News On F1 - Formula 1 News, Results, Information and Statistics

Formula 1 Store
F1 Tickets, Tours, Gear
F1 Books
& Biographies

Formula 1 News - September, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Saturday, Belgium

F1 Merchandise
Main Page
Formula 1 News
2009 F1 Schedule
2009 F1 Line-up
2008 F1 Schedule & Results
2008 F1 Line-up
F1 Team Reports
F1 Teams
F1 Drivers
8 'n' Pole
Register - Submit
F1 Regulations
The Forums
Live F1 Coverage
Motorsport Shop
Motorsport Calendar
F1 Merchandise
F1 Tours
F1 Tickets
F1 Diecast
F1 Videos
F1 Games
F1 Trivia
Past Formula 1 Seasons
2007 F1 Results
2006 F1 Results
2005 F1 Results
2004 F1 Results
2003 F1 Results

2002 F1 Results

2001 F1 Results

2000 F1 Results

1999 F1 Results

1998 F1 Results

1997 F1 Results
Contact Us
Your Say
Diagnosis & Prognosis
By the Heretic
Controversy Corner
The Real Race
By the Quali-flyer
F1 Testing
2006 World Cup


After a slightly low-profile Friday, McLaren dominated Ferrari on day two at Spa-Francorchamps, Lewis Hamilton marginally trailing his teammate Heikki Kovalainen in Q1 and Q2 before taking an emphatic pole. "After Valencia we knew we had to improve and that's what we did," said the championship leader. Behind Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Kovalainen is third. "I didn't quite do enough to make it onto the front row," said the Finn, who looked disappointed despite apparently running a bit more fuel than Hamilton in Q3.



After looking quickest on Friday, Valencia winner Massa found himself chasing fellow title protagonist Hamilton's pace throughout qualifying. "I did a great lap, but it was not enough," said the Brazilian. Kimi Raikkonen has seemed slightly more competitive at his favourite circuit than at recent races, but the world champion is still the slowest of the 'big four' marquee runners. "Fourth place is far from ideal to go looking for the win, but it doesn't mean I've given up hope," he said.



If Nick Heidfeld is fighting to keep his seat for 2009, he won the battle at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday -- quickest of all in the morning practice drizzle, and out-qualified only by the 'big four' drivers. Robert Kubica is P8 on the grid, with team boss Mario Theissen insisting things are "just not right" for the Pole this weekend.



Third in the morning and P6 on the grid leaves Fernando Alonso "satisfied" with his weekend so far. Nelson Piquet (P12) was about half a second slower in Q2 so he missed the final top-ten segment.



David Coulthard was just 2 tenths slower than teammate Mark Webber in Q2, but the margin meant Webber make the Q3 cut and qualified a worthy seventh, while Coulthard is stranded P14 on the grid. "It's so tight in the midfield," the Scot noted.



Of the STR duo, Sebastian Vettel usually has the most to cheer about, but after qualifying at the very top of the order in the Q1 segment, Sebastien Bourdais - fighting to keep his seat for 2009 - let his feelings be known as he whooped-up the in-car radio airwaves. "It was nice to see my name at the top of a timesheet. It's been a long time!" the Frenchman enthused after also going faster than Vettel in Q2 and Q3, although Vettel is definitely carrying more fuel for the start of the race. "It's beginning to come together. I feel this track and its corners suit me better," Bourdais added. Vettel's explanation for being behind his teammate this weekend was very much a backhanded compliment: "I was struggling a bit on those sections where the driver doesn't have to do much. I could not find the pace my teammate had," the German said.



Jarno Trulli (P11) and Timo Glock (P13) were very evenly matched for pace in qualifying, but the TF108 wasn't fast enough to put them in the hunt for the top-ten. "We knew we would be struggling a bit today given these low temperatures," said Trulli, referring to the difficulty in getting heat into the harder compound tyres on a cold track. The Italian also explained after qualifying that, because the engine in his car was also used at Valencia, the handicap on the long straights at Spa is an incredible 4 tenths per lap. But technical boss Pascal Vasselon was surprised. "Obviously we got something wrong in our preparation work," he said.



Kazuki Nakajima is having a poor weekend, and his 7 tenths deficit to teammate Nico Rosberg in Q1 leaves him on the very back row of the grid. "I just couldn't find any grip and I am still not able to understand why," said the Japanese. Rosberg (P15) at least made it into Q2, but was 6 tenths short of graduating into the final qualifying segment. "We knew Spa was not going to be our best track but being this far back is unexpected," said the German.



The frustration in Jenson Button's eyes at Spa on Saturday was obvious, after his car broke down just a few hundred metres into morning practice and then qualified behind his teammate Rubens Barrichello. The unhurried RA108s did at least pull off the very last row of the grid, but remain among the Q1 rabble. "We have to be pleased with what we achieved today, particularly given that we have been pretty much at the bottom of the timesheets so far this weekend," said Barrichello.



Split by Nakajima's Williams, the two Force Indias are at the back of the grid, but - propelled by the mighty Ferrari engine - not far off the pace of the struggling Hondas. "Tomorrow there is a good chance to move up some places," said Giancarlo Fisichella, who qualified last.

Share this article on your favourite social site

Discuss this topic on NewsOnF1 Forums

Latest Formula 1 News Headlines
11 Feb: Sandstorm halts Bahrain testing
11 Feb: More bad news about Donington Park
11 Feb: Ralf secures new Mercedes DTM contract
11 Feb: F1 and sports cars no problem - Bourdais
11 Feb: Slim Buemi wants to lose 5 kilos
11 Feb: Vettel's new colour-changing 'disco' helmet
11 Feb: Singapore GP a financial success
11 Feb: No launch for new Force India next month
11 Feb: Dennis, Hamilton, win award
11 Feb: Red Bull fast in Spain, Toyota in Bahrain
11 Feb: Button facing end of F1 career - Coulthard
11 Feb: Chandhok blames 'finance' for F1 struggle
10 Feb: Hockenheim dilemma leaves Bernie 'unhappy'
10 Feb: Vettel plays down fears of driver 'strike'
10 Feb: Vettel gained weight ahead of 2009 season
10 Feb: Bourdais confirmed for Le Mans, Sebring
10 Feb: New helmet design for Vettel
10 Feb: Donington denies debt reports
10 Feb: French government gives Renault 3bn euros
10 Feb: Glitch halts new Red Bull's debut

The latest Formula 1 News

Back to the main news page

Back To Top

Web (Forum)

F1 Tickets
2009 Australian F1 Grand Prix
also Accommodation packages
2009 Malaysian F1 Grand Prix
2009 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix
2009 Spanish F1 Grand Prix
2009 Monaco F1 Grand Prix
2009 British F1 Grand Prix
2009 Belgian F1 GP
2009 Abu Dhabi F1 GP
MotoGP Tickets
more Motorsport Tours & Holidays
2009 Clipsal 500 package (Adelaide)

Official 2007 F1 Season Review

Autocourse 2007 Annual

F1 Merchandise US

F1 Merchandise UK

Motorsport Magazines

Formula 1 Annuals

Formula 1 Yearbooks

Formula 1 Season Reviews

Formula 1 Technical Books

Formula 1 Design Books

The Official Tribute To Ayrton Senna
1960 To 1994

Chariot Makers: Assembling the Perfect Formula 1 Car

The Science of
F1 Design

Formula 1 Books

Race Driving Books

Race Car Design Books

Ayrton Senna

Past Formula 1 Drivers