Formula One News
Hamilton captures pole for Belgium Grand Prix
Sep 6, 2008, 15:19 GMT
Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium - Lewis Hamilton put in an impressive final qualifying lap to capture pole position Saturday ahead of nearest rival Felipe Massa for Sunday's Belgium Grand Prix.
The McLaren-Mercedes driver immediately countered a fastest lap on the final session by Ferrari's Massa on the 7.004-kilometre Spa circuit by clocking 1 minute 47.338 seconds, 0.340 seconds up on the Brazilian.
'Today has been a great day for me,' the 23-year-old Briton said.
'I was so happy with all three laps I did ... the team made no mistakes and I made no mistakes.'
Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen of Finland was third, with fellow Finn and Ferrari's defending champion Kim Raikkonnen fourth.
Germany's Nick Heidfeld in a BMW Sauber was fifth fastest, ahead of Fernando Alonso of Spain in a Renault to complete the third row of the grid.
Australian Mark Webber in a Red Bull and Robert Kubica of Poland in a BMW Sauber were next in line, with the two Toro Rossos of Sebastien Bourdais of France and Sebastian Vettel of Germany completing the leading 10.
Hamilton goes into the race leading the F1 standings on 70 points, six points ahead of Massa and 13 ahead of Raikkonen.
Hamilton was buoyant after clinching his fifth pole of the season and the 11th of his career.
After being affected by health problems two weeks ago in Valencia, when he finished second behind Massa at the European Grand Prix, Hamilton said he was now feeling in great shape.
'I have come here feeling better than ever and I'm struggling not to smile. Tomorrow will be a challenging day but with the car and the package we have we'll be hard to beat,' he said.
Massa meanwhile said he was happy with his performance but the team would have to find a few more 10ths of a seconds on Sunday.
'I did a great lap, almost a perfect lap, but it was not enough,' he said.