Belgian GP qualifying as it happened

Text and video highlights of qualifying for the Belgian GP at Spa Francorchamps, where Lewis Hamilton starts on pole.

24 August 2013 Last updated at 15:34

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As it happened

  1. 1525: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    Can Lewis Hamilton master the conditions and the challenging Spa Francorchamps race track as well as hold off the raging Red Bulls, Ferraris and Lotuses to take victory in tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix?

    Who knows, but it'll be well worth watching him try. Join me tomorrow from 1130 BST. Until then, it's a very good afternoon.

  2. 1520: 

    What an extraordinary finish to qualifying, eh? First Paul Di Resta looked like he'd grabbed pole, then Nico Rosberg looked to have taken it. The Red Bulls threw everything at it but Lewis Hamilton snatched it at the death. Here's Andrew Benson's qualifying report with quotes from the main protagonists.

  3. 1515: 

    If Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton wins the Belgian Grand Prix for the second time in his career, he will become the first driver this season to win two races in a row.

  4. 1510: 

    Lewis Hamilton will start on pole position for the 31st time in his career tomorrow. Ride on-board with the 2008 world champion for his stunning lap around the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps circuit on the F1 pages.

  5. 1505: 

    The BBC Weather department have been studying the radars and come to the conclusion that we can expect rain tomorrow - and lots of it - during the race. Lovely stuff.

  6. 1500: 

    It was a good day for the Brits, with three of them in the top six - Lewis Hamilton, Paul Di Resta and Jenson Button - and Max Chilton finishing a career-high 16th.

    Marussia's Chilton: "I can't wipe the smile off my face. The conditions really suited me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Tomorrow's going to be hard for us. We will try to defend and stay ahead of the Caterhams."


    Mark Webber, who starts third: "In the end, it was a good battle for pole, we were certainly challenging for that. As a drive, you don't know what sort of lap you're on until you cross the line in those conditions."

    Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who starts second: "It was a tricky session for all of us. When I was on the last lap, I didn't know how the conditions were on the other side of the track. Once i got there, it was surprisingly dry, therefore it was easy to make big improvement in terms of lap time.

    "So the later you started the lap, the better. Lewis had a fantastic middle sector, I saw him catching up and thought 'I could have gone quicker here and there'. It was good result for myself. Everything is possible, we expect the rain to be as inconsistent as it was today."


    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: "I think I aged about 10 years in that session. It was very tricky with the weather. The key for us was getting that last lap. The boys did a tremendous job to turn around both cars and get them out in time.

    "There is due to be quite a lot of rain tomorrow. I think we can take the fight to Lewis. It won't be about outright pace, it'll be about judging the conditions."

  10. 1450: 

    It was a solid performance from Red Bull, who timed it well by leaving it late in Q3 to set their lap time. Sebastian Vettel will start second, one place ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.


    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who starts on pole: "I haven't had a good feeling all weekend. I'm not 100% confident we have the fastest package in the dry, but in these conditions, it's more of a lottery and the driver can make more of a difference. Our radar has forecasted it's going to rain tomorrow, so it's going to be a tricky race. Trying to choose the right tyre, tyre management and pit stops will be key tomorrow."

  12. 1445: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton now has four straight pole positions to his name, becoming the first British driver to achieve such a feat since Damon Hill did so in 1995.

  13. 1442: 
    Giedo Van Der Garde

    Caterham's Giedo Van Der Garde had the best qualifying session of his career. The team gambled on slick tyres - and it paid off. The Dutchman starts 14th.

    "It was a good call from me and the team. It's the best qualifying position for me and also well clear of Marussia, so I'm very happy. It's like a home race for me, lots of Dutch fans, so let's see tomorrow, the weather you never know what it'll produce."


    Matt House: What a qualifying! Super intense, how did that happen?!


    Nico Rosberg, who finished fourth: "It was a tough qualifying and in the end, I just got caught out. You just don't know what is going to happen, but it's still possible to do a good race from fourth. The car is good in all conditions."

  16. 1435: 

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg looked like he had secured his fourth pole position of the season late on in that session before a flurry of lap times bumped him down to fourth.


    McLaren's Jenson Button, who starts sixth: "In the dry we were relatively happy with the pace and in the wet it was even better. We deserve our position today as we were very competitive. If it is changeable conditions tomorrow then it will be tricky for all the drivers. I'm pretty happy with P6."

