Webber edges Vettel for Silverstone pole

2011 British Grand Prix qualifying

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

2011 British Grand Prix

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130 comments on Webber edges Vettel for Silverstone pole

  1. ivz (@ivz) said on 9th July 2011, 14:11

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

  2. bassbar said on 9th July 2011, 14:11

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

    • DavidS (@davids) said on 9th July 2011, 14:13

      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.

      • F1-777 (@f1-777) said on 9th July 2011, 14:15

        Yeah, Onehd are hopeless sometimes.

        • ivz (@ivz) said on 9th July 2011, 14:18

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

          • one whole egg said on 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

        • Pinball said on 10th July 2011, 2:16

          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.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 9th July 2011, 14:46

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

    • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 9th July 2011, 15:55

      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?

      • TheBrav3 said on 9th July 2011, 16:25

        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

    • TheBrav3 said on 9th July 2011, 16:23

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

    • Mike said on 10th July 2011, 11:26

      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. DavidS (@davids) said on 9th July 2011, 14:12

    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.

    • F1-777 (@f1-777) said on 9th July 2011, 14:13

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

      • DavidS (@davids) said on 9th July 2011, 14:51

        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.

      • marc said on 9th July 2011, 16:08

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

    • Darren said on 9th July 2011, 14:21

      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.

      • ivz (@ivz) said on 9th July 2011, 14:26

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

        • alex said on 9th July 2011, 14:54

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

          • Santi said on 9th July 2011, 14:59

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

          • Mike said on 10th July 2011, 11:30

            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.

          • Mike said on 10th July 2011, 11:52

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

      • marc said on 9th July 2011, 16:12

        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 !!

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th July 2011, 16:19

          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.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th July 2011, 15:05

      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.


    • TheBrav3 said on 9th July 2011, 16:29

      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)

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th July 2011, 19:04

        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. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 9th July 2011, 14:13

    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.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 9th July 2011, 14:14

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

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th July 2011, 14:28

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

      • smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 9th July 2011, 14:56

        hope its rain tomorrow …love to see paul on podium

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

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th July 2011, 15:30

          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.

          • Marco said on 9th July 2011, 16:05

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

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th July 2011, 20:19

            @ 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.

    • fullthrottle said on 9th July 2011, 14:23

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

      • TheBrav3 said on 9th July 2011, 16:34

        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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th July 2011, 19:44

      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?

    • Douglas 62500 said on 10th July 2011, 10:22

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

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 10th July 2011, 11:14

      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 (@) said on 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. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th July 2011, 14:19

    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.

  7. Tom said on 9th July 2011, 14:19

    Mark was faster in Q1, Q2 and Q3.

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

  8. bananarama said on 9th July 2011, 14:23

    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.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 9th July 2011, 15:13

      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. David-A (@david-a) said on 9th July 2011, 14:24

    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.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th July 2011, 15:33

      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. Icthyes said on 9th July 2011, 14:25

    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.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th July 2011, 15:39

      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.

    • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 9th July 2011, 15:56

      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. driftin said on 9th July 2011, 14:26

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

  12. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 9th July 2011, 14:27

    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!!!!

  13. Duckduckgo said on 9th July 2011, 14:30

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

  14. MacLeod (@macleod) said on 9th July 2011, 14:33

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

  15. Steve P said on 9th July 2011, 14:36

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

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th July 2011, 14:43

      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?

      • Chaos said on 9th July 2011, 15:49

        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 “

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th July 2011, 19:47

          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.

      • TheBrav3 said on 9th July 2011, 16:43

        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.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th July 2011, 16:53

          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.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th July 2011, 16:58

          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).

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th July 2011, 19:49

            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!

    • Baron said on 9th July 2011, 15:52

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

  16. Doance (@doance) said on 9th July 2011, 14:36

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

  17. dragon said on 9th July 2011, 14:41

    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. Eggry (@eggry) said on 9th July 2011, 14:42

    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.

  19. Gabriel said on 9th July 2011, 14:42

    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. Sideways said on 9th July 2011, 14:44

    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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