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Qualifying from Britain - Formula 1 World Championship 2012

Published by Christine

With the weather potentially set to be wet for the whole weekend, qualifying position may not be as crucial as it is in other races. We saw in Valencia plenty of mixed up fun and games in the sunshine, and so far it looks as though Britain could deliver the same but for completely the opposite reason. Vettel showed some spectacular pace at the Spanish circuit, dominating qualifying and the early part of the race. Will the Red Bull be able to deliver in damp conditions, though, or will it be someone else's turn at the top?

As it happened: 2012 Britain - Qualifying

  • 12:30

    Well hello there. Formula One fan? You've come to the right place. Welcome to qualifying for the British GP!

  • 12:31

    Silverstone is going through quite a lot of weather related turmoil at the moment, and it's not fun for those trying to see the action live.

  • 12:33

    The action will continue, however, and hopefully we can have a good session for those who have managed to get inside the gate. And for us at home!

  • 12:34

    The first thing to say before anything else is that many drivers and teams are paying tribute to María de Villota and wishing her well by displaying her star logo on their helmets and cars. All hoping for a swift recovery.

  • 12:35

    Now, let's catch up with what has occurred so far. Yesterday's practice sessions were very wet and completed laps were at a minimum.

  • 12:35

    Here's a quick 60 second roundup of what happened:

  • 12:36

    The headlines are that Romain Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton were fastest, in sessions that had less than meaningful lap times. Bruno Senna crashed yesterday, and Fernando Alonso also found the barriers with a light tap.

  • 12:36

    This morning, in the third and final practice, it was Alonso on top, whilst both Sauber drivers had some off track excursions.

  • 12:36

    Kamui Kobayashi had a bigger crash, knocking off his front wing, and giving his mechanics a lot of work to do ahead of qualifying.

  • 12:37

    Kobayashi also faces a five place grid penalty following the race in Valencia, whilst Toro Rosso's Jean-Éric Vergne has a ten place drop (he will be last, no doubt).

  • 12:37

    The weather seems to have cleared up a bit today, although rain is still in the air and could quite easily change the course of the qualifying session.

  • 12:38

    TweetTweet from @JensonButton: Morning from a DRY Silverstone! Think it'll be a little wet later though! Thanks everyone for braving the rain yesterday to support us.. :)

  • 12:41
    2012 Pole Positions
    1Sebastian Vettel3
    2Lewis Hamilton2
    3Nico Rosberg1
    4Pastor Maldonado1
    5Mark Webber
  • 12:43

    Interview with Daniel Ricciardo: "Yesterday, at least on the times we were more competitive in the wet than we were this morning in the dry. THe rain's coming down now and I'm not too disappointed to see it. I guess, as long as it's constant, everyone wants to see that rather than a roll of the dice. Wet would be good.

    "Between P3 and quali, there's not much time, just a couple of hours before we go out. We've got final tweaks before we go out, so it's the more serious time of the weekend."

  • 12:43

    TweetTweet from @HRTF1Team: Yes, it is raining? Will intermediates be enough or we'll see any full wets?

  • 12:44

    If you're following qualifying today, do join in the comments: and follow live timing!

  • 12:45

    TweetTweet from @BadgerGP: It's raining at Becketts - just before qualy is about to start - bring on an exciting session!

  • 12:48

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: It's raining!!

  • 12:50

    Tyre compoundsThis weekend, we've got the hard and soft compounds - although we may not see them if the weather stays bad.

  • 12:51

    Pirelli gave the teams extra sets of experimental hard tyres for Friday practice, but the weather put pay to that test too!

  • 12:54

    Just five minutes to go until the start of qualifying for the British Grand Prix. I hope you've made your predictions for pole!

  • 12:56



    Wind speed3.7mps
  • 12:58

    Shots of Sam Michael on the pit wall show him wrapped up warm in his waterproof jacket as the rain starts to make itself known.

  • 12:59

    Every car is lining up at the end of the pit lane, queuing to get out. At the front, Vergne, Kobayashi and Senna.