  18. 1431: 
    Jenson Button

    McLaren's Jenson Button, who took pole and victory at Spa last year, was in good spirits after qualifying, finishing a strong sixth fastest. The Briton said earlier in this weekend that he thought a first podium of the season was possible. It'll be difficult from there, with the quality around him, but he's given himself every chance.


    Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, who went out in Q1 and starts 19th: "As far as I am aware, we went out with the second set of intermediates too early. We should have waited but I trust the guys in the pit to make the best call. I am disappointed but tomorrow's another day."

  20. 1427: 

    It wasn't such a good day for Toro Rosso either, with Red Bull hopeful Daniel Ricciardo and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne - who was fourth quickest in final practice - knocked out in Q1.


    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who starts ninth: "I think it was the conditions that helped us in Q3. In Q1, with wet conditions we were first. In Q2 in the dry, we were second, so I think the pace is there. We were not maybe to fight for pole, but we were in contention for fourth or fifth. The aim is to win. Anything can happen here. If we manage to pass people in front, we have the pace."

  22. 1424: 

    It was a very disappointing session for Ferrari as Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finishes ninth and 10th respectively. Alonso, though, believes the car still has good overall pace and remains hopeful of a strong result tomorrow afternoon.


    Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn: "You try and put things in place and it's really up to the drivers to see if they can make the most of it. We were just on the limit of being the last car. It did work out for us and with the track drying, Lewis did a great job. He really is settling in well to the team. All our team is gelling very well. I'm not sure we've seen all of it yet."

  24. 1419: 

    Eddie Jordan has made the bold prediction that Lewis Hamilton will take victory tomorrow afternoon. But then again, he also predicted Kimi Raikkonen would be on pole, and the Finn could only manage seventh.


    Lewis Hamilton, who will start on pole: "It was a good job by the team. I was surprised when I came across line. I went wide in Turn One and my dashboard told me I was three seconds down and then it was four seconds and then six so I didn't know what was going on but I kept pushing. It's a blessing I am up here. Generally I feel comfortable in changing conditions. I can find the limit and I pushed through the middle sector and really caned it."

  26. 1415: 

    It's all smiles for Lewis Hamilton as he poses for the top three photo in parc ferme with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.


    Force India's Paul Di Resta, who qualified fifth: "I thought the rain was going to stay. It was quite a ballsy decision by myself. I saw umbrellas coming up so I made the right choice. I think it was the right time but our car is not that quick in the wet. It was unfortunate, but P5 is not so bad. In the dry, we're looking good for the race. If it's wet, I'd be a bit more nervous."

  28. 1410: 

    It's heartbreak for Paul Di Resta, who looked on course for his first pole position in Formula 1 with a few minutes remaining before the rain eased off and the track improved enough for the big guns to pull it back.

  29. 1408: 

    1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Sebastian Vettel 3) Mark Webber 4) Nico Rosberg 5) Paul Di Resta 6) Jenson Button 7) Romain Grosjean 8) Kimi Raikkonen 9) Fernando Alonso 10) Felipe Massa

    11) Nico Hulkenberg 12) Adrian Sutil 13) Sergio Perez 14) Giedo Van Der Garde 15) Jules Bianchi 16) Max Chilton

    17) Pastor Maldonado 18) Jean-Eric Vergne 19) Daniel Ricciardo 20) Valtteri Bottas 21) Esteban Gutierrez 22) Charles Pic

  30. 1405: 

    The top three: 1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Sebastian Vettel 3) Mark Webber

  31. 1404: 

    Wow. What an incredible end to qualifying. I told you it was going to be good, didn't I? There was tension all the way to the end. Thank you Spa.

  32. 1403: 

    "Congratulations Lewis. P1 man. Spot on," says Lewis Hamilton's race engineer. "Wahooooooooooooooooooo," replies Hamilton. That's four pole positions in a row for the Mercedes driver.

  33. 1402: 

    Mark Webber goes quickest with a tasty lap, but Sebastian Vettel steals it! No he doesn't, it's Lewis Hamilton! LEWIS HAMILTON IS ON POLE POSITION FOR THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX!

  34. 1401: 

    NICO ROSBERG HAS GONE FASTEST! Unbelievable! It's incredible how quickly the conditions are changing. Paul Di Resta is in the pits - it won't be his day.

  35. 1400: 

    The rain has eased off and the track conditions are definitely improving.

  36. 1359: 

    It's a very good lap from Lewis Hamilton to go third, but he's still 2.236 seconds off the pace. Nico Rosberg finds a time from somewhere to go second, half a second off the pace. Very impressive.

  37. 1358: 

    "Come on mate, you've got a big advantage over the others," says Felipe Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley. The Brazilian clocks a 2:02.332 which is good enough for second. That will probably be enough to stay there.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "We've got the heavy rain here now outside the commentary box window."

  39. 1357: 

    The rain is really coming down now. I think Paul Di Resta is on his way to the first pole position of his career!

  40. 1356: 

    Force India's Paul Di Resta clocks a 2:02.332 to go fastest. That is a stunning effort and one that will be tough to beat.

  41. 1355: 

    "We need to get out there as soon as possible," says Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

  42. 1354: 

    Have Force India pulled it out of the bag? Paul Di Resta waited, while everyone else headed out on slicks. He's now out there on the inters as the rest funnel into the pit lane for the inters.

  43. 1353: 

    It's go, go, go. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg's race engineer says there is rain at Turn 14, 15 and 16.

  44. 1352: 

    There's a queue of cars at the pit lane exit, the drivers gagging to get out in case the rain intensifies. They're all out on slick tyres.

  45. 1351: 

    It's raining again at Spa!

  46. 1350: 

    Eddie Jordan has "a gut feeling" it will be Kimi Raikkonen on pole for the first time this season.

  47. 1349: 

    The weather radar shows that a band of rain is moving towards the race track. Will it reach in time for the third and final part of qualifying?

  48. 1348: 

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton just scraped through by a few thousandths of a second. Lucky boy. Sergio Perez will be disappointed with 13th as his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button managed fifth.

  49. 1347: 

    1) Raikkonen 2) Alonso 3) Rosberg 4) Webber 5) Button 6) Vettel 7) Grosjean 8) Di Resta 9) Massa 10) Hamilton

    Geido van der Garde

    After his Q1 heroics on a drying track, Caterham's Giedo van der Garde is out in 14th. Good effort.

  51. 1346: 

    Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil, Sergio Perez, Giedo Van Der Garde, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton.

  52. 1345: 

    Kimi Raikkonen finishes fastest in the second part of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

  53. 1344: 

    Jenson Button leaves it late, but he manages to haul himself out of the drop zone and into Q3 with the fifth fastest time.

  54. 1343: 

    The chequered flag is out as Force India's Paul Di Resta goes fourth fastest, one place ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

    James Allen, BBC Radio 5 live commentator

    "Nervous faces up and down the pitlane. There's a chance of some big scalps falling here."

  56. 1342: 

    Fernando Alonso goes quickest now, with Mark Webber second. The Spaniard was three tenths quicker than Webber in the final sector.

  57. 1341: 

    Nico Hulkenberg nails a brilliant lap to go second quickest in the Sauber, just 0.255 seconds slower than Red Bull's championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

  58. 1340: 

    Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Giedo Van Der Garde, Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi and Nico Rosberg are currently in the drop zone.

  59. 1339: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes second with his first timed lap, just over two tenths off the pace set by Kimi Raikkonen. However, the Mercedes driver is bumped down a place as Sebastian Vettel goes nearly half a second faster than anyone else.

  60. 1337: 

    Jenson Button goes fifth in his McLaren, nearly eight tenths off the pace. The Force Indias are well placed in sixth and seventh respectively, with Adrian Sutil edging his team-mate Paul Di Resta.

  61. 1335: 

    Kimi Raikkonen goes quickest on the medium tyres, 0.760 seconds clear of Mark Webber who did his time on the hard tyres. Fernando Alonso is third, with Romain Grosjean fourth and Paul Di Resta fifth.

    Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are still in their respective garages and have yet to set a timed lap with seven minutes remaining.

  62. 1332: 

    Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen locks up his front right at the Bus Stop chicane which loses him a bunch of time. The Finn still goes third fastest, one spot behind team-mate Romain Grosjean.

  63. 1331: 

    Nico Hulkenberg gets a time on the board, a 1:51.193, in the Sauber. The German is immediately bumped down by the Red Bull of Mark Webber.

  64. 1330: 

    Red Bull's Mark Webber has headed out on the more durable hard tyre but Jenson Button isn't going anywhere at the moment. The McLaren driver is in the cockpit while a handful of mechanics work on the rear of the car.

  65. 1329: 

    It's time to trim the field a little further with six drivers facing the axe in this 15-minute session.

  66. 1328: 

    It was very much a case of leaving it as late as possible in that session. Pastor Maldonado did his flier very early and though he went quickest, he dropped down the timesheets and ultimately got knocked out.

  67. 1327: 

    The Toro Rossos had looked so strong in this morning's practice, with Jean-Eric Vergne fourth quickest. However they are both out in Q1, with Vergne 18th and Ricciardo 19th.

