Hamilton storms to pole as Ferrari falter at Spa

2015 Belgian Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position for the sixth race in a row after stunning team mate Nico Rosberg in the final moments of qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hamilton stormed through the middle sector to grab the top spot by almost half a second.

However it was a session to forget for Ferrari as a technical failure kept Kimi Raikkonen from Q3 and Sebastian Vettel could only manage ninth place.


Valtteri Bottas was the first driver out on track as Q1 began and the last man to secure a place in the next phase. He cut it very fine: having set a rapid pace on the medium tyres at the start of the session he initially tried to get through without having to use the soft rubber.

However as his name quickly slipped down the order Bottas made for the pits at the last possible opportunity to take on a set of the soft tyres. He had just enough time to reel of a lap which got him out of the drop zone.

Bottas made it through at the expense of Felipe Nasr. The Sauber driver had begun the session using the soft tyres but was out-paced by team mate Marcus Ericsson. Max Verstappen was among the bottom five until the final moment of the session, when he escaped the cut despite being hampered by a loss of power.

That left the usual suspects among those who failed to make the cut. Jenson Button’s McLaren was over a second off Nasr despite Honda’s latest engine upgrade. He and team mate Fernando Alonso have a raft of grid penalties to take before tomorrows race, which will likely drop them behind the two Manors.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’49.952
17Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’50.978
18Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’51.420
19Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’52.948
20Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’53.099


Mercedes were the only team to get both their drivers into Q2 without using the soft tyres: Hamilton pipped Rosberg by just 15 thousandths of a second when the pair returned to the track for a final run on the medium compound. It stayed nip-and-tuck between their pair of them as Q2 began, Rosberg edging Hamilton by 0.069s on their first run as he became the first driver to lap the track in under 1’48.

However proceedings were interrupted moments later when Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari came to a stop at the exit of Stavelot. “Something broke” he reported as the Ferrari coasted to a halt with a loss of oil pressure. During the interruption Toro Rosso told Verstappen he’d be unable to take any further part in the session due to his worsening car problem.

The session resumed with eight minutes to spare but the remaining drivers waited until the clock had almost run out before leaving the pits to set their times at the last possible moment. Sebastian Vettel, who was among those yet to set a time, secured third place with his first run but it was very close behind him.

Nico Hulkenberg’s best effort was just 0.36 seconds slower than Vettel’s – yet the Force India driver was eliminated. Carlos Sainz Jnr pipped him to the final place in the top ten, leaving Hulkenberg the only Mercedes-powered driver on the sidelines during the pole position shoot-out.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’49.121
12Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’49.228
13Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’49.586
14Kimi RaikkonenFerrari
15Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault


The finely-poised battle between the Mercedes drivers changed dramatically when the crunch time came. Hamilton played his full hand, unleashing a stunning turn of speed in the middle part of the lap, and Rosberg had no response.

Hamilton was almost half a second quicker through the winding curves in the middle of the lap at Spa-Francorchamps, and duly secured his third pole position at the track.

He headed a sweep of the top five places by Mercedes-powered cars, though the Williams of Bottas was a distant third, over 1.3 seconds slower. Next came Romain Grosjean’s Lotus – though he will be relegated by a gearbox change penalty – and Sergio Perez’s Force India.

However the biggest surprise of the session came from Vettel, who could only manage ninth in his Ferrari.

Top ten in Q3

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’47.197
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’47.655
3Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’48.537
4Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’48.561
5Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’48.599
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’48.639
7Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’48.685
8Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’48.754
9Sebastian VettelFerrari1’48.825
10Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’49.771

2015 Belgian Grand Prix

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  • 126 comments on “Hamilton storms to pole as Ferrari falter at Spa”

    1. Darn it. Lewis destroyed my prediction. I predicted a 1:47.5 and then Kimi and Vettel screwed my predictions too. Got Bottas at least correctly.

      1. Not sure what you mean by getting Bottas correctly. Those other predictions are for the race, not qualifying.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        22nd August 2015, 15:07

        @krichelle – you only predict pole (at least on this site); the other positions are for the race result.
        Or you can look into the future ;)

    2. Why was Vettel so slow in Q3? I didn’t hear that he had any problems with his car.

      1. bad lap and they had no button left to press so they couldn’t improve from Q2 while all the Merc powered cars did.

