Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Silverstone, 2011

Webber edges Vettel for Silverstone pole

2011 British Grand Prix qualifyingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Silverstone, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Silverstone, 2011

Christian Horner may feel Red Bull have been disadvantaged at Silverstone – but the two RB7s locked out the front row of the grid once again.

However it was Mark Webber who took pole position, pipping his team mate by a few hundredths of a second.


With rain threatening at the start of the session, the teams didn’t waste any time joining the track. All 24 cars were out within a few minutes.

Lotus sent their drivers out with soft tyres for their first runs, and that paid off for Heikki Kovalainen.

He briefly took eighth, but dropped down the order as other cars improved their times.

However the rain arrived soon enough to hand Kovalainen a place in Q2. Neither Toro Rosso driver were able to improve thier time and both were elimiated.

They joined Jarno Trulli and both Virgin and HRT drivers, with rookie Daniel Ricciardo bringing up the rear.

Fernando Alonso was caught out by the rain and skidded off the track at Luffield. He gathered the Ferrari up and returned to the circuit to finish fifth.

Significantly, McLaren believed they needed a run on soft tyres to ensure they would safely reach Q2. However it proved unnecessary, as rain started to fall just after they took to the track.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’35.245
19 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’35.749
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’36.203
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’36.456
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’37.154
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’37.484
24 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’38.059


The track was damp but drying throughout Q2, which made for an exciting battle for the final ten.

A handful of drivers started the session on intermediate tyres, but soon dropped them for softs. Mark Webber headed the times at first on hard tyres, but like everyone else decided softs were the way to go.

The times tumbled so rapidly throughout the session the drivers ended up quicker than they had been in Q1, led by Felipe Massa.

A late improvement from Jenson Button moved him up to fourth.

Adrian Sutil took tenth with his final lap but Paul di Resta knocked his team mate out with a lap just five-hundredths of a second faster.

Several other teams only had one driver in the final ten: Kamui Kobayashi at Sauber, Nico Rosberg at Mercedes and Pastor Maldonado at Williams.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’32.617
12 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’32.624
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’32.656
14 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’32.734
15 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’33.119
16 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’33.805
17 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’34.821


As in Q1, the drivers hit the track straight away, concerned that more rain was on the way.

As it turned out, they were right. The Red Bulls led the cars out of the pits and their first laps proved decisive.

Vettel had Webber close behind him and they traded fastest sector times around the lap. But it was Webber who prevailed at the line, ahead by just three hundredths of a second.

Fernando Alonso was close behind, lapping just a tenth of a second off Vettel.

Felipe Massa joined him on row two, but a full six tenths of a second slower.

The McLarens struggled: Button fifth, Hamilton only tenth after doing his first run on the set of soft tyres he’d used in Q1.

As the ran icame there was no time for further improvements. Nico Rosberg made a fabulously committed effort, catching a twitch of oversteer at huge speed at Chapel, but having to abort his lap.

Top ten in Q3

1 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’30.399
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’30.431
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’30.516
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’31.126
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.898
6 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’31.929
7 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’31.933
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’32.128
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’32.209
10 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’32.376

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130 comments on “Webber edges Vettel for Silverstone pole”

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  1. Good to see the gap is quite close with the top 3. Dam shame McLaren are not up there as well.

    1. lets hope for another banzai ferrari start to make it really interesting

      1. Incredibley disppointed hot blowing is ok and cold blowing is not, its ridiculous.

        1. It’s not ridiculous hot blowing is incredibly un-eco, cold blowing just uses air. The entire point for the ban was that renault were reportedly using 20% more fuel because of this system. In a time when f1 is changing engines because it’s trying to make a message about the enviroment, what did you expect to happen?

          1. New engine rules in a few years. Not some stupid mid-season work-around to mix things up randomly again.

          2. TheBrav3 – Renault cold blows :P

          3. A little misinformation goes a long way in F1.

          4. their point wasnt gas consunption but illegal aero help or somethin related to moving parts.

  2. best part of quali? murray walker commentating on the pole lap

    1. Really? oh damn, I missed it. One HD in their infinite wisdom went to an ad break just as the onboard shot of Webber’s pole lap reached Copse.

      1. Yeah, Onehd are hopeless sometimes.

        1. Just watch one of the links for BBC’s coverage on the net. Even though its a bit delayed.

          1. one whole egg
            9th July 2011, 14:46

            really wanna watch the race tomorrow but have no tv would like to know of some links that stream the race live???? thanks

        2. At least in Brisbane they have worked out that we don’t need to see the AFL on Ten and One, so it means they show the AFL on Ten, and then show the F1 and MotoGP qualifying live on One now, rather than delaying it by an hour. So that’s a big improvement.

