Formula One: Rosberg takes Belgian Grand Prix pole position ahead of Hamilton

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany adjusts his cap during a practice session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps on Aug 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany adjusts his cap during a practice session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps on Aug 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Sauber Formula One driver Adrian Sutil of Germany drives on the track in front of Mercedes Formula One drive Nico Rosberg of Germany during a practice session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps on Aug 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Sauber Formula One driver Adrian Sutil of Germany drives on the track in front of Mercedes Formula One drive Nico Rosberg of Germany during a practice session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps on Aug 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates his pole position after the qualifying session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps on Aug 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates his pole position after the qualifying session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps on Aug 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Red Bull Racing's (from left to right) German driver Sebastian Vettel, Mercedes-AMG's German driver Nico Rosberg and Mercedes-AMG's British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrate in the parc ferme at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa on Aug 24, 2014 afte
Red Bull Racing's (from left to right) German driver Sebastian Vettel, Mercedes-AMG's German driver Nico Rosberg and Mercedes-AMG's British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrate in the parc ferme at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa on Aug 24, 2014 after the Belgium Formula One Grand Prix. -- PHOTO: AFP

SPA (AFP) - World championship leader Nico Rosberg secured his fourth Formula One pole position in succession on Saturday when he topped the times ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in a tense and wet qualifying session for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

The 29-year-old German clocked a best lap of two minutes and 5.698 seconds to outpace his British partner in treacherous and capricious conditions at the sprawling 7.004-km circuit in the forests of the Belgian Ardennes.

Hamilton struggled with his brakes and handling in the slippery conditions, but will start alongside Rosberg on the front row as he seeks to trim his 11 points lead in the drivers' championship with eight races remaining.

Behind the two Mercedes, defending four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany was third fastest for Red Bull ahead of Spain's former two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and fifth placed Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull.

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