      2. It only tells that Alonso was right when leaving Ferrari. They promised a lot of engine changes before SPA, and they failed to deliver.
        Vettel has just told that he had no troubles on the track. The car is simply slow.

        1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
          22nd August 2015, 14:34

          @slava yeah I guess he is much happier failing Q1 more often than not.

          1. Half a sec behind his teammate at that too.

            1. but he had no FP3, come on. Alonso did the right thing at the time, he had to roll the dice and try something new. it just hasn’t worked out.

            2. Nah, I’m not saying he’s slow. Though in the end he was. It’s just like you said, he couldn’t even go out during practice…

        2. @slava Yeah, nothing like qualifying last to make you feel better for not qualifying 9th.

          1. You cannot foresee which team would be the best. You toss a coin and make a decision. Besides, Alonso told not once, not twice, but many times that it doesn’t matter if you finish second or last – you lose in any case if you are not first.
            Ferrari has one twice this year only due to problems in the other garage, not because they were faster.

            1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
              22nd August 2015, 16:26

              @slava Hungary was not a problem in the other garage. Ferrari surprised everyone that race being better and overtaking the mercs on the road, plus building a respectable gap over Rosberg before the SC.

            2. Yes ,Reese Bobby said if you aren’t first yur last.

          2. @slava

            You cannot foresee which team would be the best. You toss a coin and make a decision.

            Thanks for the obvious, cap. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

            Besides, Alonso told not once, not twice, but many times that it doesn’t matter if you finish second or last – you lose in any case if you are not first.

            He can say it 1000 times, that doesn’t mean I am obliged to believe him.

            Ferrari has one twice this year only due to problems in the other garage, not because they were faster.

            Still a lot better than what McLaren has done.

            1. ColdFly F1 (@)
              22nd August 2015, 15:48

              He ¿Albert – I don’t think you’re fair to @slava!
              He had the decency to reply to your comment – why now say ‘that’s not what we’re talking about here’?
              And why follow an F1 site if you don’t believe driver interviews anyway?

            2. @coldfly

              why now say ‘that’s not what we’re talking about here’?

              To make sure we stay on-topic.

              And why follow an F1 site if you don’t believe driver interviews anyway?

              That’s like asking “why follow political news if you don’t believe everything politicians say”. It’s not a very smart thing to ask, sorry for being blunt.

              To answer your question: For starters, me not believing everything they say it doesn’t mean I don’t believe anything they say. So yes, I follow F1 sites for the driver interviews, if I don’t believe every single one of them.

              Also for the analysis’s, for the news, for the insider information, etc.

      3. Vettel said there was no mistakes in the last run. Ferrari are just slow.

        1. Link please, because everything I’ve read says quite the contrary.

          1. “Link”: When only one Mercedes-powered driver is OUT of the top ten, and Ricciardo (5th) is the only one on the first four rows powered by something other than a Mercedes lump.

          2. He said he went deep in last corner. But even without that he wouldn’t be 3rd or anything like that.

    3. Starting from Malaysia, Honda has made no progress. No progress at all.
      If they do not change anything by the end of the year, then we will see Alonso and Button leave the team before 2017.

      1. Their limited number of tokens is surely not helping.

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        22nd August 2015, 16:40

        They have made progress, it’s just that they’re aiming for a moving target. Relative to the rest of the pack they have made very small steps, but against themselves they’ve made leaps and bounds.

        But, this is Spa, it’s a power track and it’s the longest lap on the calendar so any time deficiencies are going to be at their most magnified here.

        1. Knowing they have the penalties is it not possible McLaren didn’t see any point pushing the engines?

          1. Ron Brooks (@)
            23rd August 2015, 6:13

            Entirely possible. In fact likely. McNish on BBC made exactly this point.

    4. That was an awesome qualifying performance from Hamilton. Both his Q3 laps were stunning. Rosberg will be hoping for another bad start from him tomorrow!

      Ricciardio also impressed, making the gutless Renault go beyond what could reasonably be expected!

