Flawless Hamilton on pole

Formula One Belgian GP : Rosberg to start second; Force India impress
Last Updated 22 August 2015, 18:01 IST

Lewis Hamilton delivered a flawless lap to claim his sixth consecutive pole position on Saturday when he dominated qualifying for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

The 30-year-old Briton clocked a stunning final lap in the closing seconds of a tense and thrilling qualifying session in one minute and 47.197 seconds to outpace Mercedes team-mate German Nico Rosberg by nearly half a second.

It was the 48th pole of Hamilton's career, his 10th this year in 11 sessions and his third at the majestic Spa-Francorchamps where he has suffered ill-fortune in the past, notably when he was penalised and relegated to third after winning the 2008 race on the track.
He is the first driver to record six successive poles since seven time champion German Michael Schumacher with Ferrari in 2000-01, when he reeled off seven in succession.

"I am really happy today with the performance of the car and team," said Hamilton, who last won at Spa in a McLaren in 2010.

"They have been doing a fantastic job and the car has been feeling great and it is a circuit where, if you get the right balance, it is one of the most fun to drive.” Rosberg, recovered from the shocking high speed tyre failure that sent him into a terrifying full spin during Friday's second free practice session, fought hard to end Hamilton's supremacy, but without avail.

Hamilton said: "The team have done a lot of analysis. All this weekend, we have been working on the start so we are as prepared as we can be.

Italian tyre suppliers Pirelli completed an overnight investigation into the cause of his accident and concluded that there was nothing wrong with the integrity of their tyres.
They said the failure was caused by a puncture created by unidentified external debris.
Perez stars for Force India

Meanwhile, Sergio Perez secured a season-best fifth position for Force India while his teammate Nico Hulkenberg finished 11th.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams was a distant third, with Romain Grosjean taking a superb fourth for Lotus.

The Frenchman, however, will drop five grid places, courtesy a gearbox change penalty.
Perez secured a season-best fifth for Force India, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa in the second Williams, and Pastor Maldonado in the second Lotus.

Ferrai’s Sebastian Vettel was ninth in with Toro Roso’s Carlos Sainz rounding out a tightly-packed top 10.

(Published 22 August 2015, 18:01 IST)

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