Vettel on pole as Red Bull dominate at Silverstone (British GP qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel is on pole position for the second year in a row at Silverstone, leading yet another Red Bull one-two.

But reigning champion Jenson Button starts in 14th place for his home Grand Prix after failing to reach Q3.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton starts from fourth place alongside Fernando Alonso.


The usual suspects were eliminated in the first part of qualifying – all three of the new teams, with Heikki Kovalainen the fastest of the six.

Timo Glock managed to split the two Lotuses, but the gap between the new teams and the established runners was over two seconds.

Jaime Alguersuari qualified 18th and was unable to get into Q2. He briefly escaped the drop zone but a late improvement from Vitantonio Liuzzi – who had to use a set of soft tyres to do it – relegated the Toro Rosso driver.


McLaren sent both their drivers out on the soft tyres from the beginning of Q2, indicating their concerns about not being able to reach Q3.

Button struggled on his first run and was complaining on the radio about a lack of grip. His best time on his first run was a 1’32.024 which left him 12th.

During the final set of laps, Nico H???lkenberg’s efforts to improve were spoiled by Vitantonio Liuzzi, who had also held Button up in Q1.

Button wasn’t able to make it into Q3, his best effort seven tenths of a second off Hamilton’s, leaving him 14th on the grid. He described his car as “undriveable”, adding “the car felt good this morning”.

Webber ended the second part of qualifying fastest, after Vettel had headed the first part. The battle for pole position would be contested exclusively by the RB6 drivers.


From the beginning of Q3 it was clear this was going to be a repeat of qualifying in Barcelona. The Red Bulls were untouchable, over seven-tenths of a second quicker than their rivals and the only cars able to lap Silverstone and less than 90 seconds.

Webber took provisional pole position with his first effort but Vettel quickly nicked pole position off him. When Webber failed to improve with his last effort it confirmed Vettel on pole position for the second year in a row at Silverstone.

Vettel was the only one of the two running the team’s new front wing – the other one having broken on Vettel’s car during final practice this morning.

Fernando Alonso would surely not have qualified better than third even if he hadn’t been stuck behind another car at the start of his final lap. Lewis Hamilton salvaged fourth – ten places ahead of his team mate.

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’30.841 1’30.480 1’29.615
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’30.436 1’30.114 1’29.758
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’31.019 1’30.700 1’30.426
4 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.297 1’31.118 1’30.556
5 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’31.406 1’31.085 1’30.625
6 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’31.680 1’31.344 1’31.040
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’31.313 1’31.010 1’31.172
8 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’31.424 1’31.242 1’31.175
9 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’31.533 1’31.327 1’31.274
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’31.720 1’31.022 1’31.430
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’31.109 1’31.399
12 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’31.851 1’31.421
13 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’32.144 1’31.635
14 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.435 1’31.699
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’32.226 1’31.708
16 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’31.638 1’31.796
17 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’31.901 1’32.012
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’32.430
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’34.405
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’34.775
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’34.864
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’35.212
23 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’36.576
24 21 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’36.968

2010 British Grand Prix

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Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

88 comments on “Vettel on pole as Red Bull dominate at Silverstone (British GP qualifying)”

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  1. what a lap from hamilton and rosberg in Q3
    shame massa could not get a fast lap in Q3 he looked fast all weekend hope for a good start tomorrow
    red bull will have some proplems in the race

  2. The coming drama at McLaren may result from the EBD. Today, Hamilton set himself apart in that team, and spelled out for people what the qualifying numbers supposedly left to interpretation. He earned himself a lot of favor among the guys who did not sleep last night to make a radical change that the other guy apparently favored.

    Alonso, Hamilton, and Rosberg are showing that talent still matters and its not all about the car all the time in F1.

    1. I agree with Alonso and Hamilton – absolutely brilliant drives today. With Nico I am still not sure if Nico is quick or if MSC is slow..

