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Belgium Grand Prix – Qualifying Results: 4th

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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A tense qualifying session from start to finish saw both Lotus F1 Team drivers make the pole position shoot-out, but ultimately struggle to bring the best out of the E20 in a closely fought battle for positions on tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix grid.

Pos  Driver              Car                   Time       Gap
 1.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1m47.573s
 2.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        1m47.871s  + 0.298s
 3.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Renault      1m47.893s  + 0.320s
 4.  Kimi Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault         1m48.205s  + 0.632s
 5.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1m48.219s  + 0.646s
 6.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1m48.313s  + 0.740s
 7.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1m48.392s  + 0.819s***
 8.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1m48.394s  + 0.821s
 9.  Romain Grosjean     Lotus-Renault         1m48.538s  + 0.965s
10.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1m48.890s  + 1.317s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m48.993s                                Gap *
11.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1m49.722s  + 0.472s
12.  Nico Hulkenberg     Force India-Mercedes  1m49.362s  + 0.112s
13.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1m49.742s  + 0.492s
14.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1m49.588s  + 0.338s
15.  Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m49.763s  + 0.513s
16.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m49.572s  + 0.322s
17.  Bruno Senna         Williams-Renault      1m49.958s  + 0.708s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m50.126s                                Gap **
18.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1m50.181s  + 1.188s***
19.  Heikki Kovalainen   Caterham-Renault      1m51.739s  + 2.746s
20.  Vitaly Petrov       Caterham-Renault      1m51.967s  + 2.974s
21.  Timo Glock          Marussia-Cosworth     1m52.336s  + 3.343s
22.  Pedro de la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth          1m53.030s  + 4.037s
23.  Charles Pic         Marussia-Cosworth     1m53.493s  + 4.500s
24.  Narain Karthikeyan  HRT-Cosworth          1m54.989s  + 5.996s

Report:

Qualifying 3 – Key Moments :

00mins : KR flies out of the traps for an early run ; medium tyres for the Finn
01mins : RG follows on the same rubber
04mins : KR settles into P2 with his first timed run, RG aborts his lap and returns to base
07mins : KR & RG both out for final assaults on the circuit ; medium rubber for both
10mins : Both struggle during their final efforts ; KR eventually clinching P4, RG crossing the line to take P9

Summary :

With just two drivers – Kimi alongside Jenson [Button] – posting times in the initial stages of the third session, the battle for pole was a frantic affair.

With both E20s looking good in the previous phases, it was all or nothing as the field grew increasingly tight. Unfortunately for the pair, minor mistakes in each of their laps meant that the early promise remained unfulfilled ; Kimi eventually clinching P4 and Romain P9 on a congested grid for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Qualifying 2 – Key Moments :

00mins : RG first out of the team garage on hard tyres
02mins : KR follows on the medium compound
04mins : RG up to P3 despite using the harder rubber
05mins : KR goes fastest on his mediums ; remains parked in the garage for the remainder of the session
13mins : Final attack for RG to make certain of a Q3 appearance ; abandons lap after being confirmed in the top 10 late on
15mins : Chequered flag : KR P2 / RG P8

Qualifying 1 – Key Moments :

02mins : RG out on hard tyres
11mins : KR follows on the same rubber
13mins : RG out for a 2nd stint ; medium compound tyres this time
17mins : KR jumps up to P3 on the medium rubber
19mins : KR slips to P5, RG blocked on his final flyer ; tense finish for the Frenchman
20mins : Chequered flag ; KR P5, RG sneaks through in P17

Video: Raikkonen’s Q3 qualifying lap

 

Lotus team quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 4th: “It wasn’t the easiest of qualifying sessions. The car is okay but it doesn’t look like we have the speed that some others have and we were certainly not quick enough for pole today. The race is a different story. On the grid we’re in front of the guys who are ahead of us in the championship so we’ll try to score more points than them.”

Romain Grosjean – 9th: “That wasn’t my best qualifying ever and I struggled a little bit. I had traffic in Q1 and I didn’t feel as confident with the car as I would like. You can see how close it was in the top ten so I suffered from not having everything exactly as I wanted, especially on the softer compound. Missing yesterday’s practice because of the weather didn’t help either as any time in the car is always beneficial, especially for a long lap like Spa. I’m sure the car will be good in the race and we should have a good strategy.”

Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “A little disappointing to be honest as we hoped for a bit more than that today. Kimi didn’t quite get a perfect lap and Romain wasn’t happy with the setup of his car. The car looks to have been unusually difficult today, with some inconsistency making it difficult to extract the best lap time. This is unexpected, as previously this season we’ve been able to find a good setup very rapidly when there has been limited running. We’re looking forward to a strong race and there looks to be no weakness in the car or our race strategy. The race will be about tyre management as the loads on the tyres are very high here. If there are no strategic dramas we hope to bring home another good points’ haul.”

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2 responses

  1. He can win this, his starting place is excellent! I really hope he doesn’t risk a penalty by running wide at the first corner or through Eau Rouge in the first lap.

    Like

    September 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

  2. Alex

    Now He is 3rd NICE…!!!!! -can’t wait for tomorrow’s race

    Like

    September 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm

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