Lewis Hamilton takes Belgian F1 GP pole from Sebastian Vettel in rain
August 26 2018 , 5:03 pm
For the third race in a row Lewis Hamilton demonstrated a touch in the wet that sets him apart from his Formula One contemporaries by taking pole at the Belgian Grand Prix.
When a flash storm engulfed the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, a typical Ardennes squall that disappeared almost as soon as it arrived, the British driver rose to the occasion as he has so many times in the past. Beating his title rival, Sebastian Vettel, into second on the grid may prove decisive on a circuit where Ferrari have had the upper hand for most of the weekend. Ferrari had been quickest in practice in the dry, maintaining their pace advantage from the recent races although they and Mercedes brought engine upgrades to Belgium. It was form that continued in qualifying until the rain began just as Q3 opened.
As it became progressively heavier initial runs on slicks proved impossible and the teams pitted to take intermediate tyres. With five minutes remaining the drivers stayed out looking for grip while the rain began to ease. Vettel had secured provisional pole as Hamilton struggled, the Briton going off on his penultimate lap. He had saved the best for last, however. His final run was a majestic display of finding grip in mixed conditions as the track dried around him. His second and final sectors were unmatched and he finished seven-tenths clear of Vettel, and a full three seconds up on Esteban Ocon in third,with a time of 1min 58.179secs.