Yesterday’s chaotic Belgian Grand Prix qualifying session saw four drivers – Jérôme d’Ambrosio, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Daniel Ricciardo and Michael Schumacher – all fail to post Q1 qualifying times within 107% of the session’s fastest lap, effectively rendering them unable to start Sunday’s 44-lap race.
However, sanity prevailed and all four were given the green light to compete.
On his twentieth anniversary weekend, Schumacher achieved the worst qualifying result of his career when his right-rear wheel parted company with his Mercedes GP during Q1, while d’Ambrosio, Liuzzi and Ricciardo all posted lap-times slower than the 2:10.339 cut-off.
But the stewards’ panel ruled that all four could participate in the race, given consideration on the grounds that they had all been more on the pace during the earlier preceding free practice sessions, as well as acknowledging the impact that the changeable weather conditions played during the session.
Hometown hero d’Ambrosio will actually move up one place on the grid to 20th, courtesy of the five-place grid penalty awarded to Pastor Maldonado for his contretemps with Lewis Hamilton. Maldonado will start from 21st place, after being bumped from his 16th-placed grid slot.