Dubai: Mercedes’ world champion Lewis Hamilton swept to another dominant pole position on Saturday at qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix pole as faltering Ferrari slumped to a new low by only just scraping through Q1 and then getting eliminated in Q2.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and his teammate Charles Leclerc failed to make it to the top 10 Q1 shoot-out in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, piling more pressure on the ailing Italian marque, who have been outclassed by Mercedes and a host of other ‘lesser’ teams this season.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas posted the second quickest time to ensure another front-row lockout for Mercedes.
Max Verstappen for Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo in a Renault occupy the second row.
Leclerc and Vettel start on the seventh row and look like they will face a tough time during the race on Sunday.
Hamilton secured his record-extending 93rd career pole position and a record sixth at Spa, and he took time out to pay tribute to ‘Black Panther’ actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away after a cancer battle.
“Today was a very clean session,” he said. “Every lap was getting better and better. There was a lot of great work in the background.
“This was an important pole. I woke up today to the saddest news of Chadwick passing away.
“It’s been such a heavy year for us all and that news broke me, so it wasn’t easy to get back focused. For what he’s done for our people and super heroes — to show the kids what’s possible in life. Wakanda forever.
“We had to get a tow, you’ve got three difficult sections here and wing level not easy. We’re not the strongest in the first and last sector but the middle we definitely are. I chose to go out first ahead of Valtteri. I didn’t want anything getting in my way.
“I didn’t make any mistake and Q3 run first lap was ace. It’s was a very, very good lap, I’m happy with that.”