  • 13:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 13:00

    It was Maldonado and not Senna, but either way, the field thread their way out onto the track. Only four cars remain in the garage right now.

  • 13:01

    Kimi Räikkönen is told over the radio that he's got no KERS for this first run, at least.

  • 13:01

    All the cars are out on track now. Intermediate tyres on every single car. Everyone is trying to get a lap in the bank before the weather turns.

  • 13:02

    Replays show Kovalainen trying to go round the outside of his teammate, Petrov, and running off track. Paul di Resta also runs off track.

  • 13:02

    Race Control: DRS disabled.

  • 13:02

    Drivers are fighting for both space and grip on a very busy circuit!

  • 13:04

    Kobayashi sets the first lap time of the session - 1:50.411.

  • 13:04

    Kimi Räikkönen bunches up towards Grosjean, who in turn was trying to get past Pérez, who in turn was backing off a Force India. It's very close out there!

  • 13:05

    Schumacher has dropped the times below 1:50, but has been pipped by Felipe Massa - 1:49.568.

  • 13:05

    Pedro de la Rosa and Kimi Räikkönen are both currently outside the 107% time.

  • 13:06

    RadioTeam radio to Schumacher: "We think four or five minutes of light rain so the track will be at its best in these next moments."

  • 13:06

    Lewis Hamilton jumps up to P1 with a 1:49.175. Ricciardo has jumped up to P2 with Maldonado slotting into third.

  • 13:07

    With the dropping times, Narain Karthikeyan has also fallen below the 107% cutoff time.

  • 13:07

    In the drop zone at the moment, Button, Petrov, Glock, Kovalainen, Karthikeyan, De la Rosa and Pic.

  • 13:07

    Räikkönen has moved up to fifteenth, out of the drop zone, and well above the 107%.

  • 13:08

    Kobayashi retakes his position at the top of the times, we're looking at 1:47.840 now. The track is getting faster... for now.

  • 13:09

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "We need to find a few seconds, Jenson. We need to find a good gap, let the cars behind through."

  • 13:10

    Vergne was briefly top, but pushed down by Ricciardo, Pérez and Maldonado. Times now 1:47.123.

  • 13:10

    Meanwhile, Button has improved to 15th place, which has dropped Rosberg into the bottom seven.

  • 13:10

    Both Timo Glock and Charles Pic have come into the pits.

  • 13:11

    All drivers are now within the 107% time, as the track continues to improve.

  • 13:11

    TweetTweet from @MyCaterhamF1: Changeable conditions like this are both very exciting and a huge challenge for everyone - engineers, garage crew and drivers

  • 13:12

    Times are dropping again, with Pérez now fastest - 1:46.494.

  • 13:12

    Hamilton asked over the radio if he could use DRS and was given an emphatic no.

  • 13:13

    For reference, pole position in the dry last year was Mark Webber with 1:30.339.

  • 13:13

    Drivers are now returning to the pit lane, with just over six minutes left to go.

  • 13:13

    Kobayashi has returned to the track on the soft tyre!

  • 13:14

    This is more normal, Sebastian Vettel pops up to P1 with a 1:46.279.

  • 13:15

    Button is back into the drop zone again, currently sitting 18th, and not improving this lap.

  • 13:15

    Pérez has also opted for the soft compound - Sauber really confident in their strategy.

  • 13:15

    Button crosses the line and remains 18th. Rosberg has improved to 17th, so not out of danger yet.

  • 13:16

    Both Sauber drivers have returned to the pitlane, with Kobayashi putting on intermediate tyres on again. The track is not ready for dry rubber just yet.

  • 13:17

    Replays show Jenson Button completely missing the apex of a corner, with the McLaren looking like it's on ice. He puts for new intermediates.

  • 13:20

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 13:20

    Jenson Button is on his final ditch effort to get out of the drop zone.

  • 13:20

    Meanwhile, Vettel is P1 with Hülkenberg and Maldonado behind him.

  • 13:21

    Yellow flagYellow flag. Timo Glock spins on the start/finish straight.