    2. Agree with you. I love DC, MB but voice of MW is much more attractive!

    3. It was marvelous to hear him — his voice and enthusiasm have hardly changed in thirty years (and even before that in his commentaries on mo-bike events — but then again, I remember Murray’s father before him.) And still as polite as ever; praising drivers and teams who merit it, and refusing to be drawn into criticism (note he did not answer the question on Schumacher.)

      Although I have to admit that Brundle (who is good in his role) is a big change from James Hunt. I wonder how many F1Fanatics remember the Walker/Hunt team?

      1. one whole egg if you have a pc/laptop then look no further than the bbcsport formula one website if you are outside of the uk then try Firstrowsports or justintv

        1. one whole egg
          10th July 2011, 15:21

          thanks for the tips TheBrav3
          great race thoroughly enjoyed it

    4. 2nd best part of qualy JB and DC having their voices chipmunked by the sound engineers.

    5. I know yeah, Murry Walker really is one of the greatest heroes of Formula one. I actually applauded at the end of the lap.

      I really think Formula one should honor him in the greatest way they can think of. Name a circuit after him or something like that.

  3. Excellent qualifying, particularly the Q2 session where everybody was on the pace as the track rapidly improved.
    Nice to see Webber get a pole.

    I’m wondering about the assertion made that Vettel’s driving style lends itself more to the blown diffuser, and that Webber may have an advantage now.

    1. Yeah, Webber suddenly looks very comfortable by comparison-has the season reached a turning point?…

      1. Being a Webber fan, I hope he can close the gap to Vettel. It will make for a very interesting finish to the season if they both fight it out until the last race. Almost reminiscent of Prost/Senna.

      2. Hopefully this is Webber turning point,coz he looks really strong out there ….

    2. For championship sake I hope so, Vettel needs some pressure and it will be interesting to see if he has indeed matured, look out for Alonso at the start.

      1. Alonso could easily lead on the first lap, the starts he has had this year!

        1. He has had terrible starts, except for spain and 1 other

          1. That was at the beginning, check the latest 3-4 starts. He gained positions almost every single time.

          2. Yeah, he co0uld be dangerous, but then again, so could Massa. I really hope one or both can get the starts they need.

            I suspect they really worked on the starts after the first few races.

          3. That came across badly, what I mean is, I really hope both Ferrari’s can get the jump on the Red Bulls.

      2. I dont think Vettel has mature,just look at him today…he just quiete didnt say much like he used to when was on pole. And the reason last 8 races he looks calm,because no one really gave a real preasured at the time and when people do see what happend in China and where is the race Jenson came from behind?Vettel chock !!

        1. Oh please. Vettel appeared to be positive and looking forward to tomorrow’s race.

          I’m truly sick of all this “pressure” BS when he handled it so well in Spain (where Webber also took pole) and Monaco. In China, Hamilton beat him because he simply drove better and had the right tyres, not because Vettel “chock”ed. Yeah he made an error in Canada, but stop clinging onto the exception, rather than the norm.

    3. Well… I hate to say I told you all. But, I just had a feeling that with the OTBD restrictions, Webber was going to give Vettel a harder fight.

    4. It’s not about being comfortable or even vettels driving style sort of. It’s about mark being able to trick the throttle to blow the diffuser mid corner something which vettel famously couldn’t do last year. He only started dominating mark in qualy when redbull introduced an engine map to make that happen automaticly. That is now taken away but the gain in laptime is still available to a certain extent to someone like mark who can do this trick. That is why some engineers have said that the ban will help mark specificly. Expect to see their qualy battles alot closer if the rules don’t change again. (which they will)

      1. We shouldn’t be reading too much into a couple of hundredths on one lap but good to see mark up front again, the thing that I found most interesting was that he was using DRS everywhere except when braking, he seems to have downforce to burn, probably he has the wet setup for the race.

  4. Absolutely incredible session! So much action and great to see the teams getting out and driving at top speed straight away rather than waiting back. Fantastic to see Webber on pole again, and Fernando is looking handy in 3rd. Could he spring a surprise tomorrow? I hope so!

    Honourable mentions to Paul di Resta, Kamui Kobayashi and Pastor Maldonado. I think we’re in for a great race tomorrow.

