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Saturday, Feb 28th

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Motorsport

Button blitzes field to claim his first pole for McLaren; Day for the underdogs as Kobayashi and Maldonado qualify 2nd and 3rd

button_spa_winJenson Button claimed his first pole position since the Monaco Grand Prix of 2009 with his former team Brawn, as the Briton took top spot in Qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix today. Kamui Kobayashi pulled a rabbit out of the hat to qualify his Sauber in 2nd place ahead of many established names while Pastor Maldonado qualified in a strong 3rd place for Williams.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified in 4th place for Lotus whileSergio Perez capped a brilliant day for Sauber qualifying in 5th place ahead of championship points leader Fernando Alonso.

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Lotus fourth and eighth in surprise Belgian Grand Prix grid

Lotus F1 team's Kimi Raikkonen starts the Belgian Grand Prix in fourth place after being pegged back by unexpected opposition in the final qualifying session today. Teammate Romain Grosjean had a difficult outing and lines up eighth for the race.

The team had to drop plans to run their much talked-about double DRS ‘Device' following the torrential rain on Friday which denied them the opportunity to further test the system. The Device is said to be worth about half a second a lap and would have been a significant advantage in qualifying and the race.

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Mixed qualifying for McLaren at Spa: Button cruises to pole, Hamilton seventh

Jenson Button was the class of the field in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit as he took his maiden pole position for McLaren in his 50th race for the team. Lewis Hamilton's gamble on setup of his car did not pay off as his pace was only good enough for 7th place on the grid.

The Woking outfit had to choose to split strategies for their MP4-27 contenders for qualifying as they were not content with their pace in the crucial morning practice session following the washout on Friday. Button ran with the new special-for-Spa rear wing, while Hamilton reverted to the older high-downforce wing set-up which would gain him time in the middle sector of the lap.

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Worrying qualifying for Red Bull at Spa: Vettel fails to make Q3, Webber 12th after penalty

Red Bull Racing seem to have taken a step backwards post the summer break, as a poor qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix this afternoon means their highest position for tomorrow's race is Sebastian Vettel's 10th. The World Champion however failed to make the cut to Q3 and is promoted one place after teammate Mark Webber takes a 5-place penalty from 7th on the grid for an unscheduled gearbox change to start at the back of row 6.

Australian Webber, second in the championship standings, was forced to change his gearbox after it was damaged in Hungary due to a differential failure. He thus went into qualifying with a 5-place handicap, his second in three races.

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Alonso leads the way for Ferrari in final Belgian Free Practice session; Top 6 covered by 0.5 s

The final practice session at the Belgian Grand Prix was a closely contested affair as Fernando Alonso drove his Prancing Horse to the top of the timesheets with a blistering 1.48.542 lap. Kimi Raikkonen finished the session 2nd fastest as he continued his love affair with the legendary circuit.

The Sauber duo of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi finished the session in 3rd and 4th places respectively while Jenson Button in his McLaren rounded off the top 5, nosing ahead of Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Romain Grosjean and last but not the least reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

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Belgian Grand Prix: Lotus postpones race debut for their Double DRS system

The Lotus Formula one team has decided against running its much anticipated Double DRS device at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. The torrential downpour on Friday at Spa turned out to be the reason as the Enstone based team was unable to properly test it under perfect conditions and thus have aborted the debut of the device.

James Allison, technical director of the Lotus team exercised a voice of caution after Friday practice saying "Today's rain prevented us from seeing how the Device would perform in the expected race conditions. With discretion being the better part of valour we will conduct P3 tomorrow with a conventional aero package rather than attempting to squeeze Friday's intended evaluation into the precious final practice session".

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2012 Belgian Grand Prix: Webber hit with five place grid penalty for Sunday showdown

Mark Webber's hopes for a swift return to form this weekend [having collected just 8 points from the previous two races] were dealt a huge blow as the Aussie was hit with a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change. The Red Bull ace will drop five places as a result on the grid for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix thanks to the unscheduled gearbox change.

The FIA sporting regulations state that- "A gearbox must last for five consecutive events", but the Red Bull team has decided to change the gearbox on Webber's RB8 after the previous round at Hungary.

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