Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Belgian Grand prix. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took second on the grid. He was only 0.149 sec slower than the Mercedes driver.
“We had a difficult weekend until Qualifying. This morning we were thinking that we were off the pace a bit”, Rosberg admitted. “So I was really happy to grab pole today. The Red Bulls were quickest on the long runs on Friday, so we need to be at our best to beat them. The tyres are a big challenge in the heat here this weekend. The degradation is very high.”
Verstappen was elevated from the thousands of Dutch fans’ support: “It’s a great feeling. As soon as I crossed the line in Q3 on my fastest lap, I could see the fans going really wild. I knew it was a good lap. It’s been already an amazing weekend. To see so many fans around the track and feel their support is incredible. I’ve been enjoying the whole week a lot, so it is fantastic to be second on the grid.”
Rosberg will start on the soft tyre, Verstappen will be on the super soft
Ferrari adopted the first strategy and the Scuderia drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will be on the second grid row.
Raikkonen said: “My first run in Q3 was very good, but I went sideways and off track. The second attempt was even better. In the last chicane I had some slight understeer and lost a few tenths compared to my Q2 sector. Today I felt we had the chance to get pole position, so I’m a bit disappointed. On a positive side, we are very close compared to the last couple of races.”
Daniel Ricciardo is fifth on the grid. Red Bull’s Australian driver will also start on the soft tyre. He is convinced this is the best strategy.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are sixth and seventh for Force India. Jenson Button (McLaren) managed to get between Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. The Williams drivers had a software issue and could not drive in qualifying mode.