  • 13:21

    I don't know whether it was the yellow flags that put him off, because he was looking on a good lap, but Button has not made it out. 18th place for the McLaren.

  • 13:22

    Timo Glock's car is side on, facing the pit wall, but without hitting it. He climbs out of the car, but had qualified 21st anyway.

  • 13:23
    Qualifying Position
    18Jenson ButtonMcLaren
    19Vitaly PetrovCaterham
    20Heikki KovalainenCaterham
    21Timo GlockMarussia
    22Pedro de la Rosa
    23Narain KarthikeyanHRT

    Charles Pic
  • 13:24

    Glock spinsGlock spins it at the last minute.

  • 13:25

    Interview with Vitaly Petrov: "First of all, I must beat my teammate, this is priority number one. What is good is the aero package is working that we bring here. It looks like the whole team is getting positive. I know today's conditions were not fantastic, but everyone had the same. It's very difficult to drive because the track is getting better and better so you don't know how much you can push, so it was quite a tricky one."

  • 13:26

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: Well done team so far. Q1 finished P7 for #Kamui and P4 for #Checo. Big discussions on the radio about further decisions.

  • 13:27

    The queue at the pit lane forms once more as the second session begins.

  • 13:27

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 13:27

    Rooster tails stream off the back of all the cars as they round the first few corners. The small break in action has let the track soak once more.

  • 13:28

    Williams and Ferrari have sent their cars out on intermediate tyres, but the rest are on full wets.

  • 13:28

    Rob Smedley informs Massa over the radio that they may have to come back in and put the full wets on soon.

  • 13:29

    The crowds are just a sea of umbrellas, as fans try to protect themselves from the inclement conditions.

  • 13:30

    Meanwhile, Jean-Éric Vergne leads the pack to a timed lap, struggling to keep control of the car as he hits puddle after puddle.

  • 13:30

    Felipe Massa does dive straight back into the pits, and Alonso too, changing to the full wet tyres.

  • 13:31

    Vergne sets the first time - 2:00.082.

  • 13:31

    Michael Schumacher has spun off track at Becketts, he reverses back on to the track and will continue onwards.

  • 13:31

    Pérez goes quickest, dropping the times under two minutes.

  • 13:32

    Schumacher has continued, but the car is snapping away from him as he tries to keep control... and that's just going in a straight line.

  • 13:33

    Another replay and Schumacher is off again - he's driving across the gravel at Club and rejoins the track.

  • 13:33

    Fernando Alonso is the next to lose control - he spins it and runs sideways across the grass, keeping incredible control to avoid the wall.

  • 13:34

    Radio from Alonso suggests he'd like the session to be red flagged.

  • 13:34

    Meanwhile, amongst all the spinning action, Pérez still leads, with Lewis Hamilton behind him. The two are the only drivers with lap times less than two minutes.

  • 13:35

    In the drop zone, Maldonado, Di Resta, Grosjean, Schumacher, Massa, Alonso and Senna - who has yet to set a time.

  • 13:35

    RadioTeam radio from Hamilton: "It's too slippery out here guys. I nearly just crashed with a Sauber."

  • 13:35

    Grosjean runs wide but keeps control, and Massa dips off into the grass, but continues.

  • 13:36

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 13:37

    The drivers make their way slowly back to the pitlane. Massa is pushed back into the garage, safely after his spin.

  • 13:38

    The clock has been stopped at 6:19.

  • 13:38

    Both Grosjean and Räikkönen are being pushed back into their respective garages simultaneously.

  • 13:39

    The rain is absolutely pouring.

  • 13:40

    The order at the moment remains Pérez and Hamilton on top. Rosberg, Vergne and Hülkenberg round out the top five.

  • 13:43

    Replays of all the offs show some fascinating things. Fernando Alonso was lucky, but showed great skill by steering his way out of trouble.

  • 13:44

    Felipe Massa was also lucky, but appeared to just let the steering fall back to a central position, hoping for the best!

