NOTEBOOK – Belgian Qualifying

Features Notebook

Nico Rosberg took pole for the Belgian Grand Prix after holding of the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Pole Lap – N. Rosberg 01:46.744

Rosberg comes out of the last corner goes to the inside to cross the line on the run down to La Source crossing to the outside on the way into the corner. Her turns in before heading down to the kink at two running to the inside before heading to Eau Rouge. Where he goes to the outside kerb, on entry of the blind exit climb beautiful exit heads to the kink at six. Flat out onto the Kemmel Straight.

Reaches over 300km before the huge stop Les Combes kerb on entry and exit of the first part. A great exit taking kerb before the decent down towards Brussel’s goes to the inside then outside, then back to the inside for Pouhon kerb on exit before the short run to the last part of the turn. Good  through thirteen and Campus. Breaks a bit for Stavelot.

Nicely through Courbe Paul Frere and now very fast section where he can push. Accelerating all the way through eighteen and towards the bus stop breaking down for the slowest part to 75km and short run to the line doing 01:46.744.

Firery German

Sebastian Vettel was again very vocal about the lack of driverability on his Ferrari complaining he had  “no grip” and “lost traction” at the final chicane.

Vettel felt the issue cost him “easily one and a half tenths just on power” which would have seen him challenge Max Verstappen for a front row slot on the grid.

Vettel can be a very stroppy driver when things are going his way he thinks he losing grip in the last corner. It cost him time but this weekend tyres have struggled in these high temperatures.

Penalties explained

For every part they use over the five allocated to drivers for the season the drivers occur either a five or ten place grid penalty. What Mercedes have done knowing the loop hole has closed meaning penalties for parts cant be carried over put two power units in equalling thirty places.

Thirty is the two engines divided by two give you fifteen. Then components are either equal five or ten places grid penalties. But There is reports a new spec could be brought this year which would for Hamilton mean another ten place grid penalty.

Hamilton isn’t the only driver with penalties Fernando Alonso has a penalty which equals thirty five for changing the whole power unit.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson has a 10-place grid drop for using his sixth turbo. The driver with the highest number of penalties will be the one who starts last on the grid on Sunday

Red Bull

Red Bull appear we seen once again to have the one lap pace over Ferrari which means they will start on the front row. Max Verstappen will be the youngest driver to start on the front row in the sports history.

He said “It would have been very difficult to get pole position. The chance is always there if you are that close and in sector two we were very strong, but we were missing some top speed.”

“Tomorrow will be very interesting with the different strategies between us, Mercedes and Ferrari so I think it’ll be a good fight. Hopefully the supersofts will give me a bit more grip in the first few laps and then for sure I will drop off.”

Force India

Force India going back to the Jordan days has always performed well here they will be looking to score well again close the gap to Williams and extend their lead over Toro Rosso. In Baku they had a brilliant race and qualifying being in the top four which is very similar to Spa.


Williams appear to falling away after a good session early on when they topped Q1 with Felipe Massa. The team had a software problem during the session stopping them from being flat out.

Massa’s engine was misfiring on his first run in Q1 so Williams switched it, and Valtteri Bottas’ unit, from qualifying to race mode for the remainder of the session. Rob Smedley there performance director told Autosport “”It’s the power unit software, the settings, which we are currently investigating the exact details of what happened.

“It is probably just to do with the way our power unit engineers have set it up and that has given us the issues that we have had. It’s finger trouble basically, you can have this type of problem when or wherever.”

“The result was on the first timed lap, when we put the qualifying mode in, we had horrendous misfires all the way from Turn 1 down to Turn 4. That was with Felipe’s car.”

Race preview

The race will be a fight I feel between Rosberg, Verstappen and Ricciardo for the victory. This is based on the lap times and long runs yesterday. Thou at this moment the race looks dry the weather patterns mean it wont be a guarantee this as it depends on the wind not blowing rain which is forecast for later in the day.



Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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