Webber leads Vettel to Silverstone pole

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Great Britain, Silverstone Circuitgb

Mark Webber has secured his second pole position of the season as he went a tenth quicker than his teammate, Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso is the closest competitor to Red Bull in third, ahead of Massa and Button. Lewis Hamilton is only 10th.

As the lights went green for the first part of qualifying, nearly all cars are out on track to benchmark the cars running with blown diffusers that are adapted to the new regulations. Just like in the rest of this weekend, clouds are over the circuit as well, threatening with a shower at any unpredictable moment.

3 minutes into the session drivers have already spotted rain at Copse, although still light drizzle only. At this moment, all cars are out on track and after the first laps Alonso leads the pack, just hundreds of a second ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa. Mark Webber is third and three tenths behind.

7 minutes into the session, just after Vettel set the fastest time, Alonso finds himself in the gravel at Luffield. He had to correct slightly and consequently found himself off the racing line and on a wet part of the track. The Spaniard however safely makes it back on the track.

Meanwhile, Maldonado put in the fastest lap, ahead of Massa. Barrichello is also up in 5th while Alonso dropped down to 6th.

With 5 minutes left on the clock, the rain is still light, but the track has become too wet to really do anything useful on a slick tyre. Jaime Alguarsuari and newbie Daniel Ricciardo chose to continue for a few more laps, only to see it was pointless to go ahead.

So, at the end of the session, Alguersuari is 19th and eliminated, along with Buemi, Glock, Trulli, D'Ambrosio, Liuzzi and Ricciardo.

At the start of Q2, Nico Rosberg is the first man out on track, followed by his teammate Michael Schumacher. Both are taking it slowly on the intermediates. Others chose to do a navigation lap on the soft dry tyres. 2 laps later, both Mercedes cars go back into the pits while the others start to set some times.

6 minutes into the session, Barrichello is on top of the timesheets, ahead of his Williams teammate Pastor Maldonado.

As the track is drying quickly, times are tumbling rapidly. At the halfway mark, Sutil is fastest, quicker than Webber, Kobayashi and Pérez. 6 cars have not set a time yet, and Fernando Alonso is the first of them to finally give it a go.

With 3 minutes left, Alonso tops the times with a 1:31.727, a massive 1.9s quicker than Adrian Sutil. The drivers are looking to set a laptime as late as possible, trying to take benefit of the improving track.

At the very end, Massa put in the fastest time, marginally improving Webber. Alonso is third fastest with Button fourth after being last to complete his flying lap. Out are Sutil, Pérez, Schumacher, Petrov, Barrichello, Heidfeld and Kovalainen.

With Q3 on the go, the big guns are eager to go out as more rain is predicted in the next few minutes.

After the first string of laps it becomes obvious that McLaren is struggling out here, just as Lewis Hamilton predicted after the race in Valencia. Mark Webber was quickest, half a tenth quicker than his teammate and another tenth up on Alonso. Massa is 4th, Button 5th and Hamilton just 10th.

When everyone is back in the pits, light rain is falling again, starting at the South of the circuit. Nico Rosberg did attempt to improve on his 9th fastest time, but after 2 personal best sectors, he found it too wet in Stowe and returned to the pitlane shortly after that.

Results

Pos.No.DriverTeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
12Mark WebberRBR-Renault1:32.6701:31.6731:30.39919
21Sebastian VettelRBR-Renault1:32.9771:32.3791:30.43119
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:32.9861:31.7271:30.51620
46Felipe MassaFerrari1:32.7601:31.6401:31.12416
54Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:34.2301:32.2731:31.89821
615Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1:34.4721:32.5691:31.92914
712Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1:32.7021:32.5881:31.93316
816Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1:34.3241:32.3991:32.12816
98Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:34.1861:32.2951:32.20918
103Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1:33.5811:32.5051:32.37620
1114Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1:34.4541:32.617-14
1217Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1:34.1451:32.624-14
137Michael SchumacherMercedes AMG1:34.1601:32.656-15
1410Vitaly PetrovRenault1:34.4281:32.734-14
1511Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1:33.5321:33.119-12
169Nick HeidfeldRenault1:35.1321:33.805-15
1720Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1:34.9231:34.821-9
1819Jaime AlguersuariSTR-Ferrari1:35.245--7
1918Sebastien BuemiSTR-Ferrari1:35.749--7
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1:36.203--7
2121Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1:36.456--4
2225Jerome d'AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1:37.154--6
2323Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1:37.484--7
2422Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1:38.059--6