Belgian GP: Qualifying as it happened

Hello and welcome to our coverage of qualifying at the famous Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium.

21:01- Here is your top ten. Come back for the Belgian GP tomorrow, which is shaping up to be a thriller. Over out from us!

21:00 – Hamilton grabs pole in Spa with a record lap! It is a 68th career pole for the Brit, equaling the legendary Michael Schumacher’s record. He is followed by Vettel, who pulled out a great lap, then teammate Bottas.

20:52 – Vettel needs to find something special, as he is down in P4 behind Bottas and Raikkonen, while Hamilton is still looking a sure bet for pole position this weekend. Ferrari seem to have fixed Raikkonen’s vibration issue by fastening the rear tyres on properly. Who would have thought…

20:45 – Meanwhile, at the front, we have Hamilton in P1 followed by Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Palmer, Hulkenberg, Ocon and Perez. Mercedes look quite comfortable, but can Ferrari upset the Silver Arrows in Q3?

20:41 – Alonso was furious to be pipped by Hulkenburg into the top ten, marching away from the cameras in his garage. Similarly, Massa did not have anything good to say about his Williams. “We are going backwards,” said the Brazilian. He and Alonso join these drivers in the sideline for Q3…

20:36 – Palmer was called into the weighbridge but then couldn’t pull off again. His mechanics went to fetch him and pushed him down virtually the length of the pit lane. But after a quick reset to fix the gremlins, the Brit is back out on track, just in time to set another time before the close of Q2.

20:33 – Orange, orange and more orange for crowd favourite Verstappen. The Dutchman is currently four tenths off the pace set by Hamilton.

20:30 – Raikkonen is still getting vibrations on his Ferrari and his garage told him he will just have to make do. The flying Finn doesnt have too much to worry about, as he is setting second behind Hamilton for the moment. Bottas, Verstappen and Vettel – who has just signed a new three year deal with Ferrari – follow.

20:21 – F1 rookie Lance Stroll did not get a lap it at all after a piece of body fell off his car on his out lap.

20:19 – Woeful Williams…
For the second consecutive race, both Williams drivers have been knocked out in Q1. Tough times at the British team indeed.

20:11 – Force India looking pretty in pink, for now…

20:11 – Outside the top six, Force India and McLaren complete the top ten. Meanwhile, Ericsson, Wehrlein and the 3 drivers yet to set a time Palmer, Hulkenberg and Kvyat are all in the drop zone.

20:05 – Oh dear! Lets hope Ferrari can mend Raikkonen’s car soon enough. He is heading back to the pits. His teammate Vettel is fastest, with Hamilton in second and crowd favourite Verstappen in third.

20:01 – And we are off! Bottas, Hamilton and Raikkonen are all out on track. That was quick.

19:58 – Great news! the skies have cleared and Spa is baked in sunshine. We should see some cracking times here, perhaps Raikkonen can improve on his track record?

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