Webber: Gamble paid off in qualifying

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Mark Webber has explained how his gamble in Q3 paid off as he managed to qualify in third place for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

With rain falling intermittently throughout all three qualifying sessions in Belgium, conditions were difficult for the drivers to handle. During Q1, Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi and Giedo van der Garde all made it through to Q2 by gambling on slick tires. Later in Q3, Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton all timed their final runs perfectly in order to overhaul Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets and lock out the top three slots on the grid.

“It was a difficult session to make all the right calls, but in the end I think we got most things right,” Webber said in the post-race press conference. “I think it’s very easy to look stupid in those conditions, but in the end we did most things pretty good I’d say.”

Webber explained the decision to put in a slower middle lap in order to allow conditions to improve and not over-use the tires, expressing his happiness that it went to plan and elevated him into the top three.

“It was a ballsy thing to go slower on the second to last lap to save the tires, when you’re still not sure if the track will improve for the last lap, but in the end it worked out and I’m happy to be up there for tomorrow’s race.“

This race will be Webber’s final appearance at Spa-Francorchamps as a Formula One driver ahead of his retirement at the end of the season, but he has already expressed his anticipation for returning to the track as part of Porsche’s LMP1 programme next year.

Video highlights from Sunday’s Dakar Rally Stage 8: Bikes, Cars, Quads, Trucks

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Sunday’s Stage 8 of the Dakar Rally brought the race into the final country it will compete in, Argentina.

Monday’s Stage 9 was cancelled after bad weather made course conditions impassible for racing. Stage 10 picks up Tuesday morning. The overall Rally ends Saturday.

Here’s some of Sunday’s key video highlights:

BIKES

Antoine Meo wins Stage 8.

QUADS 

Simon Vitse wins Stage 8.

CARS

Stephane Peterhansel wins Stage 8.

TRUCKS

Dmitry Sotnikov wins Stage 8.