F1 Silverstone Quali Results & Report: Webber on Pole for British GP

What Happens When It Rains In Britain

9:14am EST — Mark Webber won pole for the 2011 British Grand Prix in an intermittently rainy qualifying session at Silverstone. He had beat teammate Sebastian Vettel to the provisional pole in an early run in Q3 and was unable to be beaten as rain begin falling in the final minutes of the session. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will start on the second row for Sunday’s race, with Jenson Button fifth at home, with teammate Lewis Hamilton languishing down in tenth. Michael Schumacher was also caught out by some raindrops, qualifying only thrteenth and not passing beyond Q2.

Despite particularly rainy conditions, Red Bull still posted the fastest time in two of the three practice sessions at Silverstone. Webber (1:46.603) led the first and Vettel (1:31.401) the last and only mainly dry session, with Massa (1:49.967) taking control for Friday afternoon’s rain-impeded session. Despite the conditions, only Kobayashi suffered a shunt after losing control on wet kerbing and Astroturf. Though he damaged all four corners of the car, the Sauber team managed to get him out fifteen minutes into the afternoon session, as he was unhurt. Webber led Schumacher, Barrichello, Perez, and Massa as the fastest five in his session while teammate Vettel had Alonso, Webber, Massa, and Maldonado rounding out his fastest five. For Massa, Rosberg, Kobayashi, Hamilton, and Button were those able to post quicker times as the session closed on a drying track.

di Resta led what looked like a battalion of cars onto the circuit as the clouds appeared to threaten rain at some point during the first, twenty-minute session of qualifying. Within two minutes, all drivers were on the track. The Scot’s first time was quickly beaten by Sutil and Kovalainen, with Hamtilton, then Alonso on the top of the timesheets. Barrichello and Maldonado quickly separated the former teammates, with Massa going second fastest.

Things seemed to settle down by five minutes into the session, with Alonso leading Massa, Webber, Barrichello, Maldonado, Vettel, di Resta, Kovalainen, Rosberg, and Kobayashi as the top ten. Soon, though, Vettel was on top with a 1:33.555. Alonso had a moment, running off through the grass and gravel at Luffield, though he managed to continue on. Barrichello next went fastest, with Webber soon supplanting him. The order never seemed to last long, as Massa went to the top, then did Maldonado. Vettel swapped position with Webber for third fastest, though it wasn’t fastest that was most concerning.

At the halfway point, Alguersuari, Buemi, Glock, Trulli, d’Ambrosio, Liuzzi, and Ricciardo were in the knockout zone and rain might be falling in some corners. Most drivers returned to their garages for a minute or so around the halfway, though Webber was still out and went fastest of all. However, rain began to fall again with six minutes remaining, leaving those drivers stuck in Q1. Webber (1:32.670) led Maldonado, Massa, Vettel, Alonso, Barrichello, Hamilton, Perez, Schumacher, and Rosberg as the top ten, with Button eleventh. Though the rain quickly stopped, it ruined the track for the remaining minutes of Q1. However, Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus was able to move on to Q2 and all drivers were within the 107%.

Knocked Out in Q1:
18. Jaime Alguersuari
19. Sebastien Buemi
20. Timo Glock
21. Jarno Trulli
22. Jerome D’Ambrosio
23. Tonio Liuzzi
24. Daniel Ricciardo

There was another rush out for Q2, Rosberg leading the way, with no rain falling at the beginning of the fifteen minute session. Three minutes into the session, only Massa and Kovalainen had yet to leave the garage. Most were out on inters, and Rosberg aborted his lap to get some slick tires. Barrichello was the first fastest, though he was son moved down by teammate Maldonado (1:37.703). Five minutes in, Maldonado led Kobayashi, Barrichello, Perez, Webber, Heidfeld, Schumacher, Hamilton, Vettel, and Petrov. Sutil soon was third fastest, only to lose position to Heidfeld, then Barrichello went fastest again.

Halfway through the session, Webber led Kobayashi, Perez, Barrichello, and Petrov as the top five while Schumacher and Hamilton were in the drop zone, with Rosberg, Alonso, di Resta, Massa, and Kovalainen without times. Sutil (1:33.672) was again fastest soon thereafter while most of the drivers were in the garage. Alonso and Hamilton were out for their runs with less than seven minutes remaining, but no one else in the knockout zone was setting a time. Then Kovalainen joined the party, along with Schumacher and Button, who was on the bubble.

Five minutes to go, all but Kobayashi, Perez, Barrichello, Petrov, and di Resta were on the track. Alonso’s first lap on the softer tire put him seventh, then he fastest of all (1:31.727) by nearly two seconds. Hamilton quickly went second fastest, with Kovalainen jumping to fourth. Massa, Rosberg, and di Resta still had not set a time with two minutes remaining, though Massa (1:31.640) went fastest of all on his first fast lap, displacing Webber who had taken the top spot from Alonso. Hamilton went fifth fastest, leaving Button, Barrichello, Sutil, Heidfeld, Kovalainen, Kobayashi, and Rosberg in the knockout zone with a minute remaining. Massa and Webber pitted with seconds left, safe in first and second, as did Hamilton in seventh and di Resta in eighth. In the end, Schumacher could not improve and he was dropped out. Button, however, hauled himself up to fourth to move on to Q3. Massa led the session, with Webber, Alonso, Button, Rosberg, Vettel, Kobayashi, Hamilton, di Resta, and Maldonado moving forward.

Knocked Out in Q2:
11. Adrian Sutil
12. Sergio Perez
13. Michael Schumacher
14. Vitaly Petrov
15. Rubens Barrichello
16. Nick Heidfeld
17. Heikki Kovalainen

All but Maldonado, di Resta, and Kobayashi were out within a minute of the green light for Q3, though they were also soon out onto the track. Vettel (1:30.431), then Webber led, with Hamilton third, only to be displaced by Rosberg, who then lost position to Alonso. Webber took provisional pole from his teammate. Massa was fourth fastest, with Button, di resta, Maldonado, Rosberg, and Hamilton the nine drivers with times and five minutes remaining.

Kobayashi’s first time put him eighth while Hamilton dropped to tenth. With three minutes remaining, nearly all the drivers were in the garage for final adjustments. Alonso was back out, as was Button with three minutes to go. The rest of the field streamed out as some rain began falling. Only di Resta, Maldonado, and Kobayashi remained in the garage.

Button was the first to start his final flying lap, and well off the pace. Rosberg was going for a better position than his then ninth, pushing so hard he nearly shot off the circuit. He aborted his lap, as the other drivers were forced to do as well with the rain falling a bit too hard to better any laps.

Final Qualifying Times for the 2011 British Grand Prix:

Driver Team Time Laps
1. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:30.399 19
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:30.431 19
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:30.516 20
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:31.124 16
5. Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.989 21
6. Paul di Resta Force India 1:31.929 14
7. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:31.933 16
8. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:32.128 16
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:32.209 18
10. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:32.376 20
11. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:32.617 14
12. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:32.624 14
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:32.656 15
14. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:32.734 14
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:33.119 12
16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:33.805 15
17. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:34.821 9
18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:35.245 7
19. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:35.749 7
20. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:36.203 7
21. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:36.456 4
22. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Racing 1:37.154 6
23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT 1:37.484 7
24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1:38.059 6


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