  68. 1326: 

    Pastor Maldonado, Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Gutierrez and Charles Pic.

  69. 1324: 

    For the first time this season, all four Brits make it into Q2 as Max Chilton makes it through for the first time in his career, Marussia's gamble to put their drivers on the slick tyres pays off as Jules Bianchi and Chilton finish 11th and 16th fastest overall. Incredible scenes. It's even better for Caterham who see their driver Giedo Van Der Garde finishes third, yes third.

  70. 1323: 

    Fernando Alonso finishes fastest in the first part of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

  71. 1322: 

    Paul Di Resta makes a mess of it at the final chicane and almost hits a Marussia as he rejoins the track.

  72. 1321: 

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are both in the drop zone!

  73. 1320: 

    Mark Webber goes quickest, but he is soon demoted by Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Jenson Button hauls himself out of the drop zone and into third.

  74. 1319: 

    Ferrari's Felipe Massa on team radio: "I'm getting a lot of traffic." His race engineer Rob Smedley replies: "Yeah, everybody is out on track right now."

  75. 1318: 

    Williams' Pastor Maldonado goes quickest by 0.721 seconds on a brand new set of intermediate tyres, but has he gone too early?


    Force India: Back to track - both cars, still on inters. Track still too wet in places for dry tyres.


    Dipo Adebowale: Ferrari or McLaren on a surprise pole today with the wet conditions.

  78. 1316: 

    Marussia's Max Chilton and Caterham's Giedo Van Der Garde have bravely headed out on slick tyres with four minutes remaining.

  79. 1314: 

    Pastor Maldonado, Paul Di Resta, Jules Bianchi, Charles Pic, Giedo Van Der Garde and Max Chilton are currently in the drop zone.

  80. 1313: 

    Lewis Hamilton is our new leader, clocking a 2:04.618, 1.3 seconds quicker than Kimi Raikkonen with Fernando Alonso third. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, who are fifth and seventh, are both in the Red Bull garage with seven minutes remaining.

  81. 1312: 

    Sebastian Vettel's race engineer Rocky reports that the rain has stopped and the challenge will be whether they should go for a new set of inters or maybe try slicks for the closing minutes as the track will continue to dry.

  82. 1311: 

    Sebastian Vettel makes it a Red Bull 1-2, clocking a 2:06.279 which is 0.366 seconds quicker than team-mate Mark Webber.Nico Rosberg is down to third, with Lewis Hamilton fifth.

    Fernando Alonso is 10th in the Ferrari. Both Force Indias are currently in the dropzone with the Marussias and Caterhams.

  83. 1309: 

    Esteban Gutierrez goes second in the Sauber, 0.066 seconds behind leader Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is 11th, one place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.

  84. 1307: 

    Lewis Hamilton finally gets past the second Marussia at the Bus Stop chicane to get himself some clear air for a proper flying lap. The Briton is currently second fastest, with 13 minutes remaining.

  85. 1305: 

    Nico Rosberg goes quickest, clocking a 2:06.865, with Lewis Hamilton going second despite losing time behind the two Marussias. Sergio Perez is third, with Fernando Alonso fourth and Romain Grosjean fifth.

  86. 1303: 

    Pastor Maldonado gets it all wrong at Les Combes, outbraking himself and bouncing across the sleeping policeman before rejoining the track. That lap won't count which means the Venezuelan has wasted the opportunity of having clear air at the front of the field.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "I love these conditions. I think it's great fun."

  88. 1301: 

    Pastor Maldonado is the first man out on track, followed by Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas and the two Toro Rossos.

  89. 1300: 

    The first part of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix is under way. We've got 20 minutes of action, with the slowest six drivers getting the boot.


    Williams' Pastor Maldonado's team radio: "The main thing is to get a lap on the board and then we'll see how the weather goes. Once you've done the lap, look after the tyres."

  91. 1255: 

    The rain continues to fall with five minutes to go until qualifying starts. The fans were prepared for the conditions, with those on the hillsides and uncovered grandstands wrapped up in raincoats and shielding themselves with umbrellas.

  92. 1250: 

    "We're having difficulty getting the front and rear tyres to come in together," says Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn during an interview with Suzi Perry. His drivers were ninth (Rosberg) and 12th (Hamilton) this morning.

    "We're anticipating a mixed race tomorrow so we've made a compromise on the car. It's a guess. We know it's going to patchy, we don't know if it will be wet the whole race or dry the whole race. But it gives opportunity."

  93. 1245: 

    It's raining at Spa. That is all.

