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Revived Button on pole for McLaren at Belgian Grand Prix

September 1, 2012 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
It's thumbs up for Jenson Button after claiming pole for the Belgian Grand Prix for McLaren.
It's thumbs up for Jenson Button after claiming pole for the Belgian Grand Prix for McLaren.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jenson Button takes pole for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix
  • Best lap of one minute 47.573 seconds at Spa Francorchamps circuit
  • Kamui Kobayashi of Japan joins Button on front row in his Sauber
  • Two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel only 11th fastest

(CNN) -- Britain's Jenson Button claimed pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday after dominating qualifying in his McLaren.

The 32-year-old, who won the opening race of the season in Australia but has slid out of title contention since, returned to his best form with a one minute 47.573 second clocking on the Spa Francorchamps circuit.

The 2009 world champion was two tenths of a second faster than Kamui Kobayashi of Japan who will join him on the front row in his Sauber.

It was Button's first pole in 60 starts for the British based team.

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Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams was third fastest but was relegated to sixth when stewards later found him guilty of blocking Germany's Nico Hulkenberg during the first section of qualifying.

The decision lifted former world champion Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus up to third on the grid.

Mexican Sergio Perez will start fourth in the second Sauber with championship leader Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari up to fifth.

Mark Webber of Australia and Button's McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton were a disappointing seventh and eighth fastest.

Webber though will start 12th on the grid Sunday after suffering a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Webber's Red Bull teammate and two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel even missed out of the final qualifying session for the top 10 drivers and was only 11th fastest.

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher of Germany was back in 13th for Mercedes in his 300 Grand Prix appearance.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was ninth best in the second Lotus with Briton Paul di Resta a fine 10th for Force India.

Button will be hopeful of taking his second win of the season Sunday after clocking the fastest time in the second session of qualifying before underlining his speed when it mattered.

"It's been quite a long time since my last pole position back in 2009. It's been pretty emotional," he told the official post-qualifying media conference.

"Sundays have been good over the last few years but not so much Saturdays. It's been good to come back after such a long break and to do well on the Saturday."

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