      Without a doubt Alonso and Hamilton are qualifying in positions better than what the car is actually ranked on merit.

      For the others, I am just not sure if MSC, Hülkenberg, Liuzzi and Massa are just slow and making their team mates look good (or even better in Alonso’s case).

      Renault really need a better second driver, they could challenge for third in the WCC if they had a better/more consistent second driver. I am just not certain who that driver would or could be atm..

      1. Younger Hamilton
        10th July 2010, 20:47

        That is where Kimi Raikkonen comes into the story have you read the latest articles involving Renault i think that is mentioned.

  3. I’d like a lip reader to tell me what Alonso was saying to Vettel and Webber when the drivers came out to acknowledge the crowd directly after the qualifying weighing in (i.e. just before the press conference). Looking at body language etc, Alonso looked to be saying something rather unsavoury either towards the media or the fans…

  4. The directive from the Alps naturally would be to favor Seb. They might be making a huge investment for long term in future on him. After all it Vettel who won them their first race in both Torro Rosso and Reb Bull outfits. He was running contender for last year’s championship. 6 of the top teams was eyeing for him last year. He is genuinely fast and motivates a team. Bernie has special interest in him. Last but not the least he is the perfect poster boy for the Reb Bulls corporate image of targetting the young crowd and the media loves him and his shouting from the cockpits !!! Of course the Alps would like to see him succeed.

    I understand Webber feels sore. If he does not like the team why did he fight hard to extend his contract with RBR. He should have just done Alonso act of 2007 saying I dont care how good the car you have. If you dont treat me with respect I will leave”. My 2 cents you dont like the team and mgmt just move on don’t sit and crib like Rubens and waste everybody’s time. Given RBR and Newey’s current form they can attract a lot of talent very very easily into them.

  5. Great job by Lewis!

    Disappointed with Jenson – The puzzling thing for me is that he failed to improve on his Q1 time despite switching to Options in Q2.

    He did a 1′31.435 in Q1 – only 2 tenths slower than Lewis. They switched to Options yet he was 0.25 seconds SLOWER than his Q1 time !

    This is odd because he normally gets QUICKER thru the sessions.

  6. I predicted McLaren had taken a step backwards withe the upgrade. Macca have a history (this season) of blowing hot air, only not to deliver when it counnts. True to form, they were at it earlier in the week until Neal stepped in with a more measured response to what McLaren were expecting from the exhaust blown diffuser.

    I also predicted they would lose 2nd row to Ferrari unless they ditched the upgrade. They did, but too late; leaving them on the back foot. Fortunately, Macca,s saviour (not for the first time), stepped in to save Martin Whitmarsh’s blushes with a good drive to the 2nd row.

    Whitmarsh’s history at the helm of McLaren is not so good – despite the speed at which McLaren progresses the car. In 2009, he delivered a dog of a car; It was a case of 1 step forwards, 2 steps backwards. In 2010, the MP-25 started as the 3rd best car, and they have now taken a step backwards. RBR, Ferrari, Renault all tested the blown diffuser before it finally went on the car. It did not lose them any pace in the meantime. If Mercedes had taken the right direction, Macca would now be the 4th best car fighting with Renault.
    Qualifying 14th, at this stage of the season, due to car setup, or wrong direction is very very bad.

    As an aside, will McLaren now focus their efforts on Lewis? As he is the only one who can be trusted to deliver when the car is not working as it should be. Contentious as this notion may be, i say it because I believe McLaren have now lost the momemtum to Red Bull and Ferrari and will never get it back till the season ends.

    Tomorrow, i predict some coming together between Webber, Alonso and Lewis. Webber will try to swerve accross Alonso, but will focus mainly on keeping 3rd, Alonso will rather die and keep 3rd than let Lewis pass, and Lewis will be trying to pass both of them. Lewis has 2 guys in front of him that will be hell bent on not letting him through. I hopes he keeps his head. Expect fireworks!

