Mark Webber registered his second pole position of the season for the British Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver just nudged ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel in changeable conditions. Webber’s best of 1:30.399 proving to be three-hundredths too much for his German counterpart.
Ferrari locked out the second row with Fernando Alonso beating Felipe Massa to 3rd, while McLaren’s Jenson Button rounded out the top five, albeit 1.5 seconds shy of the pole.
A stellar effort by Paul di Resta (Force India) brought the Scot to the third row for the first time.
Di Resta had a 0.004 advantage over Pastor Maldonado in 7th, both of whom were comfortably quicker than Kamui Kobayashi (8th, Sauber), Nico Rosberg (9th, Mercedes) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).
Several drivers attempted a late run in Q3, only for their laps to be rendered meaningless by growing rainfall.
Sauber’s Sergio Perez (12th) partners Adrian Sutil (11th, Force India) on the sixth row, with a disappointed Michael Schumacher in 13th.
The veteran missed out on the final section of qualifying by only two-tenths of-a-second. Schumacher headed both Renault’s (Vitaly Petrov, 14th; Nick Heidfeld, 16th) and the second Williams of Rubens Barrichello (15th). Heikki Kovalainen made it through to Q2 at the expense of the Toro Rosso’s.
Indeed Jaime Alguersuari led the Italian minnows out of Q1 (with half-a-second advantage over Sebastien Buemi).
The Toro Rosso pair lost their final run to inclement weather; however both had more than enough of an advantage over both Virgin Racing machine’s (Timo Glock, 20th; Jerome d’Ambrosio, 22nd) and Jarno Trulli’s Lotus (21st).
Vitantonio Liuzzi headed the final row of the grid. The Hispania runner pipped his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo to a 23rd starting position.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m30.399s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.431s + 0.032 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.516s + 0.117 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.124s + 0.725 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.898s + 1.501 6. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m31.929s + 1.530 7. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m31.933s + 1.534 8. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.128s + 1.729 9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.209s + 1.810 10. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.376s + 1.977 Q2 cut-off time: 1m32.588s Gap ** 11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m32.617s + 0.977 12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.624s + 0.984 13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.656s + 1.016 14. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m32.734s + 1.094 15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m33.119s + 1.479 16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m33.805s + 2.165 17. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m34.821s + 3.181 Q1 cut-off time: 1m35.132s Gap * 18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.245s + 2.575 19. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.749s + 3.079 20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.203s + 3.533 21. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m36.456s + 3.786 22. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m37.154s + 4.484 23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m37.484s + 4.814 24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m38.059s + 5.389 107% time: 1m39.156s * Gap to quickest in Q1 ** Gap to quickest in Q2