  • 13:44

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: alonso: left, rigt, left, right, off the power, sorted.

    massa: wheeeeeeeeeeeee

  • 13:48

    Interview with Jenson Button: "[Caught out by the] yellows but also it got wet for some reason, the last sector but nowhere else. Again, 1.7 seconds on my dash compared to the previous run, which wouldn't have just got me in, it would have given me the quickest lap time. It's a pity, but definitely wasn't meant to be.

    "The good thing is, the positive you can take, is these guys are all running around for two more sessions on their tyres and it's going to rain tomorrow. We all know we are limited on tyres so it's going to make the race very difficult for everyone."

  • 13:50

    RadioTeam radio to Ricciardo: "During that run, it seemed better than yesterday. I think the water level was slowly coming up to the same amount of yesterday as well. Probably a little bit less than when I was out there yesterday. For that it was better."

  • 13:51

    The official radar suggests this shower will pass at 14:40. Which is just under an hour away!

  • 13:53

    Medical carThe medical car heads out for a tour of the circuit to check up on conditions.

  • 13:55

    Shots of the empty track show the rain continuing to pour, the standing water making the track look like a lake.

  • 13:55

    Kobayashi is waving at the pit wall from just outside the garage - remaining under the roof and surveying the conditions.

  • 13:56

    Paul di Resta remains in the car though, with an engineer/mechanic kneeling either side of him for a chat.

  • 13:56

    Lewis Hamilton is in serious conversation with a team member - something to do with the helmet, as they are both looking at the visor.

  • 13:57

    Meanwhile, Jude Law is in the Lotus garage, looking very smart. He's chatting with some other suited chaps and looks quite interested in it all.

  • 13:57

    TweetTweet from @Pirelli_Media: Fact about the Cinturato Blue tyres: they raise the ride height of the car by 5mm, which helps to avoid aquaplaning.

  • 14:02

    Interview with Bruno Senna: "It was difficult. I think we made a mistake going out with inters, especially because we were stuck behind the slower cars on the full wets when the track was still okay. So I couldn't get a lap on the inters, and when we put the full wets on it was too late.

    It's very frustrating, but we'll see what happens here with the rain. Hopefully when they restart, we will be competitive so we can try to go for a top ten again."

  • 14:03

    News is filtering out that Charles Pic will face a five place grid penalty because the team are changing his gearbox. He has qualified last anyway, however.

  • 14:05

    Alonso and Massa are chatting at the back of the Ferrari garage. Massa reclining in one of those Ferrari chairs. Stefano Domenicali joins them.

  • 14:06

    In the Renault garage, the mechanics have taken Kimi's car apart - the front is off, it's raised up and they are crawling about underneath it. Never a moment wasted!

  • 14:07

    TweetTweet from @FVelasquezM: @factbytefactbox It's Lotus!

  • 14:08

    I am so living in 2011.

  • 14:10

    Interview with Christian Horner: "They're saying this rain could go on for about an hour. Hopefully then it will start to lift, but the problem is there's so much surface water, and Silverstone's not great for aquaplaning with the corners being so quick here, that's the major problem. We need to get rid of that surface water."

  • 14:14

    Interview with Charlie Whiting: "It looks like the rain should stop at about 14:45. We're clearing the water away now and we'll keep doing that until the rain stops and then we'll do our very best to make sure it's driveable really quickly after that.

    "The main thing is to have no standing water where cars can aquaplane, that's the worst conditions for the driver so that's what we want to avoid.

    It's a bit of an estimate, but [we should get going again] round about three o'clock with any luck. If the weather forecast is accurate, it should be around that time."

  • 14:16

    TweetTweet from @Lotus_F1Team: Another 45mins until the #F1 action gets back underway we're hearing... time for a cheeky snack...

  • 14:17

    The medical car is on track again, windscreen wipers going up and down rapidly.

  • 14:19

    TweetTweet from @H_Kovalainen: Not a great quali for me today, was hoping for much more but can't always win. No problems just too slow today

  • 14:21

    It's looking a bit clearer out there now, the rain may be easing off. Just the standing water to sort out.

