Lewis Hamilton takes record setting fifth pole position ahead of Sebastian Vettel in Belgium
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News August 25, 2018 Updated: 1:02 PM PT
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton conquered the elements after beating out title rival Sebastian Vettel to score his 78th pole position ahead of tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton also achieved another milestone in his legacy with his fifth pole at Spa-Francorchamps surpassing Formula One legend Juan Manuel Fangio.
“I really love driving in the wet, but I don’t think I can quite put into words just how difficult the conditions were out there today. We were all tip-toeing around and you’re just praying you don’t lock up,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton was able to adapt to the changing conditions allowing him to put 3.0s on Vettel during his final flying lap.
Vettel finished 0.726s behind Hamilton in second followed by Force India who starts the second half of the season under new ownership and the name Racing Point Force India. Drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez both scored a career equaling best in third and fourth.
“It’s a fantastic day,” said Ocon. “After everything that has happened in the last few weeks it’s a special moment and we should enjoy the day. I’m very proud of the entire team because they kept up their motivation and worked really hard to give me a quick car today.”
Perez added: “I am very happy about today’s result and what a tremendous qualifying it has been! So many emotions are going through my head – it has been a really difficult session, which makes the result even sweeter. It’s a great result for the team – for the new owners, the old ones who built the team to what it is now, and everyone who works so hard every day.”
Haas’ Romain Grosjean finished fifth with Kimi Raikkonen in sixth, who only had enough fuel for one lap and wasn’t able refuel in time to improve on his lap.
Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were also caught out and unable to refuel and had to settle for seventh and eighth.
Grosjean’s Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen finished ninth with the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in tenth.
Bottas will have some work to do after he receives his engine penalty that will send him to the back of the grid.
Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly will move up to tenth as a result of Bottas’s penalty along with teammate Brendon Hartley who qualified 12th but will move to 11th. Sauber drivers Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson will also enjoy a free bump in the grid and will start 12th and 13th.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz will move to 14th with teammate Nico Hulkenberg joining Valtteri Bottas at the back of the grid once his engine penalty is applied.
Hulkenberg’s move bumps McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to 15th followed by the Williams’ pair of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll in 16th and 17th.
Alonso’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne wasn’t able to score the qualifying result he had hope for at his home race. He will start tomorrow's racein 18th with Bottas and Hulkenberg at the bottom of the order in 19th and 20th.