      Very disappointed for Raikkonen, whose bad luck this season has been crazy.

    5. Grosjean proves once again his worth

      1. Considering he’s overall around Raikkonen in terms of quali and Raikkonen’s been half a second slower than his teammates, it’s all subjective….

        1. No actually, it’s not. It may depend on how you look at it though. Are you looking at from Maldonado’s perspective? Though it was only 2 tenths between them this time.

    6. Joni (@theflyingfinns)
      22nd August 2015, 14:25

      Was excited for Kimi to remain at Ferrari… well, if it means stuff like Hungary and this, I don’t know…

      Anyway, looks to be a great battle behind the Mercs (and hopefully between the Mercs), and with rain maybe coming – should be a cracking race tomorrow

    7. As far as my predictions go, Perez has to do everything right :P

    8. ColdFly F1 (@)
      22nd August 2015, 14:26

      Amazing Daniil. finishing both 12th and 10th ;) @keithcollantine

    9. Very disappointing performances by Rosberg, Vettel, Kvyat and Hulkenberg. Sad that Kimi didn’t got the chance to shine. Great great lap by Hamilton and Grosjean as well.

      1. Vettel said he didn’t make any mistakes, and he wasn’t slower than Raikkonen until that point. So I don’t think Raikkonen would have much of an opportunity to shine. He’ll that have tomorrow.

        1. He said he ran a little deep at the last corner. Not a catastrophic lap of him, but it’s unlike him not to put a good Q3 lap together. Ferrari’s pace in general disappoints me.

          1. It’s always so on the limit with Ferrari and quali though. Not surprising Vettel slipped in the end. He gets 3rd with 1 tenth or something every race anyway….

    10. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
      22nd August 2015, 14:28

      Button half a second ahead of Alonso….where is Alonso’s 6 tenths? Is Button that good at a driver circuit like Spa or is Alonso overrated?

      Vettel must be jumping for joy with Kimi as his teammate next year: his strongest teammates have been an over-the-hill Webber and an overweight Riakonnen. First time he had a quality teammate in Riccardio, he got badly beaten.

      Hamilton has won the pole position trophy already this year, 10-1 against Rosberg.

      Lastly, well done to Perez, outclassing the much hyped Hulkenberg.

      1. Alonso got zero laps in this morning, and Spa has never been a strong circuit for him either.

        1. @05abrahamsemere has forfeited his/her right to be taken seriously in future.

      2. Hulkenberg overall has been the much better driver than Perez this year… and last year.

      3. Perez is underrated. But he probably isn’t as smooth around the corners like the Hulk. Perez did pretty good against Jenson at some tracks, but he lacks that consistency against all the circuits. It might be experience, or his career that have played in to that, but that’s his really only weak spot imo. Why people think he did a bad job at Macca is beyond me.

    11. Why do the cars look so slow on track?

      1. Cause the cameras track them? F1 cars and cars in general always look mega quick when the camera is fixed. Example: when they blast past the tyres on the Top Gear track – zoooom!

        1. I mean it looks less powerful compared to on other circuits lol

        2. Agreed. The tracking cameras take so much out of the viewing. You miss the difference in how drivers take corners completely.

          For years you’d hear the commentators talk about the different styles the drivers have in rotating the car and I’d be thinking why can’t I see that. When I attended my first race at the track you can see it much clearer and it’s down the the camera tracking the car.

          Some tracking shots are fine but I’d like to see some static shots thrown in.

          1. They are doing an absolute horrible job of it. Placement of cameras, what type of cameras used where and on whom, what’s recorded, what’s broadcasted… it’s not doing any justice to the sport. At all.

      2. Because they are. Even in 2010, when they had already been slowed down, pole was a 45.7.

        1. @weeniebeenie I don’t think that those 2s per lap (2% more or less) are significant enough for the cars to be seen slower or faster on TV.

          1. It’s always funny people claiming they can SEE how slower the cars are lol. It’s not Formula E. It’s FOM who’s doing a bad job, and technology, cameras tracking the cars etc.

