F1 Silverstone Quali Results & Full Report: Vettel Leads Red Bull Front Row


What Happens When Things Become Predictable

9:04am EST — Sebastian Vettel won another pole for Red Bull, with Mark Webber to start second in a Red Bull front row for the starting grid of the 2010 British Grand Prix.  Fernando Alonso led the charge of the other teams to qualify third, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg rounding out the top five.  Felipe Massa only barely outqualifed countryman Rubens Barrichello, who continued the Williams’ resurgance, qualifying seventh.  Meanwhile, Pedro de la Rosa also managed a coup, making Q3 in his Sauber and beating out Michael Schumacher to ninth position.  It was disaster, with little knowledge of why, for Briton Jenson Button who did not make it out of Q2, qualifying fourteenth.

Red Bull led again in the final, Saturday morning practice session, despite a loose nosecone on Vettel’s car on his final run, just after he set the session and weekend leading time of 1:30.958.  Webber was second fastest, with Alonso, Rosberg, Massa, Kubica, Hamilton, Schumacher, de la Rosa, and Barrichello rounding out the top ten.  McLaren had, somewhat controversially, completely removed it’s blown rear wing setup for the weekend after being quite low in the pace, though it did not seem to be improving their positions, at least in the practice, dramatically.

Q1:
With a surprisingly dry Silverstone, qualifying got underway with no great haste, as Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli were the first men onto the circuit in Q1. Petrov was the early leader, with Button soon bettering his time.  Alonso, Massa, and Schumacher had taken over five minutes into the session.  Then Rosberg went fastest, with Barrichello second.  Webber soon took over with Red Bull’s dominance, even as Alonso goes for the lead.  It was Red Bull and Alonso fighting for fastest in a session where it meant very little.

As the time ticked down to five minutes left, it was Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Sutil, Hamilton, Barrichello, Rosberg, Massa, Kubica, and Petrov as the top ten, with Liuzzi the man joining the new teams in the knockout zone.  He improved, with Alguersuari stuck with the new teams, as Button looked to be in a scary place, in fifteenth, though he also improved his time to a safe fifth.  Liuzzi only went to sixteenth, as the top five with the checkered flag was Vettel, Webber, Alonso, and Sutil, with Alguersuari still in the knockout zone with all the times for Q1 final.

Knocked Out at the End of Q1:
18. Alguersuari 1:34.430
19. Kovalainen 1:34.405
20. Glock 1:34.775
21. Trulli 1:34.864
22. di Grassi 1:35.212
23. Chandhok 1:36.576
24.Yamamoto 1:36.968

Q2:
The Ferrari’s were the first out in Q2, with cars following immediately.  Two and a half minutes later and only Petrov, de la Rosa, and Kobayashi had not left the garage.  Alonso was the first to set a fast lap, on the hard tires, a 1:38.178.  It was soon bettered as he got caught in traffic at the end of the lap.  Massa led early, only to lose his fastest position to and Button then Hulkenberg and Alonso.  Webber soon took the Red Bull, also on the hard tire, to the lead again, by a half second over Alonso.  Halfway through the fifteen minute session, and Kobayashi, Kubica, Liuzzi, Button, Hulkenberg, Buemi, and Petrov were in the knockout zone.  Presumably Button would haul himself out of there as he did in Q1.

At just under six minutes left, virtually everyone was in the garage for final tweaks in Q2, barring second fastest Vettel.  Petrov had slowing and quietly coasted down the pit lane as the mechanics ran behind.  Soon enough, the men were back onto the track, as the top five were Webber, Vettel, Alonso, Massa, and Schumacher with three minutes left.  The knockout zone remained the same.  Vettel was going faster,  but not quite fast enough to take first from Webber, indicating a fierce battle for pole between the teammates in Q3.  A minute and a half left and Kubica and Button were still in the knockout zone.  Kubica pulled himself up to tenth, not quite a safe place, but Button remained.  Webber led Vettel, Alonso, Massa, and Schumacher as the top five at the end of the session while the McLaren all-nighter didn’t help Button, who was knocked out in Q2.  He will start 14th, after complaining of low grip at the rear, despite being faster through the speed trap than teammate Hamilton.

Knocked Out at the End of Q1:
11. Sutil 1:31.399
12. Kobayashi 1:31.421
13. Hulkenberg 1:31.635
14. Button 1:31.699
15. Liuzzi 1:31.708
16. Petrov 1:31.796
17. Buemi 1:32.012

Q3:
de la Rosa and Barrichello were surprise Q3 players, as the Ferraris were again the first men onto the circuit.  According to the team, “Felipe is going out on a set of used soft while Fernando has two sets of new available.”  It was Hamilton, Barrichello, Rosberg, and much of the rest of the ten men fighting for position in Q3 that followed them out.  Schumacher, Kubica, and de la Rosa still had not joined the fray with six and a half minutes left.  Alonso soon set a fast 1:30.426, but was eclipsed by Webber’s 1:29.758.  Vettel also beat Webber, by six hundredths, for an early shot at pole.  The driver were back to the garage for different tires before their last runs, as Schumacher, Kubica, and de la Rosa who still had not gone out.  They did so with a somewhat clearer track, as the running was Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, Rosberg, Barrichello, Schumacher, Kubica, and de la Rosa with three minutes left in Q3.

Most and possibly all were on soft tires for their final runs, with two minutes left.  Barrichello was the first with a newer time, though he remained sixth.  Webber posted the fastest sector one of the session, as Massa took sixth from his fellow Brazilian.  Everyone was posting their last lap as the seconds ticked down, though it looked to be a fight between Red Bull teammates as Vettel posted a fastest of all sector two.  Webber’s lap did not grant him pole, having missed the checkered flag by a tiny amount, as Vettel kept the position.  Alonso, who remaind third behind the Red Bulls as he had much of the weekend, did not complete his final lap and went into the garage, with no hope of gaining position.  Hamilton managed to regain fourth from Rosberg, who had taken in on his own final lap.  Meanwhile, de la Rosa had managed to outqualify the Sauber over Schumacher.

Final Starting Positions for the 2010 British Grand Prix:
1. Vettel 1:29.615
2. Webber 1:29.758
3. Alonso 1:30.426
4. Hamilton 1:30.556
5. Rosberg 1:30.625
6. Kubica 1:31.040
7. Massa 1:31.172
8. Barrichello 1:31.175
9. de la Rosa 1:31.274
10. Schumacher 1:31.430

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