A month’s time has passed since our Sunday mornings have held such excitement. The mandatory Formula One summer break has finally ended and we couldn’t be more excited to see what the second half of 2013 holds. If you’re just joining us, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has walked out to an early mid-season points lead, but don’t give up hope on a new world champion just yet. Yesterday’s free practice and today’s qualifying show a new trend.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton make good on summer promises with pole position Saturday, with a stunning show in Q3. With only seconds left on an already soaking Spa Circuit, Hamilton edges out pole from Vettel, pushing Mark Webber to third position and Nico Rosberg to fourth. Performance was stunning due to the conditions, but more remarkable was the tenacity of Force India’s Paul di Resta. Qualifying has been downright poor for di Resta this season, but after nudging his way into Q3, di Resta made the boldly started on the Intermediate compound – among a field buttoned up in dry tires. The tactic worked, cementing pole position for most of the Q3 duration, to be slid back to fifth as the clock ran out, tying di Resta’s best starting position.
Stroke of good luck or real progress in Woking? You decide. Jenson Button put his McLaren in sixth position following some good and bad practices this weekend. Perhaps McLaren has improved the car, but we suspect it’s just Button working at the limit. Remember, he won this race last year.
Rounding out the top ten are the Lotuses of Grosjean and Raikkonen, followed by the Ferraris of Alonso and Massa. Massa allegedly has been given his two-race ultimatum – perform or close the door on Ferrari. Stay tuned for a recap of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at historic Spa Francorchamps.