By Hillary Chinyere
eThekwini. Sunday 24 August 2014, 11.00 SAT
After topping the times in the first and second free practice sessions, Lewis Hamilton was edged by his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by two tenths in a thrilling Q3 session. The championship leader took his tally to four consecutive poles, the first quartet in his career.
Wet conditions which prevailed at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps punished even the most trivial of drivers’ errors. Perhaps the biggest victim on the day was British Hamilton as he ran wide after going purple in the first sector of the track in his flying lap. Had he gone purple again in the final sector, he could have took the pole position but Rosberg increased the gap instead.
“I had a glazed front left brake disc so the car was pulling to the left or to the right, and there was nothing I could do to get rid of it. I had to bring the brake balance further back, losing massive amounts out of Turn One.” – Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg appeared to be going wide intentionally in order to brake late and gain more time on the exit of the second turn of the Bus Stop chicane. But almost every driver had a lock-up or other handicap in negotiating the chicane and other turns. For this reason, it gave the impression that rules had been relaxed to allow the drivers to breach the track limits.
Ever the consistent driver, Fernando Alonso qualified fourth, sharing the second-row with Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel.
Second row of the grid for tomorrow. Very pleased and a bit surprised !! Tomorrow aiming to score all the possible points for the team!
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) August 23, 2014
Hungarian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo will start the race behind Alonso, after his final flyer was ruined by running wide on the exit of Blanchimont. The Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa only managed sixth and ninth.
See the full results below.
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 2m 05.591s
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 2m 05.819s
3. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 2m 07.717s
4. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 2m 07.786s
5. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 2m 07.911s
6. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes 2m 08.049s
7. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes 2m 08.679s
8. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 2m 08.780s
9. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes 2m 09.178s
10. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 2m 09.776s
11. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault 2m 09.377s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault 2m 09.805s
13. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 2m 10.084s
14. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari 2m 10.238s
15. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 2m 11.087s
16. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari 2m 12.470s
17. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault 2m 11.261s
18. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 2m 11.267s
19. Max Chilton Briton Marussia-Ferrari 2m 12.566s
20. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 2m 13.414s
21. Andre Lotterer Germany Caterham-Renault 2m 13.469s
22. Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault 2m 14.438s