Lewis Hamilton has ended his streak of disappointing qualifying results in Belgium today after securing second place on the grid behind his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg.
The Briton was unable to top his teammate’s time in wet conditions at the end of Q3, but this still marks his first front-row start since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.
Speaking in the post-session FIA press conference, Hamilton revealed that he had a problem with his front-left brake during the final part of qualifying that did not help his cause.
“I had a glazed front-left brake, so the car was pulling to the left,” he explained. “There was nothing I could do on the outlap to try and get rid of that, so I was struggling under braking.
“I had to make the braking point further back, I was losing massive amounts, particularly at turn one.”
Hamilton was asked whether or not he was disappointed with the result, given that his championship rival starts just ahead of him, but the Briton said that second place may in fact be a better place to start.
“I’m not disappointed today actually,” Hamilton said. “In previous years, P2 is actually the best place to start here, so I’m quite blessed that that is the case.
“I started on pole here last year and Sebastian [Vettel] passed me along the top straight, so I think it gives you the most opportunity.”
Indeed, since the turn of the century, the race has been won just five times from pole position – a hit rate of less than 50%.
For Hamilton though, it was a good result as it brings to an end his luckless form in qualifying. He hit trouble in Q1 in Germany and Hungary, forcing him to start from the back, but he still rallied to finish in the top three. This weekend, he will start from second place and faces less of a fight to make up the deficit to Rosberg in the championship.
“I’m just happy to be up here,” Hamilton said. “I was going into qualifying not knowing if the car was going to make it through it, and I’m grateful for all of the hard work that the team put in to make sure that we had no problems.
“It’s a great feeling to be back up here.”
You can watch the Belgian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow.