Qualifying in Belgium afforded thrills and spills and some controversy, as Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado made contact on the approach to Eau Rouge after Q2 had finished.

Previously, at the end of his final lap in the second segment of qualifying, Hamilton had briskly overtaken Maldonado on the very last turn. They then clashed again, when the session was over.

Hamilton himself couldn't understand how it happened: "I'm going to have to watch the rerun. The Williams was just pootling along, going very slowly. I had to try to pass, which is what I did. I then saw Maldonado coming fast towards me – he carved me up. My front wing was damaged. I will now simply sit tight and wait for the stewards to call me before I go to McLaren. Once the flag was out and the red light on, racing was over. There should never be any incident, but unfortunately there was one."

And the British driver's McLaren was damaged in the incident, which certainly didn't help matters in Q3's top ten shoot-out for pole. After some quick repairs to the car, Hamilton secured second place on the grid. In his opinion, the McLaren should not really have been out on the track: "The front wing was damaged quite severely, the side pod came to grief and probably the suspension too. The tracking was also knocked out of alignment."