Button Finds His Sweet Spot
Published 1st September 2012 - Written by Grant Ruetemann
Button dominates qualifying in Spa. Yes, you heard correctly, Mr “F1-Triathlon” secured his first pole position since Monaco 2009 and his first as a McLaren driver in 2-and-a-half season of trying.
And the surprises didn’t end there. Kobayashi grabbed 2nd and Maldonado did not crash into someone else, therefore managing to get 3rd place. But, as with always with the Venezuelan, there was controversy – judged to have impeded Nico Hulkenberg in Q1, the stewards deemed it worthy of a 3 place grid penalty. Pastor will now start from 6th place.
Quickest in both Q2 and Q3, Button, according to the ever insightful Gary Anderson, hit his set up sweet spot (SUSS) to out-qualify Lewis Hamilton (who could only manage 8th place) by a significant margin. We are assuming Lewis missed his own SUSS by country mile.
A dream of a qualifying session for Jenson fans was topped off by World Champion Sebastian Vettel not even making Q3 and Mark Webber managing 7th. After a 5-place grid penalty, that makes it 12th for the Aussie tomorrow.
Way back at the start of the season in Australia, we would have probably added a comment about how we were surprised that Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg had all not made it into the top-ten shootout, but not today. Mercedes continue to be, frankly, pretty rubbish, and Massa might deserve some more bashing.
So, wacky races are back after a 5-week break and we couldn’t be more chuffed!
We’re all set up for a great race tomorrow, which should be music to the ears of the Badgers that made it to Spa, one after riding 400 miles by bicycle.
Belgian Grand Prix – Qualifying
1. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes 1m47.573s
2. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari + 0.298s
3. Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault + 0.320s (3-place grid penalty, will start 6th)
4. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault + 0.632s
5. Sergio Perez, Sauber-Ferrari + 0.646s
6. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari + 0.740s
7. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault + 0.819s (5-place grid penalty, will start 12th)
8. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes + 0.821s
9. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault + 0.965s
10. Paul di Resta, Force India-Mercedes + 1.317s
11. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault 1m49.722s
12. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes + 0.112s
13. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes + 0.492s
14. Felipe Massa, Ferrari + 0.338s
15. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 0.513s
16. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 0.322s
17. Bruno Senna, Williams-Renault + 0.708s
18. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m50.181s (5-place grid penalty, will start 23rd)
19. Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault + 2.746s
20. Vitaly Petrov, Caterham-Renault + 2.974s
21. Timo Glock, Marussia-Cosworth + 3.343s
22. Pedro de la Rosa, HRT-Cosworth + 4.037s
23. Charles Pic, Marussia-Cosworth + 4.500s
24. Narain Karthikeyan, HRT-Cosworth + 5.996s