Slippery When Wet
Heavy downpours descended on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit within half an hour of qualifying commencing, ensuring a slippery challenge would be faced by all. Hail was even thrown into the mix, though it was a wet but drying track that the drivers met once it was time to set their laps.
Romain Grosjean had the better day in the office, reaching Q2 to qualify exactly where he had predicted on Friday, in fifteenth. Pastor Maldonado pushed hard in Q1, just missing out on a spot in the second qualifying session, and will start the Belgian Grand Prix in seventeenth.
Both drivers took on the tricky wet-to-dry conditions in Q1, turning the ever-challenging Spa into a slick ribbon of asphalt.
“It was pretty tough at the beginning of the session,” Pastor said, “but then the track was improving all the time in Q1”.
A late spin at the Bus Stop Chicane spoiled Pastor’s fastest lap, which would have been his passage into Q2.
“Pastor was looking set to be in the top ten late in the Q1 session but unfortunately spun on his fastest lap,” Alan Permane explained. “He wasn’t able to progress through afterwards when the rain got worse so regrettably that ended his qualifying.”
Whilst Pastor’s day ended early, Romain progressed to Q2 and aimed to maximise the opportunity despite the changing weather: “We got through to Q2 but then we were one of the slower of the cars in that session. We knew that the Q1 conditions would suit us a bit better than in Q2 due to the amount of rain on track.”
Despite feeling uncomfortable with the rear of the car, Romain is optimistic for tomorrow’s race: “We look to the race now and as it’s Spa you never know what can happen. We’re on the grid and we’ll push as hard as we can for the best result possible.”