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Belgium 2010 - Qualifying highlights // Coverage of the action as drivers vie for F1 pole position at Spa

Published by Christine

Bruno Senna heads the pack, Saturday in Spa.
Credit: Hispania Racing

The Belgian Grand Prix weekend got off to a slow start with several wet practice sessions, but we all knew it was building to something spectacular and qualifying offered up plenty of excitement from the minute the lights went green. The weather played a big part in mixing up the order, and we saw plenty of cars struggle with grip - also plenty of them making their way out of the gravel.

The top ten shoot out was really exciting, it was clear who was going to make it onto pole position until the very end. The result may be somewhat obvious, but the means of getting there was great.

Here's how qualifying played out lap by lap.

As it happened: 2010 Belgium - Qualifying

  • 12:30

    Hello everyone! Surprise! Welcome to Qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

  • 12:30

    F1 is back after a nice and relaxing summer break, and it seems the summer is over, as the clouds descend on Spa.

  • 12:32

    Have you voted on our pole prediction poll yet? (Try saying that three times fast.) https://sidepodcast.com/2010/08/28/live-belgium-2010-qualifying/

  • 12:33

    Things to note ahead of qualifying. Wherever Schumacher qualifies, he will get a ten place grid drop for that move on Rubens.

  • 12:35

    Vettel had a slight issue in FP3, coming to a halt in the pit lane entrance, but they fixed him up for one extra lap.

  • 12:39

    Alonso led both practice sessions yesterday, whilst it was Webber who took P1 this morning.

  • 12:41

    A Twitpic from @antdavidson showing the variable conditions.

  • 12:46

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: We're ready to go in qualifying. Skies are very grey...could we see another sensational qualifying at Spa?

  • 12:51

    QuoteComment from Pat, at the circuit: some of us are in gravel area next to eau rouge stand, hope to see who is on the limit in the dry.

  • 12:54

    TweetTweet from @MikeGascoyne: Rain coming from the west, should arrive at the end of Q1

  • 12:57

    As qualifying is about to start, I have closed the poll and it looks like it's a dead heat between the two Red Bull guys.

  • 12:58

    Weather

    16°C

    Track23°C
    Humidity74%
    Wind Speed2mps
  • 13:00

    Qualifying session 1 begins.

  • 13:00

    Glock leads the pack out, as a stream of cars leave the pitlane.

  • 13:01

    Jenson Button is on soft tyres, Ted believes he'll be putting a banker lap in really early.

  • 13:01

    CrashPetrov spins off into the barrier, facing the oncoming traffic.

  • 13:02

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 13:02

    No one has set a time yet, the cars return to the garage.

  • 13:05

    TweetTweet from @VirginRacing: Not sure what the weather is going to do and Lucas helpfully suggests looking at the clouds. Likely to stay dry we think

  • 13:07

    Vitaly hitches a ride back to the garage.

  • 13:07

    Session will re-start at 14:08 local time.

  • 13:08

    Green flagSession is go.

  • 13:08

    Buemi leads the pack away this time - everyone piling back out on track. Just over 17 minutes of the session remaining.

  • 13:09

    QuoteComment from Stuart Taylor: I love a wet qualifying!! PANIC

  • 13:09

    Vettel waited until everyone else had gone to get himself a gap.

  • 13:10

    RadioTeam radio from Button: "Guys, it's raining. I'll give a lap a go."

  • 13:10

    Weather

    16°C

    Track21°C
    Humidity70%
    Wind Speed2mps
  • 13:11

    Schumacher was prepared to use his f-duct to good effect, but got squeezed into the wall by Trulli.

  • 13:11

    Sutil has also passed the Mercedes as well. F-duct fail.

  • 13:12

    Yellow flagTwo cars came together, one being di Grassi, who sat right in the way on the track.

  • 13:12

    Rosberg flew off into the gravel but kept on going.

  • 13:13

    Both McLarens have got in a decent time, they look like they are safe.

  • 13:13

    Vettel's decision to wait on the restart may have screwed his session thanks to the other yellow flag.

  • 13:14

    Stewards are investigating the incident at Turn 14. I'm still not sure who else was involved along with DIG.

  • 13:15

    QuoteComment from Alex Andronov: FBFB the other Virgin was involved too

  • 13:15

    Replays show the three cars spinning - it looks like they might have just been doing some solo ballet?

  • 13:16

    It also looks like Trulli drove the wrong way up the track. He's done that before.

  • 13:17

    RadioTeam radio to Vettel: "If you're not improving, don't destroy these tyres."

  • 13:20
    Q1 Drop-Zone
    18Senna2:05.793
    19Buemi2:06.240
    20Alguersuari2:07.031
    21Kovalainen2:09.172
    22Di Grassi2:18.754
    23TrulliNo Time
    24PetrovNo Time
  • 13:21

    Vettel was momentarily in the drop zone, as Trulli improved to 13th. The Red Bull jumped up to 3rd though, to save himself.

  • 13:22

    TweetTweet from @VirginRacing: http://twitpic.com/2iysj1 timo out but Lucas can't go again :-(

  • 13:22

    QuoteComment from RubberGoat at the track: It's a very light shower where i am now - the drivers look like they are taking the corner dry. Webber just went a bit wide and lots of spray got thrown up ...

  • 13:22

    Senna has improved to 15th.

  • 13:23

    According to Holly on 5live, Nico Rosberg is coming in for dry tyres.

  • 13:24

    Kubica has jumped to P1.

  • 13:24

    CrashKobayashi has crashed into the barrier - notably on the slick tyres.

  • 13:25

    CrashPedro de la Rosa has also crashed off into the barrier. Bad day for Sauber!

