F1: Hamilton on pole in Belgium after rain hits Spa circuit

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While Ferrari had been quickest in practice on Friday and Saturday – Sebastien Vettel led FP1 and FP3, while Kimi Raikkonen led FP2 – it was Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes coming to the fore in qualifying for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix after a rain shower hit Spa-Francorchamps.

After Q1 and Q2 were completed in the dry, rain hit the track just before Q3 began, forcing all teams to use intermediate tires in the final qualifying session.

The track remained damp throughout the 10-minute session, but both Hamilton and Vettel were able to make significant gains in time in the final minutes as the rain subsided.

However, it was Hamilton ultimately getting the better of Vettel by just over seven tenths of a second to take his sixth pole of the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Behind them, the new-look Racing Point Force India team took advantage of the slippery conditions to lock out the second row, with Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez qualifying an impressive third and fourth. For Ocon, it is also the best qualifying performance of his F1 career.

Romain Grosjean qualified an impressive fifth for Haas, while Raikkonen ended up sixth. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo put the Red Bull team in seventh and eighth, while Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas rounded out Q3. Of note, Bottas will start last in Sunday’s race due to a power unit change.

Results are below. Sunday’s race begins at 9:00 a.m. ET.

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