  94. 1240: 

    Mercedes have taken seven of the last eight pole positions. Lewis Hamilton has secured four of those, Nico Rosberg three. Sebastian Vettel is the only other man to start on P1 this season, with three poles to his name.


    John E Blythe: Re 1227. F1 is definitely going to miss Mark Webber. An honest, fast driving and hard working guy,

    Richard Sparrow: Mark Webber just showed again why he is a totally different class of person when compared to most of the rest of the paddock.

    Andy Baker: Mark Webber really is such a top lad!

    Have your say using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only).

  96. 1235: 

    Our man on the ground Andrew Benson reports that there will be rain in 20 minutes, according to the teams' weather forecasts. Qualifying starts in 25 minutes.

  97. 1231: 
    James Allen commentating in Belgium

    Coverage for the Belgian GP this weekend is live across the BBC - on TV, radio & online.

    Qualifying is live on BBC One now and online.

    Race coverage on Sunday is on BBC One from 1210 BST, on 5 live and here online. The F1 Forum is at 1515 on the Red Button for connected TV users only. TV highlights are on BBC Three at 1900 BST and on the Red Button.

    And don't forget all the lovely extra camera streams available online during qualifying and the race, including the pit lane feed (also available on the Red Button), driver tracker, on-board, timing screens and alternative commentary.

    For more information on what's available on Red Button, connected TV and alternative camera views, check out the Formula 1 pages.

  98. 1227: 

    Another really honest interview with Mark Webber on BBC One right now. The Australian admits that as you get older, you lose "a sniff" in qualifying, adding that he's very content with his decision to leave the team - and the sport - at the end of the season.

    "For me to leave a team which is at the top of it's game, whether it's too early, I don't know - but I'm ready," he said. "I want a change of scenery."

    On his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, Webber said: "It was very satisfying to beat his time on the Top Gear test track. Seb in a race car, we know he is no fool. He has done some interesting things in an F1 car. It will be interesting to see where his career lies in a few years time. We'll see what happens."

  99. 1222: 

    So just a reminder that qualifying will last one hour and be split into three sessions. The first will last 20 minutes, with the six slowest drivers knocked out. The second lasts 15 minutes and will see another six depart. That leaves 10 to fight it out for pole in a 10-minute shoot-out.


    Alex Withington: F1 is back + at the best race track in the world! Red Bull strong in both qual + race looks like the weather will shake it up though!

  101. 1217: 

    If you're just tuning in, you'll have missed Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets in final practice this morning. The Red Bull driver edged out Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, with team-mate Mark Webber third and Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne an impressive fourth.


    Daniel Johnson: Re 1208. Double maroon trousers for DC and Eddie... I think I approve?

    James Dunkley: David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan are sporting some canny chinos today!

    Will B: EJ's fashion sense impeccable as ever!

  103. 1213: 
    Eddie Jordan

    Eddie Jordan at Spa means it's the perfect opportunity to remember the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix when his Jordan team took their first F1 victory through Damon Hill with team-mate Ralf Schumacher making it a 1-2. In fact, the race that had it all was Murray Walker's Belgian GP memory this week.

  104. 1210: 

    Fire up the TV and flick over to BBC Two. If you can't gain control of the remote, log on to the BBC Sport website and watch the action there. Or if you're out and about, get on your BBC Sport app and watch on you smartphone. It's pretty much impossible to miss the action.

  105. 1208: 
    Eddie Jordan

    I've just caught a glimpse of Eddie Jordan's shirt, thanks to David Coulthard's Twitter account, and I'm pleased to report it's another corker. The former team boss has gone for a green number coupled with a pair of burgundy trousers. A typically bold move.

  106. 1206: 

    But let's switch our attention back to the on-track action and the subject qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix. Rain is predicted, but there's no sign of it right now with just under an hour until the session starts.

  107. 1203: 

    There was lots of chat about yep, you guessed it, tyres this morning, with Pirelli finding the cause of the punctures, which Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel suffered on Friday. There was then the news that Michelin, whose tyres were deemed unsafe to compete at Indianapolis for the 2005 United States Grand Prix, could make a return to the sport in 2014.

  108. 1200: 

    Hello, I'm back. I hope you're suitably refreshed ready for what could be the most exciting qualifying session of the year.

  109. 1120: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    The threat of rain for qualifying means between 1300 and 1400 BST, you really can't afford to be anywhere other than on your sofa with BBC One on your TV and this live text commentary on your laptop or mobile phone next to you. I'm off for a quick break but will be back at 1200 to begin building up to the highlight of the day - Belgian Grand Prix qualifying. See you there.