  • 13:27

    Rosberg has made his slick tyres work, though, and jumped up to P1 - although under yellow flag conditions.

  • 13:27

    Qualifying session 1 ends.

  • 13:29
    Out of Q1
    18Trulli2:01.491
    19Kobayashi2:02.284
    20Senna2:03.612
    21Yamamoto2:03.941
    22De la Rosa2:05.294
    23Di Grassi2:18.754
    24PetrovNo Time
  • 13:30

    Glock and Kovalainen are the winners so far, both through to Q2.

  • 13:30

    Yamamoto made it back to the garage, but is out of qualifying.

    De la Rosa had to leave his car out on track.

  • 13:30

    Q2 will begin at 14:33 local time. They are late, which I approve of. It's the Sidepodcast way!

  • 13:32

    QuoteComment from RG: Erm, FBFB, did you just call Kobi, Yamamoto?

  • 13:32

    Oops.

  • 13:33

    Qualifying session 2 begins.

  • 13:34

    Interview with Petrov. "Kerb was too wet, I just spun. Try and stay positive, we know our car is fast on the straight with the f-duct."

  • 13:35

    TweetTweet from @tonyfernandes: Awesome qualifying. Almost almost got 2 cars in. Well done boys. Riad on the pitwall insetad of me. What a story for riad.

  • 13:35

    Kovalainen has not left the garage yet. Everyone is out and about.

  • 13:37

    Hamilton sets the first laptime of Q2 - a 1:50.794.

  • 13:38

    Everyone has now set a lap time, bar Kovalainen who is still sitting in the garage.

  • 13:38

    TweetTweet from @VirginRacing: Why is kov still in pit?

  • 13:38

    Good question.

  • 13:39

    Button has returned to the pitlane.

  • 13:39

    Alguersuari pops up into second place. Weird.

  • 13:39

    Liuzzi spins, but continues onward.

  • 13:40

    A Ferrari is seen desperately escaping the gravel. Not sure who it was, but it looked suspiciously like Massa.

  • 13:41

    QuoteComment from Stuart Taylor: i dont know why they bother putting the yellow flag away, it's been out more than in

  • 13:41

    Replays show that it was, indeed, Massa.

  • 13:42

    Kovalainen has finally emerged, just as everyone else is coming back for new tyres.

  • 13:45

    Button pops up to P1.

  • 13:46

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: All 17 cars are on track for an intense final three minutes of this session.

  • 13:46

    The order changed before I could finish my table, so drop-out zone: Hulk, Sutil, Rosberg, Barrichello, Kovalainen, Glock, Liuzzi.

  • 13:48

    Things keep changing before I finish typing them, so I'm going to wait. Session finishes in ten seconds.

  • 13:48

    Qualifying session 2 ends.

  • 13:51
    Out of Q2
    11Schumacher1:47.874
    12Rosberg1:47.885
    13Alguersuari1:48.267
    14Liuzzi1:48.680
    15Buemi1:49.209
    16Kovalainen1:50.980
    17Glock1:52.049
  • 13:51

    Q3 will start at 14:56 local time. Still running late. I love it.

  • 13:52

    Rosberg leads his teammate. Schumacher qualified 11th, and if you add his ten place penalty, he'll be started pretty near the back.

  • 13:53

    Rosberg also goes backwards - a five place penalty for a gearbox change.

  • 13:55

    TweetTweet from @alanbaldwinf1: Kovalainen should start 14th which will be highest by a new team this season

  • 13:56

    Qualifying session 3 begins.

  • 13:57

    Hamilton led the queue, his car was smoking a little, but he was away cleanly.

  • 13:57

    Hulkenberg and Sutil have remained in the garage.

  • 13:58

    QuoteComment from RubberGoat: Bit of smoke from lewis and a bit of a funny smell?

  • 14:00

    TweetTweet from @edb_lotusracing: That was fun! x2 noses damaged in Q1, but the team effort was really gr8. Heikki did a great job, & the wait in Q2 meant T14 dried nicely.

  • 14:00

    Kubica popped up to P1 for a moment, before being pipped by Webber. Can he do it again?

  • 14:02

    Sutil is the last driver to set a laptime, he's in the midst of his first flyer now.

  • 14:02

    There are some pretty ominous looking clouds hovering over the circuit, but there are only three minutes remaining.

  • 14:03

    5live reporting that the rain is starting to fall heavily in front of them.

  • 14:03

    Vettel has just left the garage on slick tyres.

  • 14:03

    Umbrellas are going up.

  • 14:05

    Kubica, Barrichello, Sutil and Hulkenberg have all returned to the pitlane.

  • 14:06

    RadioTeam radio to Vettel: "There are spots of rain at Turn 1, but that's all they are, spots. Don't let that worry you."

  • 14:06

    Massa runs wide off track, ruining his fast lap.

  • 14:06

    Qualifying session 3 ends.

  • 14:06

    Chequered flagActually, let's have one of these.

  • 14:09
    Top Ten
    1Webber1:45.778
    2Hamilton1:45.863
    3Kubica1:46.100
    4Vettel1:46.127
    5Button1:46.206
    6Massa1:46.314
    7Barrichello1:46.602
    8Sutil1:46.659
    9Hulkenberg
    1:47.053
    10Alonso1:47.441
  • 14:11

    Yet another Red Bull pole position, and Webber stands more of a chance of converting it to victory than Vettel might have.

  • 14:11

    Alonso will be disappointed not to have improved on 10th.

  • 14:11

    Great Q3 for Kubica, look out for him at the start tomorrow. Qualifying is not the be all and end all at Spa, so let's hope for a good race!

  • 14:11

    Thanks for joining me for this qualifying session, I will be back tomorrow and I hope to see you then.

All content in the series Belgium 2010