  • 14:23

    Interview with Bernie Ecclestone: "I should think [the cars will be back on track] in half an hour, probably. I feel sorry for the fans, to be honest with you. You can't blame anyone, it's the weather. There would have been no problem with the car parking if there had been no rain."

  • 14:25

    TweetTweet from @PaulHembery: Forget the rain tyres, I'm bringing a rubber duck tomorrow

  • 14:26

    The rain looks like it's getting heavier again.

  • 14:26

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Mexican wave!! Can hear the cheers on top of the engines fires-up. #topfans

  • 14:26

    There's even a Mexican wave down the pitlane, with all the marshals and mechanics encouraging the grandstands opposite!

  • 14:29

    Nico Rosberg waits outside the garage, giving the fans a big wave. He's still got his team radio in his ears.

  • 14:32

    Interview with Jonathan Neale: "Very disappointing for Jenson. He went out on the intermediate tyre in Q1 and never really got the fronts to warm up. We tried to move him around in the traffic, tried a variety of things but it wasn't going to happen... Unfortunately, we had a yellow flag in the last sector, and as everybody will know we're required to lift... and that was it, we're in P18. He's quite philosophical about it but we're massively disappointed.

    "Every time I predict the weather it changes. According tot he screens and the FIA, we should be going in about fifteen minutes time... We've still got a lot of standing water here at Silverstone... but I'm pretty confident we will get going again.

    "You've only got six minutes, you have to get out there and grin and bear it. Lewis likes this stuff, although it's unpredictable, he fancies his chances in that environment. Who knows?"

  • 14:34

    Nico Rosberg drags out Ross Brawn to the front of the garage to join in his Mexican Wave. Does it count with just two?

  • 14:36

    Interview with Ross Brawn: "We're anxiously waiting to go back out again, because one of our cars hasn't qualified to go through yet. Forecast says it should stop in the next ten, twenty minutes, then we're just waiting for it to dry out.

    "We can't have too much standing water because the car's will aquaplane. I would anticipate three quarters of an hour from the time it stops raining to the time we go out. I guess the limit today is when it gets too dark.

    "It's a bit unfair on those who have got caught out by the weather. You could say that's down to confidence, but I've been here before where we've had some pretty nasty incidents. It's not just here on the tracks, we want to avoid that. Obviously, you can voluntarily stop, but we still wouldn't be able to have Q3 because no one would be able to go out in those conditions so I think it was a sensible decision."

  • 14:37

    Rosberg and BrawnNico Rosberg gets Ross Brawn involved in the Mexican wave.

  • 14:38

    Force India timeoutOn the flip side, some are glumly waiting the session restarting, keeping nice and dry in the garage.

  • 14:40

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: #Kamui keeps himself warm by hugging the tyres in their warmers.

  • 14:45

    It must still be raining, because there are lots of umbrellas in the paddock.

  • 14:46

    Interview with Stefano Domenicali: "I think the forecast says that in five minutes this kind of shower should stop. Then it all depends on when the track will be open again. If the track will be in safe condition, anything can happen in the next six minutes. We have to see how the track has evolved.

    "Difficult to understand, today we had a dry run it was not bad. These are different conditions, and tomorrow we don't know what's going on."

  • 14:47

    The marshals are out on track with their brooms, trying to rid the track of the excess water.

  • 14:50

    Interview with Derek Warwick, President of the BRDC: "It would have been nice to get through qualifying, get the grid and move on. We're just looking forward to tomorrow. We've protected the car parks, we're going to be able to accomodate everybody tomorrow. It's a shame the rain came and practice was halted. Even I can't control this. I've spoken to Bernie and even Bernie can't control this. If Bernie can't, no one can.

    "I've been round the village to speak to the fan, to apologise to them. They all seem to understand, and they're all looking forward to tomorrow's race. To be honest, we're feeling a little bit more relieved than we were yesterday.

    "At the end of the day, Friday's important, Saturday's even more important, but we've all come for the race. It's going to be mixed conditions, and who's best in mixed conditions? Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, so we're looking forward to a British win."

