Belgian GP - Qualifying
Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix from the outside of Row 3, having set the sixth fastest time in Q3, while Luca Badoer unfortunately repeats his Valencia qualifying to start last. In the Italian’s defence, he has shown a distinct improvement in actual performance terms this weekend.
Even by the standards of this season, that has seen so many unexpected twists and turns, this afternoon’s session produced some amazing results. The top three places on the grid are all occupied by three drivers whose F1 future for next season is currently in doubt, if one is to believe paddock rumour. If the Italian Ferrari team’s result did not live up to expectations, the actual front row is an all-Italian affair, with Giancarlo Fisichella astonishing the entire paddock, as he secured pole position for Force India. Naturally, there’s much speculation that “Fisico” hasn’t got much “juice” in the tank. However, both he and team-mate, Adrian Sutil (11th today) have looked quite competitive all weekend. Alongside him is Jarno Trulli for Toyota, with third place going to the BMW of Nick Heidfeld. The winner in Valencia last Sunday, Rubens Barrichello, completes the second row for Brawn. Kimi has the BMW of Robert Kubica in fifth place alongside him.
Other front runners in the championship had a difficult day. The two Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are in eighth and ninth, Lewis Hamilton could do no better than twelfth for McLaren-Mercedes, while championship leader Jenson Button is way down in fourteenth spot.
Such an unusual looking grid should theoretically produce an interesting race, as the more usual contenders for victory try and force their way to the front. Here at Spa, the sweeping turns and long straights lend themselves to overtaking and in Kimi and Luca’s case, they will be hoping to benefit from the added power of the KERS system, which should be very useful at such a fast track. Forty four laps of Spa-Francorchamps will hopefully produce one of the most exciting races of the year so far.