Lewis Hamilton has shown his best performance of the season in a qualifying session. The Briton has been absolutely outstanding as he beat Vettel by 4 tenths and equals the 68 pole positions record of Michael Schumacher.
Q1: Sainz beats Massa for Q2 access
Under a cleared sky the first qualifying session took part with an incredible ambiance among the fans who attend this Grand Prix. Ferrari and Mercedes drivers secured their advance to Q2 running super-soft tires, while Red Bull and Force India used the ultra-soft.
The drop zone battle was between Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams. For the Swiss team, Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein weren’t able to finish in a higher position than 19th and 20th, while Lance Stroll (Williams) didn’t even tried to improve his lap, he will start 18th, just behind Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Felipe Massa (Williams) who was beaten by Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) in the latest minutes of the session.
Eliminated Drivers: Massa, Kvyat, Stroll, Ericsson, Wehrlein
Q2: Hamilton sets provisional track record
Haas versus McLaren versus Toro Rosso versus Renault, was the battle in Q2. Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren-Honda) who has a 60-place-penalty, helped team-mate Fernando Alonso with the slipstream in the Kemmel straight, in order to put the Spanish driver in Q3 but, at the end of the lap the 2 times world-champion said he was losing power.
This allowed Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) to join Q3, while the Haas drivers and Sainz weren’t enable to improve their laps enough. Who improved his lap time was Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) who set a provisional track record.
Eliminated Drivers: Alonso, Grosjean, Magnussen, Sainz, Vandoorne
Q3: Hamilton outstanding
No better place than the longest circuit of the season, Spa-Francorchamps to equal Michael Schumacher pole positions record. The Briton has been dominating the whole Q3, despite display issues.
He beat by far Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) lap time, and set a new track record. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) wasn’t able to set a one-two for Mercedes today as Vettel was helped by Räikkönen -fourth- slipstream. Local hero, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) set fifth fastest laptime.
1 Hamilton 2 Vettel 3 Bottas 4 Räikkönen 5 Verstappen 6 Ricciardo 7 Hulkenberg 8 Pérez 9 Ocon 10 Palmer 11 Alonso 12 Grosjean 13 Magnussen 14 Sainz 15 Vandoorne 16 Massa 17 Kvyat 18 Stroll 19 Ericsson 20 Wehrlein