Fingers and toes crossed for Jenson Button after he claimed his first pole position for McLaren ahead of tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix on medium tyres.
With the teams having only run on the Cinturato Blue full wet tyres yesterday, today was their first opportunity to sample the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero White medium slicks that have been nominated for Spa.
The medium tyre, which was between 0.6-0.9s faster than the hard compound at Spa, proved to be the default setting for the final top 10 shoot-out and once more more, the final grid order was decided in the closing seconds, with Button claiming his first pole position since 2009.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “After what could definitely be described as a wash-out yesterday, the teams faced a tough task to prepare for qualifying today, in what was effectively the first real return to action since the five-week break.
“Changeable weather is a hallmark of Spa, but our tyres have proved in the past that they are adaptable to a very wide range of conditions, even at this track where they face their highest energy loadings of the year.
“Like today, the forecast is predicting largely dry weather for tomorrow, which gives the teams the opportunity to formulate a number of different tyre strategies that could be effective around the longest lap of the season: we’re expecting two to three stops.
“We’d like to congratulate Jenson Button on his first pole for McLaren today as well as Kamui Kobayashi and Sauber in particular on a best-ever qualifying performance.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team