  • 14:50

    Vergne restsIs Mr Vergne having a sneaky nap?

  • 14:52

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: The shower located in the South-East at 35 Km away is on the path of the circuit. It is too far, no rain expected for the moment

  • 14:53

    Official radar has updated to say no rain at the moment.

  • 14:55

    Kimi's car looks a bit more usable now, the front is back on, tyres just being sorted.

  • 14:57

    The medical car is out again, the spray looks much reduced, standing water is being cleared excellently.

  • 14:57

    Mark Webber has put his helmet on!!

  • 14:58

    Race Control: Session will restart at 15:07.

  • 15:01

    Interview with Timo Glock: "On the last lap, I was sideways the whole last corner. But in general, it's just very difficult. I just lost it, and when you touch the kerb, it's impossible to catch it. I at least stopped right before the wall. A shame for us, we were just on it to be in Q2. The rain just came thirty seconds too early.

    "It could be [an advantage], but it would have been a massive boost for the team. Especially for me, as well. I think we were 4 to 5 seconds up on the split time, until Hangar Straight. I knew that would be enough for Q2 but when I saw the rain front coming, and it was raining down Hangar Straight, I just couldn't believe it. I lost everything. Otherwise we could have been P10 and that would have been a huge boost."

  • 15:01

    Joe on TVEsteemed journalist Joe Saward captured checking his watch. The session is soon to restart!

  • 15:02

    Nico Hülkenberg is sitting patiently in his car, he's ready to go. Kamui Kobayashi is also getting himself settled back in.

  • 15:04

    Maldonado has left the garage, the Williams lining up at the end of the pitlane. There are still a few minutes left till the restart though.

  • 15:04

    Lotus have also sent out a car, and the second Williams joins third in the queue.

  • 15:05

    TweetTweet from @Lotus_F1Team: We've tried everything we could with Kimi's KERS but sadly to no avail for the rest of this session

  • 15:07

    Bruno Senna is informed over the radio of the mix of full wet and intermediate tyres, but also that his main aim is to get a lap on the board.

  • 15:07

    Green flagThe session is go, go, go again.

  • 15:08

    The cars are kicking up plenty of water as they head out for their first exploratory lap of the circuit,

  • 15:08

    Five minutes left to go.

  • 15:09

    RadioTeam radio from Hamilton: "There's still a lot of spray, it's very slippery out here... It's definitely extreme at the moment."

  • 15:09

    16 drivers are out on track, with just Kobayashi in the pit lane - having his tyres changed it seems.

  • 15:10

    Now he leaves and that makes all 17 drivers out on the circuit.

  • 15:10

    Kobayashi changed to full wet tyres, leaving just Sergio Pérez on the intermediates.

  • 15:11

    To recap, the two fastest times so far were from Pérez and Hamilton with 1:59s.

  • 15:11

    Romain Grosjean has just topped them massively, a 1:57.634.

  • 15:11

    Fernando Alonso fights his car to second place, as Nico Rosberg runs massively wide over the grass and ruins his flying lap.

  • 15:12

    Michael Schumacher goes fastest, dropping the times to 1:56.898.

  • 15:12

    In the drop zone, we have Rosberg, Vergne, Hülkenberg, Kobayashi, Ricciardo and Di Resta.

  • 15:12

    Although the times are tumbling and that has all changed already.

  • 15:13

    Webber has gone fastest, with Hülkenberg second. Di Resta improved only to eighth.

  • 15:13

    Senna improved into the top ten, only to be immediately dropped back down again.

  • 15:13

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 15:13

    Hamilton has gone fastest. Rosberg improves to 8th, Alonso drops out of the top ten.

  • 15:14

    Räikkönen is also out of the top ten, has a huge wobble on his lap, but manages to scrape into sixth place.

  • 15:14

    Di Resta slides around Vale, and crosses the line 9th. Just in at the moment.

  • 15:14

    Fernando Alonso is still on a lap, as is Pastor Maldonado.

