2011 British Grand Prix qualifying
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|
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|
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|
|6||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’31.929|
2011 British Grand Prix
- Adam watches an F1 race for the first time at Silverstone
- 2011 British Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your British Grand Prix driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Webber made a number two driver again
- Ferrari back on form after poor start to 2011
- McLaren: Fuel and pit errors add to problems
- Renault: Heidfeld salvages points from poor weekend
- Mercedes pass Renault in the championship
- Force India squander points chance
- Sauber: Perez claims best-ever result
Image © Red Bull/Getty images