Sebastian Vettel confirmed that Red Bull would be a factor in the Belgian Grand Prix by snatching pole position from under the noses of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and RBR team-mate Mark Webber in a frantic qualifying session.
Despite rain clouds looming over the Ardennes, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit continued to dry, with times tumbling as a result. Although Sergio Perez set the ball rolling with a 1min 58.3secs lap, there were bigger guns behind him, with Fernando Alonso and Webber each taking a turn at the top. Perez then proved how much the track was drying by returning to P1, before Webber twice improved on the target time.
Vettel then threw his hat into the ring, lowering his team-mate's 1min 49secs best before Hamilton defied the damage inflicted on his car by Pastor Maldonado in Q2 to take nearly half a second off the benchmark. Vettel wasn't done, however, and crossed the line shortly after the Briton, taking another half-second to claim yet another pole for Red Bull Racing at a circuit where McLaren and Ferrari were expected to have the upper hand.
Webber, who had been quickest throughout free practice, had to settle for third and will start alongside Felipe Massa, who got the better of Ferrari team-mate Alonso in the dying seconds. The Spaniard, meanwhile, was also bumped by Nico Rosberg, Jaime Alguersuari and Bruno Senna, with Sergio Perez and Vitaly Petrov rounding out the top ten.
Full report and times to follow.....