Jenson Button was in the wrong place at the wrong time as times tumbled in second qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, the Briton finding himself down in 13th at the end of a hectic, and interrupted, session.

While the likes of Bruno Senna, Jaime Alguersuari and Sergio Perez all found late laps to jump into the pole position shoot-out, Button was in the pits as his time was pushed further and further down the order, with Senna's late improvement enough to condemn the McLaren man to an early bath. Also missing out was Adrian Sutil, who held a top five position before clattering the wall at Raidillon and bringing out the red flags, Kamui Kobayashi, who yo-yo'd in and out of the top ten, both Williams drivers and Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen.

The second McLaren of Lewis Hamilton required a late effort - and a little help from Button - to break into the top ten, but the 2008 world champion then had a run-in with Williams' Pastor Maldonado after then chequered flag. Having had to get a little robust with the Venezuelan in order to complete his lap in heavy traffic, Hamilton was then on the receiving end of a vicious swerve from his mercurial opponent as they exited La Source on the slowing down lap.

The fastest time of the session went to Fernando Alonso, who vaulted out of the drop zone to post a 2min 02.768secs effort, and the Spaniard will be joined in the pole shoot-out by Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, both Red Bulls, the lone McLaren of Hamilton - although that will require a little work before it can take part - Alguersuari's Toro Rosso, the Renault of Senna and Vitaly Petrov, Perez's Sauber and the remaining Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.