          2. I think that part of it is down to the way in which the cars are presented – as others have commented, the long tracking shots tend to reduce the sense of speed because it becomes more difficult to judge the relative speed of the cars when the backdrop is not stable.
            The tracking shots at Spa tend to be particularly long due to the length of the corners and the limited number of camera locations, and the cameras tend to operate with a wider field of view to try and maximise the period of time they have available to record the cars – that, to a certain extent, will exaggerate the effect here.

            Equally, it has been pointed out that the onboard cameras tend to have a wider field of view – whilst that has has the upside of giving the viewer a clearer view of the action, it also reduces the sense of speed for the viewer.

            The third aspect is down to the fact that, with F1 cars having used high revving normally aspirated engines for a long period of time, there is an ingrained notion amongst the viewers that a high pitched engine tone equates to higher speed.

            For example, Button’s pole lap in 2012 was actually slower than Hamilton’s pole lap today (by around four tenths of a second), but because the engine note sounds more dramatic and ties into that historical association of a high pitched engine equalling more performance, I think that quite a few viewers would assume that Button’s lap was faster, even though it was slower.

            1. I agree with the majority of your sentiments regarding the tracking shots and poor camera angles reducing the sense of speed. However the point you made about the on board cameras is certainly wrong. Increasing the focal length not only reduces the angle of view, but also reduces the sense of speed. When the angle is wider you can see more of the peripherals, the further to the periphery the scenery that is in view, the faster it flies past. Thereby increasing the sense of speed, so understandably closing down the field of view would nullify the sense of things flying past.
              For example if you look back at the on-board footage from the early 2000’s you’ll notice that the cameras had a much wider focal length, noticeable by the fact the side pods are in view. Now watch on-board footage from then and compare it to say 2010, where on-board footage had a narrower field of view and tell me the 2010 footage looks faster.
              On a side note I noticed today that it looks as though they have actually widened the focal length of the on-board cameras recently, which is a welcome change in my book.

            2. I understand that early 2000’s cars where indeed a lot faster than 2010, but not as much as the difference in perceived speed in the on-board footage.

            3. @anon, This! Completely agree.

              “The third aspect is down to the fact that, with F1 cars having used high revving normally aspirated engines for a long period of time, there is an ingrained notion amongst the viewers that a high pitched engine tone equates to higher speed.”

        2. The Bridgestone tyres were faster and we are talking about the V8 Renault engine plus an Adrian Newey chasis Webber/Vettel had was lightening quick

      3. Because of the regulations introduced in 2014, aero restrictions and massive torque of the V6s mean they can’t go on the throttle as early as in previous years. Tbh, it’s a big turn off for me. These cars don’t look like F1 cars anymore. GP2 cars looked more spectacular and were noisier as well.

        1. You can’t see a difference whether a driver is doing 320 or 340kph on the straight but it’s a bigger perception difference in cornering speeds and it’s there then current generation of cars are slower than their predecessors.

          1. They showed Rosberg once from a different angle coming from Eau Rouge, he just disappeared I couldn’t believe it. Camera angles play a big role.

        2. @michal2009b, it is interesting that you say that the GP2 cars looked more impressive, even though GP2 cars are substantially slower.

          To put it in perspective, Merhi, the slowest driver in qualifying, was still able to beat Vandoorne’s pole lap by more than three seconds, with the best times from the Q1 session alone being more than seven seconds a lap better than the best times from a GP2 car in qualifying trim (and those times weren’t even particularly quick compared to the later sessions). Yet, somehow, you considered that to be more visually impressive than an F1 car? It seems odd in that sense.

          1. I am talking about mid-corner speeds (and noise as well in some part) not overall pace.

            1. The current F1 cars are much faster in corners than the GP2 cars, they still take my breath away watching them pile in at ridiculous speeds, even if the blown diffuser generation were faster.

              While not as spectacular as some of the previous formulas it will come over the next couple of years.

          2. Vandoornes time in the middle sector today was only about half a second off that of Merhi

            1. No, current F1 cars aren’t much faster than GP2 in the corners. But it’s good you agree that previous formulas were more spectacular :)

      4. Did you see that BBC shot of Bottas coming up over Eau Rouge?? – the speed was simply gobsmacking. Looked like it was on Fast Forward, but it was real time. Even the commentators were stunned. No doubt all the other top drivers were the same. No way on earth you could call that slow, the Williams was nearly airborne, despite all the downforce. Simply stunning speed.

