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Saubers crash out of Q1 at Spa

Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa both wasted the chance to move into Q2 at Spa-Francorchamps after crashing in tricky conditions.
The BMW Sauber team paid the biggest price in an opening qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix blighted by the return of the rain after just a few minutes, with the changing track conditions making setting a good enough time something of a lottery.

Vitaly Petrov putting a wheel on the still damp kerb at Liege caused an early red flag as his Renault was retrieved from the barriers and, by the time the action resumed, the rain clouds were over Rivage, bringing chaos as drivers fought for track position and, in some cases, ran out of road.

Times tumbled as the survivors made their way across the line, with Lewis Hamilton eventually pipping McLaren team-mate Jenson Button for top spot but, with the shower abating as quickly as it had arrived, the drying track provided the opportunity for others to redeem their situation.

Sebastian Vettel was the first to recognise the potential of intermediate rubber, hauling himself up from a perilous 17th to third, with Adrian Sutil, Jarno Trulli, Bruno Senna and Heikki Kovalainen doing likewise to escape the drop zone. However, when Robert Kubica went fastest of all, almost everyone was forced to return to the track, shaking up the order.

Sauber's bid to cement its place in Q2 slipped up when both Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa went off, at Rivage and Fagnes respectively, handing the newcomer teams a rare chance to progress. Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen were the drivers to take advantage, progressing in 16th and 17th positions, while Senna, HRT team-mate Sakon Yamamoto and Virgin's Lucas di Grassi dropping out.

Nico Rosberg headed namesake Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello at the top of the order, with Kubica and Michael Schumacher completing the top five.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Friday Practice 1, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP F1 Team, MGP W01
Friday Practice 1, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Lotus Racing, T127
Friday Practice 2, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP), BMW Sauber F1 Team, C29
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36 and Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32 and Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40 and Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
26.03.2017 - Race, Start of the race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36 and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
26.03.2017 - Race, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Sauber C36

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