    1. Younger Hamilton
      10th July 2010, 20:42

      Mate Don’t you understand F1,do you know McLaren as well as i do.I started F1 from 2009 no in fact from the race Lewis won the World title i became mad with F1 but it took me time to get used to the sport and everything that was going on.Anyway when i was watching F1 in my ‘early days’ i could not understand why McLaren and Lewis were coming dead last all the time until the German Grand Prix last year i was watching Lewis on the track in qualifying Q3 until Brundle or was it legard that said ‘new whole aerodynamic upgrades’ and from this day it still lingers in my mind from there on,i started to realise that they must have had a poor car.Then i started to learn more about F1 until i realised McLaren struggled in the first half of that season because of a lack of downforce in the car and they took very long to adapt to the new technical regulations and the way they made the car about the 2nd or 3rd fastest car on the grid in 2009 showed the way McLaren can develop a car is absolutely immense.This year is completely different from the start of the season they did have the 3rd best car but as the season went on the car ‘improved’ and Ferrari slipped up and McLaren took advantage because of the rate they can develop a car currently we have the 2nd fastest car and will be the fastest after hockenheim.All this ‘blown diffuser’ gag or situation is gonna be sorted out like i said again i have all trust in McLaren, we havent taken a step back its just Ferrari,Renault and Mercedes were able to get it correct this weekend and take a step forward.Going back to 09 oh yeah its not Whitmarsh’s fault he just trying to do his best for the team,besides he didnt actually build this and last year’s car did he?

    2. As an aside, will McLaren now focus their efforts on Lewis? As he is the only one who can be trusted to deliver when the car is not working as it should be.

      Although it’s true that Lewis is getting the best from the car in qualifying, it’s way too early for Macca to throw all their eggs into one basket. They are evenly matched on race pace and Lewis could have a DNF if, as you suggest, he has a coming together with Webbo and Fred.

      Younger Hamilton makes some good points re. Macca’s development. With the testing ban it just takes a bit longer to get it right. Let’s give it a few more races and see how things pan out. For all your criticism of Whitmarsh, who are leading both championships?

      1. Sorry, blockquote fail on my part. The second one is my own comment!

  7. Younger Hamilton
    10th July 2010, 20:13

    @DaveW The Modified diffuser did actually worked and its purpose increase downforce,it did do that but the reason McLaren took it off both cars because both Lewis and Jenson found the car harder to drive (you know the MP4-25 is a pretty stiff car to drive (like Coulthard said in Canadaand Lewis running off the track lots of times in practice)plus they couldnt find the correct set-up for the upgrades although they kept the new front wing on the cars.

  8. Younger Hamilton
    10th July 2010, 20:21

    Well done Lewis P4 Jenson so dissapointed in P14 not your fault,Its all Red bull’s fault cursing us with that stupid ‘exhaust or blown diffuser’
    whatever,although its 1-1, we did curse Ferrari and Red bull with the F-duct for ferrari throughout the season while Red bull in Turkey.We’ll get it all correct tommorow and hockenheim i trust and believe McLaren by the grace of God they will get that blown diffuser and hopefully new upgrades correct in Hockenheim.But i’ve learned that you can never ever underestimate Ferrari.Redbull obviously got the quickest car out there no doubt about that but from hockenheim and onwards we’ll be right in there in terms with Redbull or slightly ahead.


  9. Electrolite
    10th July 2010, 20:55

    I loathe Sebastian Vettel. I won’t cotton wool it. I actually die a little inside everytime I see him do the number one sign with his hand.

  10. Electrolite
    10th July 2010, 21:01

    To be honest the two of them were changing positions throughout the hour that much, I bet with the wind being such a factor on each lap it could have been either of them getting P1. What strikes me is how far they were in front of everyone else this time round. Like 0.7 seconds ahead, whilst everyone else faffed about with their own problems – hence what keith says in the article title.

    I’ll be backing Pedro tomorrow, it’ll be nice to see Kubica and Rubens battle their way up the field also.

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