  110. 1115: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's final practice report. If you've got a spare 10 minutes and six seconds, may I recommended watching Inside F1 with Lee McKenzie and Eddie Jordan.

  111. 1110: 

    Sebastian Vettel was once again the class of the field in third practice, but there was a stronger showing from Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa both in the top five. Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne was also impressive with the fourth fastest time while Esteban Gutierrez did a decent job in the Sauber to finish seventh.

  112. 1107: 

    I've got a spot of breaking news for you, folks. No sooner has the on-track session ended that we're talking about tyres again.

    Michelin is in the frame to be Formula 1's tyre supplier next year. The French company has had discussions with governing body the FIA about taking over from Pirelli, high-level sources say.

    There is widespread discount with Pirelli following a series of tyre problems this season and Michelin, which last supplied tyres to F1 in 2006, has told teams it could logistically produce the tyres, despite the late notice.

  113. 1103: 

    1) Vettel 2) Alonso 3) Webber 4) Vergne 5) Massa 6) Button 7) Gutierrez 8) Grosjean 9) Rosberg 10) Raikkonen 11) Ricciardo

    12) Hamilton 13) Sutil 14) Bottas 15) Di Resta 16) Perez 17) Hulkenberg 18) Maldonado 19) Pic 20) Van Der Garde 21) Bianchi 22) Chilton

  114. 1100: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    Sebastian Vettel finishes fastest in third and final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.

  115. 1059: 

    It's another cracker from Jean-Eric Vergne who goes fourth. The Toro Rosso driver has been on it all weekend and could be on for his best qualifying slot later this afternoon if he keeps this up. He's three tenths quicker than his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who has been linked with a Red Bull seat next season.

  116. 1058: 

    Sebastian Vettel goes fastest in the Red Bull, one tenth quicker than Fernando Alonso's Ferrari. "You need a couple of tenths in sector two", says Rocky, Vettel's race engineer.

  117. 1057: 

    Mark Webber goes second fastest, one tenth slower than the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso with Sauber rookie Esteban Gutierrez nailing an impressive lap to go fifth.

  118. 1056: 

    Kimi Raikkonen gets perilously close to Fernando Alonso at the Bus Stop chicane, with the Finn on a flying lap and Alonso plodding into the pits. The Lotus driver completes the lap and goes fifth fastest.

  119. 1053: 

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso smashes the fastest time, clocking a 1:48.432, seven tenths quicker than the rest of the field. Nico Rosberg slots into second, half a second adrift in the Mercedes, but Felipe Massa splits the pair in his Ferrari, 0.356 seconds shy of his double world champion team-mate.

  120. 1050: 

    Adrian Sutil goes fastest with a 1:49.135, 0.344 seconds faster than anyone else. However, the Force India driver is the only man to have set a time on the medium tyres so far.

  121. 1048: 

    Force India's Adrian Sutil is the first man to try the medium tyres on for size. He compromises his lap at Turn One, though, locking the front right as he negotiates the hairpin before getting on the power and heading up Eau Rouge.

  122. 1045: 

    It's quiet out on track, with all 22 cars parked up in their respective garages. Next time we see the cars, they are likely to be running the faster option tyre.

  123. 1040: 

    So Jean-Eric Vergne leads from Sebastian Vettel, with Kimi Raikkonen third, Valtteri Bottas fourth and Nico Rosberg fifth. Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber and Jenson Button complete the top 10.


    Force India: As both cars get worked on in the pits, we're happy to report the new cooling solutions are working well. Spa is always a test for the car.

  125. 1032: 

    The hard tyre - with orange markings - is the tyre of choice at the moment. The medium - which is the white marked rubber and the faster of the two this weekend - is expected to make an appearance towards the end of this session when drivers do a low-fuel run in preparation for qualifying.

  126. 1028: 

    Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne is the man on top of the pile now, 0.280 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. Elsewhere, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is 0.370 seconds off the pace in fifth with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton sixth.

  127. 1023: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton gets it wrong at the Bus Stop chicane again. This time, the rear end steps out and the Briton spins his Mercedes 180 degrees. No real issue, though, as he rolls back onto the run-off and then accelerates away bound for the pit lane.

  128. 1020: 

    Big moment for Felipe Massa at Turn Nine. The Brazilian reports problems with understeer and then almost hits the barriers as the car becomes unstable as he gets on the gas. Good save.