        1. yeah i caught that.. at the right angle the impression of speed is quite amazing.. and Bottas seemed like he was taking the car to the absolute limits there.

        2. I saw the same with Rosberg. It was amazing. I think FOM should be doing a much better job other times to show that speed.

      5. Ron Brooks (@)
        23rd August 2015, 6:34

        My experience attending multiple CART races some years ago was that you couldn’t tell by eye who was fast. You either put a clock on them, or you listened to their tires. There was a distinctive scream from them when someone was really pushing hard, particularly in qualifying. This may have changed with time. Perhaps others can comment.

        The BBC F1 commentators, for example, seem to hear a lot more than is telecast. Not sure why. But IMHO we’re missing a vital clue.

    12. Boom! That’s the Pole Position trophy won. Well done Hamilton.

    13. What the hell happened in Ferrari? Kimi was unfortunate but Vettel was outpaced by Mercedes custormers. Is it down to the power unit? then Monza would really hurt…

      1. They’ll have an upgrade there, right? Maybe next time they can qualify 2-3 tenths faster, that’d put them in 3rd.

        1. Yeah, they said they would bring an upgrade…but last time they did it didn’t work.

          1. @eggry Did they? I can’t find any link to token usage by Ferrari for Spa.

            1. He’s talking about Canada I think.

        2. It has been reported in the past that Ferrari do intend to introduce a new engine specification in Monza.

          I wouldn’t say that the power unit is that lacking though – Kimi was certainly setting very competitive first sector lap times, with most of their time losses occurring in the middle sector of the lap. It looks more like an issue with the chassis, or perhaps the high speed aero balance – the car just doesn’t seem to be quite as competitive at circuits where there are long fast corners (we saw a similar issue in Silverstone, where Ferrari also looked a little off the pace in the faster complexes there).

          1. Yeah, it’s the car. But you know with more top speed comes more wings and downforce etc.

    14. Disappointing performance by Ferrari, hopefully they have better race pace. Other than that pretty much standard business, including Honda failing miserably.

    15. Hamilton said after the summer break he is on all out attack mode..Rightly said its ‘Hammer time’.stunning lap.

      1. Rightly said its ‘Hammer time’


        1. I don’t know why everyone misquotes him. It’s well-known Lewis is a fan of old cartoons.

      2. Would you like some cheese to go with your hammer?

    16. To have a larger gap to your team mate in the same car than the entire spread of the rest of the top ten did with 5 different chassis and 3 different engines is astonishing.

      1. LOL. That’s true.

      2. It just proves that Rosberg is wasting the 2nd Mercedes seat. There are so many better drivers on the grid than Rosberg who have much more inferior cars.

        1. Combination of the two. Hamilton is stunning, Rosberg is poor.

          1. So I guess suddenly SV has proved he is wasting that seat at Ferrari too? Let’s see if poor NR can get by stunning LH in turn one like he did the last race. Probably not, so poor is NR, with so many other driver’s out there that would make mincemeat out of LH in that car, right?

            1. @robbie

              So I guess suddenly SV has proved he is wasting that seat at Ferrari too?

              How can a driver that is beating his teammate very convincingly waste a seat? I don’t think you understand what people are discussing here.

            2. LOL That was a poor attempt. Raikkonen vs Vettel is even worse than Rosberg vs Hamilton.

            3. So who exactly are these drivers who would make ‘mincemeat’ of Lewis if they were in the Merc?

              I mean the ‘greatest driver’ of his generation couldn’t do it to him as a rookie, what make you think anyone can now?

              Hulkengerg, Ricciardo, Bottas, Alonso etc would all be subjected to the same thing as Nico

            4. 9th today. And that’s the point. Suggesting NR is wasting that seat because of his gap to LH today is like suggesting the same for SV for coming 9th today. Ridiculous isn’t it?