    1. Scrap that; I’m over the moon with Paul’s performance! This kid is a star! (Not British bias; I’m not British! :P)

      1. Phenomenal performance by Paul. A good start, some rain, and… surprise podium anyone? :P

      2. hope its rain tomorrow …love to see paul on podium

      3. Would like to see Paul and Alonso or Vettel or Lewis in the same team, i think DiResta is the next big thing

        1. I dont think Sutil is that bad, instead I always thought he was really quick. But Paul has completely overshadowed him this season. I think Di Resta definitely should be looking at some top drives within the next couple of seasons. Everyone is talking about Ricciardo replacing Webber soon at RB, but I think Di Resta looks like a more luikely candidate.

          1. Sutil was only 0,050 s behind Di Resta in Q2… And the race is tomorrow…

          2. @ Marco – I like Di Resta, but you do have a point, Adrian isn’t performing as badly as everyone says, since despite being outqualified so often, he tends to do better in the races than Paul.

    2. fullthrottle
      9th July 2011, 14:23

      I’d add Perez to your list, but for sure di Resta tops it.

      1. Big up to pastor, di resta we have already seen is exceptional but that was something else from maldonado.

        I’m not trying to detract from di resta he was mega today just a brilliant performance. however pastor getting into q3 8 places ahead of rubens that’s impressive.

    3. I agree, quit refreshing session. Good to see Alonso pushing again, and Massa will be hoping on another fast start, he might even get Vettel off the line?

    4. Douglas 62500
      10th July 2011, 10:22

      That’s good. Looking forward to some incredible banzai moves from Kobayashi, the king of overtaking !!

    5. Could have a Montreal type start?

      With the RB7’s highly effective KERS and Alonso’s recent quality starts, could be very good!

  5. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    9th July 2011, 14:13

    Damn this weather afffecting things again. At least it means the race will definitely be exciting with Hamilton 10th and Di Resta 6th.

  6. I know a lot of people are unhappy with Vettel being the one to trounce everyone – especially with the finger – but this qualifying session really shows what makes him such a strong racer. He might have been second to Webber, but Webber only beat him by three hundreths of a second when Vettel had been much further down the order in every other qualifying period. He simply has the ability to produce a high-quality lap when it is needed the most without bowing to the pressure. It’s a trait that relatively few drivers have.

    1. Well put, PM. You don’t get a 30% pole ratio without being excellent in quali.

    2. I also shows the genuine RB7 is perfect for him, let’s hope and pray we keep this 10% thingy, we may just have a compitition in 2011!

    3. Wow, I would’ve though Vettel’s six poles would prove his racing abilities. Webber probably would have gone even faster if they went again.

      1. (No proof though, just a hunch! Don’t hold me to that assumption!)

        1. Webber probably would have crashed if they went again.

          (No proof though, just a hunch! Don’t hold me to that assumption!)

    4. Exactly, PM. I said in the live blog that I’d not be surprised if he skipped all three practice sessions and still took pole.

      1. Was it Turkey where he walled it in free practise and still stuck it on pole?

  7. Mark was faster in Q1, Q2 and Q3.

    Well deserved pole Mark! Lets carry this form through the rest of the year.

  8. The six tenths are back! Just kidding.

    Vettel said he made a bad gearshift near the end of the lap and thinks that would have given him pole. Lets see how it’ll be tomorrow, Webber and Alonso look quite good and Massa might surprise. The McLarens look quite weak again but it will be a long race.

    1. And Webber made a slight mistake on the entry to Becketts which was probably why he lost 2 tenths to Vettel in the second sector(see the onboard for evidence). You can turn it any way you like :)

  9. Well done to Mark Webber (now don’t botch the start ;) ). It’ll be interesting to see how well Alonso and Massa can start, and if Webber wins easily, it’ll be interesting to see whether Webber is voted as the best driver of the weekend.

    1. I guess it depends on what the drivers behind him do. If Hamilton or Button can make it to the podium, I’m pretty sure all the votes will go there.

      But if Webber wins this weekend, I will most definitely vote for him.

  10. Good job by Mark, great jobs by Alonso and di Resta, McLaren were just woeful in every department. The strategy mistakes just keep piling up.

    1. I think it was more than strategy screwups this weekend. Button was 1.4s slower than the Ferrari of Alonso… and Hamilton was nearly 2.0s slower. Since Valencia, Mclaren seemed to have lost some quali and race pace.

    2. Yep my thoughts exactly, Mclaren have looked totally out of sorts all weekend. There have been some seriously odd decisions by the team as well. They are comprehensively the third fastest team now, which is underwhelming to say the least.