    Michael Scofield: "Hoping for a wet quali to spice things up on the grid! Would like to see a Ferrari higher up than fifth for once!"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Spa-Francorchamps:

    "Lotus again tested their straight-line speed boosting 'device' in Friday practice here, but they will not be racing it this weekend. Technical director Nick Chester said the team had not had enough dry-weather running to fine-tune it. This is always a problem for a system that is designed to operate automatically and reduces the drag of the car by 'stalling' the rear wing - making it less effective above a certain velocity."

  131. 1015: 

    Kimi Raikkonen leads the way in his Lotus, 0.047 seconds quicker than the Williams of Valtteri Bottas. Lewis Hamilton is third, 0.098 adrift, with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg a smidgen behind in fourth.

  132. 1010: 

    The lap is lost for Lewis Hamilton has he locks the front left, braking too late into the Bus Stop chicane. The Mercedes driver doesn't attempt to turn into the corner, simply cruising onto the run-off before rejoining the track and starting another lap.

  133. 1009: 

    It's installation laps for Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso right now, whereas Lewis Hamilton puts the hammer down straight away and is up in the first two sectors of this very long lap.


    Force India: FP3 is a shorter session: our programme for the hour is for two runs on hard tyres and one on mediums for each of our drivers.

  135. 1006: 

    It's a McLaren 1-2 on the timesheets now, with Sergio Perez going fastest with a 1:50.548, one and a half tenths quicker than Jenson Button.


    David Tyrrell F1: If it is wet conditions for Qualy could we see @McLarenF1 come through with Button who can use the wet conditions to his advantage.

  137. 1003: 

    Pastor Maldonado gets straight down to business, clocking a 1:52.479 to get our first time on the board. That's soon beaten by his Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas, though, the Finn going 1.3 seconds quicker on his first timed effort.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Spa-Francorchamps:

    "More info on the tyre drama. I've seen the piece of metal retrieved from the kerbs at Turn 13. It's a curved piece broken off the skidplate of Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus. The two edges match puncture marks on Fernando Alonso's failed tyre and the width of a part of it matches the cut in Sebastian Vettel's. Raikkonen had an off there at 1505 and 50 seconds in second practice. Alonso and Vettel both ran wide at the same place shortly afterwards - Alonso at 1508.04 and Vettel at 1508.25. Gary Anderson describes that as 'good detective work', but adds: 'Tyres need to be durable enough to withstand that and at the moment I don't think they are durable enough.'"

  139. 1000: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Jules Bianchi is the first man out in the Marussia as this session gets under way. The Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean peel off to the side of the track on the pit lane exit to do a practice start.

  140. 0957: 

    Suzi Perry and Gary Anderson are go, go, go on BBC Two and online. We've got Jennie Gow and Tom Clarkson in the pit lane, too. Ben Edwards is up in the commentary box.

  141. 0955: 

    Have Red Bull got this weekend in the bag already? Are Mercedes bluffing and hiding their pace? Can Ferrari muster something up to give them a chance of fighting for the win on Sunday? And who could cause a surprise if a rain shower hits to create some pretty tricky conditions?

    You know the drill. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only) remembering to put your name on those SMS messages or they'll never see the light of day.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Spa-Francorchamps:

    "Despite Red Bull's impressive pace on Friday, it would be a surprise if the Mercedes drivers were not in the fight for pole position. Either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg has been on pole for six of the last seven races, and Hamilton was not too downbeat despite being 1.4secs slower than the Red Bulls. 'I'm struggling,' Hamilton admitted. 'The car doesn't feel as good as it did in the last race - but I'm still hopeful. I don't think the car is bad, I just think we need to refine the set-up. The Red Bulls are obviously very quick, but I don't think they're unbeatable.' Hamilton hopes set-up changes made overnight will sort the car out."

  143. 0951: 

    Mercedes were what Lewis Hamilton described as "a long way off" after Friday practice - but we've seen this before at recent grands prix and they've always fought back on Sunday. The Briton, who won his first race of the season last time out on Friday, said the team had "started off on the right foot" but added: "We have some things to change, but we still have time". The Briton finished 12th, with team-mate Nico Rosberg ninth.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Spa-Francorchamps:

    "Away from the tyre drama, there was some driving happening on Friday, and the Red Bulls looked forbiddingly fast. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were 0.8 seconds clear of the field on one-lap pace, and both looked just as strong on the race-simulation runs. Lotus - their closest challengers through Romain Grosjean, who was a couple of tenths quicker than Kimi Raikkonen - were reasonably pleased with their pace, but an insider admitted they were 'nowhere near the Red Bulls.'"

