Qualy: Hamilton storms to Belgian pole

Lewis Hamilton secured his sixth successive pole position as he put in a storming display at Spa to beat Nico Rosberg by almost half a second.

Saturday's qualifying got underway in near perfect conditions with blue skies overhead and a hot asphalt underneath.

As expected Mercedes set the pace in Q1 and followed that up with another 1-2 in the second segment.

That session saw Kimi Raikkonen fall by the wayside as his SF15-T lost power when "something broke". With the Finn stopping out on track at Turn 14, the session was briefly red flagged as the marshals pushed his car behind a fence.

The session restarted without Max Verstappen as Toro Rosso declared "that's it for us, session is over" in light of the Dutchman's 10-place grid penalty.

Nico Hulkenberg, Daniil Kvyat and Marcus Ericsson were the remaining three drivers to drop out at the final hurdle, however, Force India, Red Bull and Sauber all managed to get one driver into the pole position shoot-out.

That was dominated by Mercedes as Hamilton and Rosberg duked it out. The Championship leader threw down the gauntlet with a 1:47.449 but Rosberg was only able to answer with a 1:47.895.

For their second runs Hamilton was again the first of the Mercedes driver to venture out. This time it was a 1:47.197 while Rosberg could only manage a 1:47.655, 0.458s slower than his team-mate.

Hamilton's pole means he is the first driver since Michael Schumacher in 2000/1 to claim six poles in succession.

Valtteri Bottas brought his Williams across the line with the third best time, 1.340s while Romain Grosjean was fourth.

The Lotus driver edged out Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa. The quartet separated by 0.150s!

Pastor Maldonado was eighth quickest ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz.

Meanwhile McLaren may not have been slowest on the day – Jenson Button was 17th and Fernando Alonso 18th – but they will start the grand prix from the very back of the grid.

Both cars had a double engine change and amassed a combined penalty of 105 places.

Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.197
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:47.655 +0.458
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:48.537 1.340
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:48.561 1.364
5 Sergio Perez Force India 1:48.599 1.402
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:48.639 1.442
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:48.685 1.488
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:48.754 1.557
9  Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:48.825 1.628
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:49.771 2.574
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:49.121
12 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:49.228
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:49.586
14 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari No time
15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso No time
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:49.952
17 Jenson Button McLaren 1:50.978
18 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:51.420
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:52.948
20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:53.099

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