  • 15:15

    Yellow flagYellow flags, as Romain Grosjean's Lotus sits steaming in the gravel.

  • 15:15

    Fernando Alonso just manages to get into the top ten in ninth place, assuming that he hasn't ignored the yellow flags.

  • 15:16

    Grosjean climbs out of the car, he looks bitterly disappointed, considering he was up into the top ten with the fifth fastest time.

  • 15:16

    Replays show he locked the brakes, got into a drift which turned into a spin, and the gravel sucked him in.

  • 15:17

    Grosjean beachedGrosjean beaches it. The crane comes in to carry the Lotus away.

  • 15:18
    Qualifying Position
    11Paul di RestaForce India
    12Kamui KobayashiSauber
    13Nico RosbergMercedes
    14Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso
    15Bruno Senna
    16Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso
    Sergio Pérez
  • 15:18

    Di Resta is informed of his time on the radio, and he questions Alonso getting through to the top ten despite the yellow flags.

  • 15:20

    Interview with Jean-Éric Vergne: "I'm really disappointed. We've had a good time, it was feeling good. I don't know, for some reason we were thinking top ten was a top possibility. We wasted two laps, and then I only had one lap behind Hamilton where there was a lot of spray. It was difficult to judge the track in these conditions, it's a shame.

    "We don't have any extra speed, any updates. The rain makes all the cars a bit more even, so we are less far from the top ten."

  • 15:21

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: inter was the wrong call for #Checo. shame. P17. #Kamui on full wets finishes on P12. shame. there was much more to get in this Quali. #F1

  • 15:21

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Now, let's see what we can do in Q3. We recovered with a bit of luck, especially with Fernando.

  • 15:22

    Pastor Maldonado heads out of the garage to queue up at the end of the pitlane again. Queues for every restart so far!

  • 15:22

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 15:22

    No one else joined him, and so Pastor made a slow getaway from the end of the pit exit once the light went green.

  • 15:23

    Less of a rush to go out this time, with just five drivers on track at the moment.

  • 15:23

    RadioTeam radio to Maldonado: "Plan to stay out all the session. No more rain so far, so track will get faster and faster. Look after the tyres to the end of the session. Aiming to do five to ten laps, we'll keep you updated on that."

  • 15:24

    Race Control have confirmed once again that DRS is disabled in these conditions.

  • 15:26

    All nine drivers are out on track, with just Grosjean unable to participate in the session.

  • 15:26

    Pastor Maldonado crosses the finish line for the first time of the session - 1:58.016.

  • 15:26

    Räikkönen follows him across, but is more than five seconds slower than the Williams.

  • 15:26

    Massa completes a 1:55.6 to go P1 for now.

  • 15:27

    Schumacher posts the second fastest time. He and Räikkönen are on the full wet tyres.

  • 15:28

    Alonso goes fastest, on the intermediate tyres. The battle of the difference between wet tyres is on.

  • 15:28

    Schumacher's radio tells him to come in for intermediates, Kimi has also stopped for the same. That battle didn't last long. Inters are it.

  • 15:29

    Fernando Alonso improves on his P1 position - 1:52.544, and that is one second faster than teammate Massa who is in second.

  • 15:29

    Sebastian Vettel remains in third place.

  • 15:30

    Webber splits the two Ferraris to take second, but Massa continues on a hot lap.

  • 15:30

    Schumacher returns to the track after his tyre change. He'll just have the one lap opportunity now.

  • 15:30

    Massa improves to second, to make it a Ferrari 1-2 again.

  • 15:31

    Hamilton crosses the line sixth fastest, after fighting the car round the circuit.

  • 15:31

    Mark Webber has gone fastest in the first two sectors, he's always liked it round Silverstone.

  • 15:31

    Webber goes fastest with a 1:51.793.

  • 15:31

    It's raining again.

  • 15:32

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 15:32

    Maldonado crosses the line fourth for the end of his session.

  • 15:32

    Räikkönen pushes him down for fourth place. Hamilton catches a spin to cross the line for sixth.