            5. @robbie You obviously don’t understand the point. People are saying Rosberg is wasting that seat because of how far he is of maximizing the car’s the potential. That’s not something, not even close, you can say from Vettel. You made a very bad comment, and repeating it didn’t help.

            6. So I guess suddenly SV has proved he is wasting that seat at Ferrari too? Let’s see if poor NR can get by stunning LH in turn one like he did the last race. Probably not, so poor is NR, with so many other driver’s out there that would make mincemeat out of LH in that car, right?

              So @robbie , calling Hamilton stunning = me implying that so many out there would make mincemeat of him? No, I’m referring to @philipgb & @ultimateuzair ‘s obervation that the gap between the two Mercs is greater than the gap between the rest of the top 10.

              Let’s actually wait and see Rosberg get past Hamilton by turn one like in the last race. And see if he actually finishes ahead this time. Until then I’m calling it as I see it, that Rosberg had a poor performance today.

            7. @david-a Nothing wrong with calling LH stunning and it was @ultimateuzair who implied that so many other drivers would do better than NR, which implies to me he doesn’t think much of LH. So as Kgn11 asks, I’d like to know too who would be ‘making mincemeat’ out of LH if NR is doing such a poor job. In other words, implying NR is wasting a seat at Merc is to imply LH can be beat in that car.

              I think the fact is LH is at one with his car like no other driver currently on the grid, so to call NR a waste of a seat is highly unfair. The SV comment was merely meant to highlight how ridiculous it is to take a superficial look at one quali session, and make such sweeping statements based on that. If it was that easy, what’s SV doing in 9th after winning recently? We’ve seen NR take LH in the first corner, and we’ve also seen both NR and LH stuck behind each other handcuffed once in dirty air. Personally I think NR is doing about as good a job as any driver on the grid would be able to manage against the current LH/Merc package under the current regs. Any suggestion of other drivers doing better is pure speculation.

            8. @robbie
              You say

              Personally I think NR is doing about as good a job as any driver on the grid would be able to manage against the current LH/Merc package under the current regs.


              Any suggestion of other drivers doing better is pure speculation.

              This is a beautiful case of a terrible logical hole. Well done.

        2. Sure… I think the team is there to judge if someone is wasting their seat…

        3. He is doing a good job in Mercedes at the moment. I don’t see how he is wasting that 2nd seat. Sure in competition he is wasting it, but in the Constructors’ Championship he is doing a good job scoring points for the team.

        4. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
          22nd August 2015, 15:41

          But @ultimateuzair , let’s think about it for a moment. Sure Rosberg is “wasting” a seat, but being a solid Nº2 is good for the team’s goals. If he is good enough to keep the 1-2 results going on, that’s all they need. They don’t need a top contender that can jeopardize Lewis’ good mood now (we know how he performs in “bad mood” mode), so better for Toto to keep Nico right where he is.

          1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
            22nd August 2015, 15:43

            @ultimateuzair … and the same can be said about Ferrari’s decision to keep Kimi. Well, Ferrari must start working on how to make Kimi’s car resist the whole quali / race.

            1. Same cannot be said imo. If Mercedes was anywhere close to other teams like Ferrari is, they would be at a big disadvantage with Rosberg. He qualified half a second slower. There’s less difference from 3rd to 9th!

        5. When your wife is about to deliver your first kid and you had a massive scare with a tire blowout going 305 Km/h you might not be willing to take an unnecessary risk.

          I am a huge Lewis fan (as a driver), but and let’s remember, Nico is “only” 21 points behind Lewis in the WDC. From a team’s perspective he is delivering a lot. Not the same with Kimi. Ferrari made a big mistake re-signing him, despite the fact their press release was somewhat cryptic…I am not so sure Kimi will race the whole 2016 season for the Scuderia….

        6. Nico Rosberg – wasn’t that the man who left a certain Michael Schumacher in the shade during their couple of years together at Mercedes? He’s now a rubbish driver is he?

          No, I think Ham has matured into one of the true greats, and Nico, whilst very good, is simply not at that level.

          1. The only problem I see with that is Hamilton wouldn’t have been considered a true great up until 2014. We’ve been watching F1 for some time now, I remember what people thought and said about him before 2013.