  145. 0947: 

    Qualifying kicks off at 1300 BST but before that, of course, we have the small matter of third practice, which starts at 1000 and will be live on BBC Two and online. It lasts one hour and is a final chance for teams to refine their cars for qualifying and also Sunday's race.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Spa-Francorchamps:

    "The tyre safety problem that has re-emerged here has refocused the growing discontent in the sport at its tyre supplier. Increasingly, it seems Bernie Ecclestone - to whom Pirelli pay many millions in sponsorship money is the only person who wants it to continue as tyre supplier.

    "Last month in Germany two team bosses told me there was no chance of any other supplier coming into F1 next season. I asked one of them on Friday whether he still thought that, and he said no. But the problem is, who would replace them? There are rumblings Michelin might be interested, but this team boss said that was not the case. And he accused FIA president Jean Todt of 'sitting on his bum (although he used a less polite word) and doing nothing'. He concluded: 'It's a joke. We shouldn't be in this situation.'"


    Simon Lynwood: Gutted I'm not in #Spa this year. The cameras don't do the track justice; seeing how fast an F1 car can go around there is unbelievable.

  148. 0943: 

    Red Bull were the class of the field on Friday, with Sebastian Vettel topping the times in second practice, a few thousandths ahead of team-mate Mark Webber but a staggering eight tenths quicker than anyone else. Rather worryingly for everyone else, they also had good pace in the tricky wet conditions in first practice.


    Williams race team manager Dickie Stanford: Track temp 21. Air temp 20. Wind speed 6kph. Dry at this time but rain is coming!

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Spa-Francorchamps:

    "The drivers collectively were described by one senior insider as 'pretty spiky' on the subject of tyre safety and one of those most unhappy was Red Bull's Mark Webber. However, the Australian admitted that the infamous Spa weather may rescue F1 and Pirelli from a serious problem. Or as he put it, 'be kind to them'. The tyres are under much less stress in the rain - so the problem will likely go away if it is wet."

  151. 0939: 

    On Friday, Spa had a bit of everything with a wet track in the morning and a dry one in the afternoon. Today, it looks set to be the opposite way round, with dry, overcast conditions right now and rain predicted for qualifying later on. Get those umbrellas ready, folks. This has got a mixed up grid written all over it.

  152. 0936: 

    Spa is famed for having its own microclimate which produces unpredictable weather conditions. And such is the length of the track - it's 7.004km long - that it can be raining on one side of the circuit and bone dry on the other. Quite the conundrum for the teams and their drivers.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Spa-Francorchamps:

    "In one way or another, tyres have been at the centre of this Formula 1 season, and they are threatening to be so again at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. There were two right-rear tyre failures during second practice on Friday, one shown on television on Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and one on Fernando Alonso's Ferrari, which did not completely deflate.

    "The drivers - who two races ago threatened to boycott the German Grand Prix if the failures seen at the British race were repeated - were not happy at all. They demanded reassurances that the tyres were safe and some even talked of potentially boycotting the race. Pirelli investigated the failures and have come to the conclusion that they were caused by a piece of metal discovered at Turn 13 that matches the size of the holes in the tyres. Race director Charlie Whiting has reassured the drivers that they can continue, but it is going to be a nervous weekend here."

  154. 0933: 

    Hello everybody. Welcome to our live coverage of final practice and qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at the magnificent Spa Francorchamps circuit, nestled in the Ardennes forest.

  155. 0930: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    Eau Rouge. Two words that are pretty special in Formula 1. It's not so much a corner as a launch ramp, lined with the towering trees of the Ardennes forest, bound for the sky.

    On entry, drivers face a 60 degree incline, a rise of 80m. They'll have the gas pedal to the floor, doing over 300kph, as they seemingly hurtle towards the clouds - which are almost always somewhere close at Spa. Then they hit the crest and the track suddenly comes back into view.

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel once described the left-right sweep as an "adventure". It remains one of the most challenging corners in the world.

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FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2015

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 43
2 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 40
3 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 33
4 Brazil F Massa Williams 20
5 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 12
6 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 10
7 Finland V Bottas Williams 10
8 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 9
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 6
10 M Verstappen Toro Rosso 6
11 C Sainz Toro Rosso 6
12 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 4
13 Russia D Kvyat Red Bull 2
14 Mexico S Perez Force India 1
15 France R Grosjean Lotus 0
16 Great Britain J Button McLaren 0
17 R Merhi Manor Marussia F1 0
18 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Spain F Alonso McLaren 0
21 W Stevens Manor Marussia F1 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham