There were no unexpected early exits after the first phase of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, as the five drivers regularly posting the slowest times in free practice bowed out.
Force India made a concerted effort to haul at least one of its cars into round two for the first time this season, with Adrian Sutil especially finding tenths on every run. However, it still wasn't enough for the young German, who found himself bumped back into the danger zone by late improvements from Timo Glock and Mark Webber.
Webber had begin the final runs hovering just under the axe, but found a good enough lap to vault up to eighth place, condemning Sutil to join Force India team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella, Honda twins Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello and Williams rookie Kazuki Nakajima in missing the cut.
Fastest lap was moved from Nelson Piquet Jr, the first man on track, via Glock, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton before the Briton's McLaren team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen, appeared to have top spot sewn up - only for Sebastien Bourdais to make the most of a grippier track and Bridgestone's softer rubber to claim the honours.
Kovalainen, Massa, Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top five, the world champion appearing a little happier with his new Ferrari, while Piquet, Robert Kubica, David Coulthard, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso made the top ten.