Formula One

 
                  === Button captures pole for Belgian GP ===
 
 Spa,  Belgium (Sports  Network) - Jenson Button from McLaren claimed his first
 Formula  One pole  position in three years after winning Saturday's qualifying
 session for the Belgian Grand Prix.
 
 Button,  whose last  pole came in the  Monaco Grand Prix during his 2009 world
 championship  season,  turned  a  lap  around  the  4.352-mile,  19-turn  Spa-
 Francorchamps  circuit  in 1 minute, 47.573  seconds. He drove for Brawn GP in
 '09 before moving over to McLaren the following year.
 
 His  pole in  Belgium comes after F1's four-week summer break during the month
 of August.
 
 "It's  been quite a long time since I got my last pole position back in 2009,"
 Button  said. "It's  pretty emotional. Sundays have been good for the past few
 years,  but  Saturdays have not  gone perfectly you could  say. It was a great
 qualifying session, and it's so important to come back after such a long break
 with a good result."
 
 Button  is currently seventh in the point standings. He won the season-opening
 Australian Grand Prix.
 
 Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi qualified a career-best second after posting a
 lap in 1:47.871 in his Sauber.
 
 "It  was  a great qualifying for  me," Kobayashi said. "We really struggled in
 practice  (on Friday),  but this  morning  we changed  things differently  and
 improved."
 
 Pastor  Maldonado  placed his  Williams car  third on  the grid  with a lap in
 1:47.893.
 
 "We've  been quite  consistent in qualifying throughout the season, especially
 after  Barcelona (Spanish Grand Prix)," Maldonado said. "We've been working so
 hard,  even  during the  break, to  try to  analyze and  understand all of the
 problems  we had in  the past to solve them for the second part of the season.
 This means now we are competitive."
 
 Kimi  Raikkonen from Lotus qualified fourth, followed by Kobayashi's teammate,
 Sergio  Perez, and  Ferrari's Fernando  Alonso, who  enters this  race with  a
 comfortable 40-point lead in the championship standings.
 
 Mark  Webber placed  seventh  but received  a five-grid  spot  penalty for  an
 unscheduled  gearbox  change on his Red  Bull car. Webber will therefore start
 12th in Sunday's race.
 
 His  teammate, Sebastian  Vettel, the  two-time defending  F1 world  champion,
 failed  to  advance in the  final round of qualifying  (Q3) for the first time
 since  April  in the Chinese Grand  Prix. Vettel qualified 11th but starts one
 spot higher due to Webber's penalty.
 
 "I was pretty happy with the lap, but we weren't quick enough," Vettel said.
 
 Vettel won last year's Belgian GP.
 
 McLaren's  Lewis  Hamilton qualified eighth,  while Lotus' Romain Grosjean and
 Paul di Resta from Force India completed the top-10.
 
 Michael Schumacher, who is competing in his 300th grand prix, will start 13th.
 
 Nico  Rosberg  from Mercedes  was penalized  five positions on  the grid for a
 gearbox change as well. Rosberg will start 23rd after qualifying 18th.
 
 The 44-lap Belgian GP is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. ET.
 
 09/01 10:47:19 ET

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