Australian F1 driver Mark Webber on pole for Belgian Grand Prix

12:50, August 29, 2010      

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Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber on Saturday claimed his fifth pole of the year, setting the fastest time in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, Australia's media reported on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Red Bull driver, Webber clocked one minute 45. 778 seconds towards the end of Q3, less than a tenth of a second quicker than British Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.

Webber admitted that the timing was vital as rain prevented his rivals from matching his time.

"We (Webber and Hamilton) knew the first lap was going to be pretty important because round here it is so unpredictable - the weather has been unique, even for Spa. It has been so on and off," Webber told Australian Associated Press.

"So to have a pretty clean qualifying was very important. The first lap I was happy with, but you never know in this company if it is enough or not. It was nice to be on pole halfway through, but the weather made it more difficult to improve on our second attempt."

Hamilton said he was disappointed not to have beaten Webber's time, but was delighted to be starting on the front row.

"It was quite a tricky session through the whole qualifying," he said. "I got out for my first lap, the first one out. Turn 14 was drying up but I was first one to get there and didn't know how much to push. It was a bit of a disappointing first lap, I wasn't able to hold the time out of the tyres," Hamilton told Agence France-Presse.

"Then I got the opportunity on the second lap which was a good lap apart from Turn 1. That was wet and a little bit damp, I lost time there. But the rest of the track was dry and I was able to utilise the tyres and pull out the time.

"I think I was a tenth behind Mark, there was the potential there to be in front in P1, but to be P2 on front row is a good position for us."

Pole Robert Kubica will start in third position for Renault ahead of German Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull, while Briton Jenson Button of McLaren also made it into the top five.

Ferrari driver Brazilian Felipe Massa was sixth fastest followed by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello of Williams.

Force India's Adrian Sutil will start in eighth position ahead of fellow German Nico Hulkenberg of Williams and Ferrari driver Spaniard Fernando Alonso in tenth.

Hulkenberg set the fastest time in the Q1 opening mini-session which saw rookie Russian Vitaly Petrov fail to set a time for Renault after spinning on the exit of turn nine on his opening lap.

Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa joined Petrov on the casualty list after crashing out towards the end of the session.

Despite not making it to Q2, Italian Jarno Trulli of Lotus will start in 16th position ahead of German Nico Rosberg who, despite finishing 12th fastest, has been given a five place grid penalty owing to a gearbox replacement.

Kobayashi will start in 18th ahead of Hispania drivers Brazilian Bruno Senna and Japanese Sakon Yamamoto.

Former champion Michael Schumacher's ten-place grid penalty for the incident involving Barrichello in Hungary means that despite making it to Q2 and finishing 11th fastest, he will start in 21st place.

Source: Xinhua


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