wasanything but optimal. '

Because of the gearbox damage, Rosberg was downgraded from 18th to 23rd at the start. Timo Glock benefited from this as he moved up from 21 to 20. The Marussia driver was completely satisfied with that not. 'I hope that we made a step forward today compared to the last two races in Hockenheim and Budapest. It was difficult today without having tested properly beforehand. I made a small mistake because I didn't know exactly how the car would react. '

You can find the pictures from Saturday in Spa in our photo gallery.

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