  • 15:33

    Fernando Alonso beats Webber's time to go P1 again. Schumacher goes third, but all eyes are on Webber.

  • 15:33

    Vettel is also still on a hot lap, he crosses the line only good enough for fourth.

  • 15:33

    Webber can't improve on his second place position. Alonso is on pole position!

  • 15:35
    Qualifying Position
    1Fernando AlonsoFerrari
    2Mark WebberRed Bull
    3Michael SchumacherMercedes
    4Sebastian VettelRed Bull
    5Felipe Massa
    6Kimi RäikkönenLotus
    Pastor Maldonado
    Lewis Hamilton
    Nico Hülkenberg
    Force India
    Romain Grosjean
  • 15:36

    Interview with Paul di Resta: "It was a difficult one. It was under yellow, but that's not a decision I can look into. At the end of the day, we probably gambled a bit too much on a dry setup. The weather changed for us. Tomorrow's still hopefully, we're starting in a good position.

    "It's a bit unclear, we spoke about it in the driver's meeting yesterday - how much is a lift. It didn't cost us too much, but it did cost us the chance to get into Q3."

  • 15:37

    Interview with Sergio Pérez: "We went with inters, I could not get a lap together. I had a problem to put a lap together so it's a big shame. It was unnecessary, the risk we took, as we had the pace. It was definitely the wrong call, but we as a team did the wrong call today and hopefully we can get it back tomorrow."

  • 15:40
    Gap Analysis
  • 15:44

    Press Conference Quotes - Fernando Alonso: "I think it was tricky conditions for everyone. You had to be calm in some difficult moments. In Q2, we were on the red flag position 15 and 16, Felipe and me. It wasn't easy... In Q3 difficult choice between the extreme and intermediate tyres... We put a lap together which isn't easy. You make a little mistake here, there, to complete a lap without huge mistakes is not easy in these conditions. Happy with pole position after nearly two years. Tomorrow is the race, with these weather conditions, the qualifying is probably one of the less important qualifyings of the year."

  • 15:44

    Press Conference Quotes - Mark Webber: "It was a very tight session. Ultiamtely you don't know how you are going, you just focus on yourself. It's very tricky in sections around the lap. When you've got five, ten seconds between one session and the next, it's a huge amount down to the driver to get comfortable in the conditions... Ultimately we put a good lap together, our strategy in quali was good."

  • 15:45

    Press Conference Quotes - Michael Schumacher: "I think we look reasonably competitive in wet conditions, either on intermediate or heavy wet. Rain is welcome tomorrow, it was an exciting session today. In Q2, I had the wrong visor on... we recovered well in the delay and got back in our rhythm. Very happy to be third, good for the team, good for my boys. Thanks to the guys."

  • 15:47

    That about wraps things up for qualifying for the British Grand Prix. Things went on a bit longer than anticipated, but the action at the end was well worth waiting for.

  • 15:47

    Fernando Alonso starts from pole, with Mark Webber beside him. Although the race will likely be wet and anything could happen, you have to think Webber can do well around this circuit that he likes so much.

  • 15:48

    Further back, Räikkönen did well with a slightly limited car, and Grosjean was completely disappointing after the Lotus showed good pace.

  • 15:49

    Jenson Button is starting way down the order, and has a lot of work to do... yet again. Although he'll improve a place or two thanks to the penalties from the last race.

  • 15:50

    The race begins at 1pm UK time, and I will be back (after resting my typing fingers in a bowl of ice) to cover all the action. I do hope you'll join me, it should be a good one!

  • 15:50

    Talk soon, fact fans.

All content in the series Britain 2012

With the weather potentially set to be wet for the whole weekend, qualifying position may not be as crucial as it is in other races. We saw in Valencia plenty of mixed up fun and games in the sunshine, and so far it looks as though Britain could deliver the same but for completely the opposite reason. Vettel showed some spectacular pace at the Spanish circuit, dominating qualifying and the early part of the race. Will the Red Bull be able to deliver in damp conditions, though, or will it be someone else's turn at the top?
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Event start

13:00GMT +01:00

7 July 2012