Lewis Hamilton’s attempts to thwart team-mate Nico Rosberg in the frenetic battle for pole position was hindered slightly by a glazing left brake, which occurred during the all-important top ten shootout at Spa-Francorchamps. Eventually the 2008 World Champion was forced to settle for second position, alongside his German team-mate.
Despite ending both Q1 and Q2 ahead of Rosberg during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, Hamilton’s chances of securing a full house and topping each segment was thwarted when his left brake began to glaze over during the top ten shootout. The glazing of brakes usually occurs in low temperatures, such as were experienced in the wet and dreary conditions during the qualifying hour.
With the issue on his Mercedes, Hamilton proceeded to run extensively wide on various parts of the circuit, including the final Bus-Stop chicane and La Source. The 2008 World Champion then reported to his race engineer via the team radio that the car was pulling to one side, to which his race engineer offered him the ability to abort his lap. Instead Hamilton continued circulating, albeit unable to rise ahead of his team-mate through the final ten minutes and eventually securing second position roughly three tenths behind Rosberg.
Despite the setback of once again being unable to secure pole position, Hamilton is remaining extremely upbeat and has even described his glazing brake as potentially a “blessing in disguise”. Although the Briton also stated that the issue can sometimes being difficult to rectify, he is hopeful his mechanics can try their best to clear the issue ahead of the 44-lap race.
“You saw a couple of times in Q3 when I was just going straight on everywhere because the left brake wasn’t working and then for some reason – I don’t really know why – it went into glazing,” explained Lewis Hamilton after qualifying in the official FIA press conference. “Who knows, it might be a blessing in disguise.
“When it glazes, it’s sometimes very hard to recover, especially in the wet. You have to put the brake balance forwards but whilst you’re trying to clear that, you’re also overheating the rears so it’s really not that easy to always clear but in the evening they’re able to scrub it and get rid of the glazing. I think it goes shiny and then you lose that bite so hopefully over the evening we will lose that and in the dry tomorrow it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Lewis Hamilton secured pole position last season around Spa-Francorchamps in similar conditions, however the Briton has not started from pole this season since Spain way back in May when he secured pole four times during the first five races. Since then Hamilton’s qualifying performances have deteriorated drastically, mainly due to poor luck, with his qualifying result this weekend in Belgium his best since Canada where he qualified second alongside Rosberg.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic