Formula 1 News

Webber shades Vettel for Silverstone pole

Spaniard Fernando Alonso was third fastest. Rain favored Scot Paul Di Resta who took 6th place, followed by Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado and Japanese Kamui Kobayashi.
Saturday, July 9, 2011

SIlverstone, United Kingdom, July 9, 2011 (AFP) - Mark Webber grabbed pole position on Saturday for Sunday's British Grand Prix as Red Bull swept the front row again in changeable conditions during an unpredictable qualifying session.

The 34-year-old Australian, who won last year's race, demonstrated his liking for the Silverstone circuit with a fastest lap of one minute and 30.399 seconds as his team locked out the front row again.

It was Webber's second pole this season and the seventh of his career. Spaniard Fernando Alonso was third fastest for Ferrari ahead of his team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa as rivals McLaren struggled to mount a serious challenge.

Briton Jenson Button, in the leading McLaren, was fifth and his team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton was only able to qualify in 10th place. Another Briton, Scot Paul Di Resta, took sixth place on the grid for the Force India team ahead of Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in a Williams with Japanese Kamui Kobayashi eighth for Sauber and German Nico Rosberg ninth for Mercedes.

On a cool, damp and drizzly afternoon at the revamped old circuit in central England, the entire field was swiftly out in pursuit of times early in Q1 - all going for banker times in case of subsequent heavy rain making the track more treacherous and slower.

Many of the teams had been involved in frantic activity before the session following a morning of technical meetings, rows and u-turns on the rules. Massa was soon on the radio warning of "rain at Copse" before his team-mate Alonso lost control at Brooklands and slid off into the gravel at Luffield. He recovered, rejoined and was soon back among the pace-setters. Vettel was soon setting the pace for Red Bull before he was out-paced by team-mate Webber and then Maldonado of Williams and Massa, Webber's improved best lap remaining the fastest.

Heavy rain then curtailed the first mini-session leaving Webber on top and seven men eliminated, including debutant Australian Daniel Ricciardo. "It was not easy in those conditions," said Ricciardo.

"But it is a great feeling to race here in front of these crowds. I have to take it easy as it is my first time. For me, Silverstone is like a second home - I am just going to learn as I go."

The rainstorm had cleared before Q2 started with Massa topping the session ahead of Webber and Alonso while seven more men failed to make the top ten cut including Michael Schumacher.

Also out after Q2 was German Adrian Sutil of Force India, which meant Di Resta had out-qualified his team-mate seven times in nine race weekends this year.

Qualification Results of the British GP

PO.
NO.
TEAM
Q3
Q2
Q1
LAPS
1
2
Mark Webber
RBR-Renault
01:32.670
01:31.673
01:30.399
19
2
1
Sebastian Vettel
RBR-Renault
01:32.977
01:32.379
01:30.431
19
3
5
Fernando Alonso
Ferrari
01:32.986
01:31.727
01:30.516
20
4
6
Felipe Massa
Ferrari
01:32.760
01:31.640
01:31.124
16
5
4
Jenson Button
McLaren-Mercedes
01:34.230
01:32.273
01:31.898
21
6
15
Paul di Resta
Force India-Mercedes
01:34.472
01:32.569
01:31.929
14
7
12
Pastor Maldonado
Williams-Cosworth
01:32.702
01:32.588
01:31.933
16
8
16
Kamui Kobayashi
Sauber-Ferrari
01:34.324
01:32.399
01:32.128
16
9
8
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes
01:34.186
01:32.295
01:32.209
18
10
3
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren-Mercedes
01:33.581
01:32.505
01:32.376
20
11
14
Adrian Sutil
Force India-Mercedes
01:34.454
01:32.617
14
12
17
Sergio Perez
Sauber-Ferrari
01:34.145
01:32.624
14
13
7
Michael Schumacher
Mercedes
01:34.160
01:32.656
15
14
10
Vitaly Petrov
Renault
01:34.428
01:32.734
14
15
11
Rubens Barrichello
Williams-Cosworth
01:33.532
01:33.119
12
16
9
Nick Heidfeld
Renault
01:35.132
01:33.805
15
17
20
Heikki Kovalainen
Lotus-Renault
01:34.923
01:34.821
9
18
19
Jaime Alguersuari
STR-Ferrari
01:35.245
7
19
18
Sebastien Buemi
STR-Ferrari
01:35.749
7
20
24
Timo Glock
Virgin-Cosworth
01:36.203
7
21
21
Jarno Trulli
Lotus-Renault
01:36.456
4
22
25
Jerome d'Ambrosio
Virgin-Cosworth
01:37.154
6
23
23
Vitantonio Liuzzi
HRT-Cosworth
01:37.484
7
24
22
Daniel Ricciardo
HRT-Cosworth
01:38.059
6

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