  11. If Q1 was Q3 that qualifying would have been utterly amazing. Unfortunately it was just another cop out.

  12. I may be wrong but I remember last year, when Mark beated Vettel at Spain and Monaco on consecutive weekends, they were saying that the way Mark drove made the blown diffuser work better. But they worked on that and fixed the computer or whatever to make Vettel more comfortable.

    So maybe the ban on off-throttle blown diffuser hurt Vettel more than Mark?!

    Just a theory. Great to see Mark on pole, for whatever reason it is :D:D!!!!

    1. I think same thing. of course he’s still amazingly fast but not as much as before. perhaps same thing is happening in opposite direction.

      If Webber consistently beats Vettel for the rest of the season? If Vettel don’t recover from this for next races, many people consider Vettel as Playstation boy with drive assist.

      Whatever it’s good to see Mark is on his form, Ferrari either. Mclaren is disappointing.

  13. di Resta coming good again. Surely this will be a plus for Force India.

    1. and perhaps future in Mercedes…

  14. Isn’t Sutil 11th? Or was BBC wrong.

    1. My mistake – had his lap time down wrong. Changed it.

  15. The race still to come, but can f1fanatic put the usual anti-Webber spin on this qualifying result?

    1. I haven’t got anything against Webber. I don’t know where you’re getting this “usual anti-Webber spin” thing from – care to provide an example?

      1. I agree, there is a particular conformist tone to this website. Although, I don’t blame anybody. In fact, this is a brilliant website to track Formula 1.
        Unfortunately, being different and counter to the system does not have a favorable response from the .
        Just ask senna, in his time he was widely hated and no one really liked him.

        In years gone by, we will look back at this “Vettel” Era and say he was the best.

        But, is he really?

        Was Prost better than Senna?
        Is Button better than Hamilton?
        Is Massa just another COG in the Ferrari wheel?

        What is the point of all of this if we can’t figure out clearly who is the best “

        1. Ah, but we can have a wonderfull debate with all the pro’s and cons and video evidence and books and everything!

          That is fun. Never noticed that conformist tone on the website though, rather the opposite, I think Keith often tries to look for a fresh angle at things, but its opinions, so each can have their own.

      2. Keith you said yesterday something along the lines of sebastian has been the better driver and you didn’t give mark a shot at pole. When you know because you reported it, that the reason he has had the edge in qualy was because of programming introduced to the engine map towards the end of last year. *Specificly* to blow the diffuser mid corner automaticly, makeing up the difference between what mark was able to do manualy and sebastian could not. They both have areas they are stronger in so to say that mark didn’t have a chance after this vettel pick me up was taken away does sound to be rather anti webber.

        1. Me saying I didn’t think Webber would take pole position does not mean I’m “anti” him, it just means I didn’t fancy his chances.

          Which, on the strength of his form this year, is not unreasonable: until today he’d only out-qualified Vettel once, and that was when Vettel had a faulty KERS.

          At any rate, Steve P is the one doing the accusing here and I’d like to see if he has anything to back it up with.

        2. I can’t really blame Keith for not giving Webber a chance before today. He after all, hasn’t finished ahead in 14 races, so let’s see if can end that tomorrow (which he screwed up doing in Spain).

          1. Yeah, I think anyone but a starch Webber supporter would have given him only little chance.

            Good to see he upped his hand/showed he is better at Silverstone/had better luck? Would be great if he keeps this going!

    2. Fairly obvious you are missing the football season mate.. but don’t worry, there’s only a few weeks to go

      1. I’m missing the footie too, but unlike him, I’m loving the F1 honest! :P

  16. You beauty Webber! Now hopefully Vettel and Alonso crash into eachother on the first lap, so they aren’t in Webber’s way.

  17. Seb quietly slipping in that the track is tough on tyres in the post quali interview; he knows up to this point he’s almost had an entire pit stop on Webber when it comes to tyre management. Still, The gap between the two is looking far more like 2010, fingers croseed for Mark!

  18. Good job Webber! Well done Ferraris! also don’t forget 3 young buys! They were faster than Hamilton and Nico! Not exciting as Sepang but much interesting result.

    1. Sorry, not buys but guys :P

  19. The new FIA rule about the blown diffuser is intend to slow the Red Bull. Well, it’s not really what’s happend, only Alonso come close to Vettel and Webber. Button, Hamilton, Petrov and Heifleid seems suffers a lot from this stupid change. I hope rain tomorrow, it’s the only damn god thing that could make the race more interresting.

  20. Do we have any info on how much of a disadvantage Sebastian has, in starting P2 and on the wrong side of the track? Hoping to see Fernando jump him early!

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