            1. If someone changed their opinion on Hamilton’s driving for much better in 2014 then they are either success fans or don’t understand the sport completely.

            2. I still don’t consider him as a great, a consistent display of these kind of qualifying performances would change my mind though.

            3. Winning 6 poles on the trot and 10 out of 11 for the year isn’t consistent?

          2. Ron Brooks (@)
            23rd August 2015, 6:46

            I wouldn’t wish sickness on anyone, but it would be interesting if Nico was indisposed one race weekend, and someone else filled the seat. After a bit of getting used to the car, some interesting comparisons might be made. Most anything else seems conjecture.

    17. Rosberg seems be to running less wing. So I give him even odds of getting to les combs first. However Hamilton is so good in s2 that rosberg would be hard pressed to keep him out of a tow for the stint.

      1. Looking at the numbers, Rosberg was only faster in S1, Rosberg did 30.509 to Hamilton’s 30.593, not a massive difference but looking at their maximum speeds in qualy, both of them did an identical 336.6 Kph in S1 but Hamilton was faster in the other two sectors by both top speed and time.

        The above would suggest that similar or identical setup, its just that Hamilton is mega in S2.

        Numbers from FIA site

        1. Also it seemed Brundle was under the impression that Lewis had either copied or resorted to a similar set up to Nico overnight.

    18. I don’t know why but I’ve just got a feeling we’re going to see a repeat of last year, a Merc collision of some sort.

    19. Mercedes could have gone to Q3 with Medium Compound tires, with the track improving Hamilton could have had a decent shot of taking the pole with Medium Compound tires. Nobody else has a chance tomorrow unless they throw it up.

      1. Yeah agreed. Hamilton basically just needed to do a single flying lap in Q3 straight away and then box and have a glass of champagne whilst the grid rounded itself out.

        After seeing the difference in their pace, I can’t imagine a scenario, outside of mechanical failures or weather, that doesn’t have the Mercs at a 1-2.

    20. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for securing his first insignificant trophy of the year in the FIA Pole Position trophy.

      1. Ron Brooks (@)
        23rd August 2015, 6:54

        Well put.

        One lap, near empty tanks, near empty track, a bit of temporary extra grunt…

        Qualifying serves only to order the start. And that’s on full tanks, for example, so it doesn’t presently do that very well.

      2. @craig-o: Not quite insignificant but I’d agree that the pole position trophy only has real value after you win the WDC later in the season.

    21. Has Mrs. Rosberg had her baby yet?

      1. Yes she had the baby.

      2. Nope, next week apparently.

        1. I’m keen to see Pascal Wehrlein have a spin in that car….

          1. @f1bobby I never though about that.
            It’s only fair for Rosberg to take a paternity leave.
            Has any F1 driver done that?

            1. Nico’s dad didn’t…when he was born, Keke completed his day testing for Williams before flying off to Germany to meet his son (I remember reading that in an interview with Keke Rosberg, probably in a Motor Sport magazine)

              Anyway, I’m sure the Rosbergs will need our help naming the baby. I suggest Roscoe, or Keith.

            2. @bullfrog You don’t think “Lewis” is top of the list then?

    22. Maybe in the next events, I should never take the Ferrari in the top 5. It was a very bad idea.

    23. I wonder how loyal Nico would be if 1 hr before the race his baby was hear i bet any money he stays and races he would not lose the WC points. And personally i do not blame him. What is the point in going staright away if you are not there for arrival anyway may aswell wait a few hrs.

      On another note serously how good as Hamilton been this year in qually he really have been sensational. Hamilton is the driver who as got better not Nico. Many said year of fighting for title would bring best out of Nico. I still think Nico is a fine dirver. Any driver who can beat Hamilton in terms of poleS deserves respect. But Hamilton has just moved up a levela and clearly the brakes he was not used too were not an excuse last year. Hamilton has had too aswel, it is harder to overtake this year in same cars. 10-1 vs someone with raw speed like Rosberg is no mean feat.

    24. Rosberg:

      Lewis was too quick in the end, just found that little bit – or quite a lot – extra which I didn’t have

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