Hamilton storms to tenth pole position of 2015 in Belgium

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Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix from pole position after topping the timesheets in qualifying at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton recorded a fastest lap of 1:47.197 to beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 0.458 seconds in the final stage of qualifying as the German team once again locked out the front row of the grid.

The result marked Hamilton’s tenth pole position of the 2015 season, and also sees him clinch the second FIA Pole Trophy, awarded to the best qualifier in F1 each year.

Despite showing good signs of pace on Friday in practice, Rosberg was unable to match Hamilton in the middle sector at Spa, leaving him to settle for second place on the grid.

Williams emerged as the best of the rest in qualifying as Valtteri Bottas finished third, albeit 1.3 seconds behind Hamilton’s best time. Teammate Felipe Massa qualified seventh, marking the team’s best results thus far this weekend at Spa.

Romain Grosjean led Lotus’ charge once again in qualifying at Spa as he qualified fourth, marking his best Saturday result of the season. However, he will drop down to P9 for the start thanks to a gearbox penalty. As a result, Sergio Perez, who finished an excellent fifth for Force India, will start from fourth ahead of 2014 race winner Daniel Ricciardo.

Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado qualified eighth on Saturday ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who struggled in the final part of the session and had to settle for P9 overall. Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top ten for Toro Rosso.

Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat were two of the surprise dropouts in Q2 at Spa as both struggled to find enough pace in the dying seconds of the session. A fast lap from Force India teammate Perez dumped Hulkenberg out in 11th place ahead of Kvyat and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

Kimi Raikkonen may have a new Ferrari deal under his belt, but this did not improve his luck in qualifying as he suffered a sudden oil pressure drop on his car at the beginning of Q2, causing him to stop out on track.

As a result, the four-time Belgian Grand Prix winner was left P14 come the end of the session, only ahead of Max Verstappen who chose not to run due to a grid penalty.

McLaren endured another difficult qualifying at Spa on Saturday as both Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were eliminated in Q1. Both struggled with the long straights thanks to the power deficiencies of the Honda power unit, leaving them 17th and 18th overall behind Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.

However, both drivers will start from the back row of the grid thanks to the power unit penalties accumulated so far this weekend, amounting to a total of 105 positions. As a result, Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi will gain some positions from their 19th and 20th-place finishes in qualifying.

Tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET. For more details, click here.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold