Daily Archives: July 9, 2011

Webber pips Vettel in Silverstone qualifying

Mark Webber will start on pole position for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix. The Australian was 0.04 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel, while both Red Bulls were challenged by the Ferraris. Lewis Hamilton had a torrid qualifying, while Paul di Resta drove brilliantly to 6th position. Here is the full report:

Q1

Heikki Kovalainen got through to Q2

Heikki Kovalainen got through to Q2

After heavy rain on Friday, the track was certainly not in prime position. Instead of only one or two short runs, most of the field opted to take on heavy fuel and stay out longer, in order to help the track rubber in.

The times tumbled during the session, with Felipe Massa and even Pastor Maldonado leading at certain points.

Mark Webber went fastest with a 1:32.6 with 6 minutes to go. However, the rain returned once again, ruining the final laps of those in the drop zone. The Toro Rossos of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi suffered most, finishing 18th and 19th. Heikki Kovalainen pushed his way up to 16th.

Daniel Ricciardo failed to beat Vitantonio Liuzzi in his first qualifying session, falling away by 0.6 seconds. Nick Heidfeld just scraped through to Q2, finishing in 17th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:35.245

19) Sebastien Buemi – 1:35.749

20) Timo Glock – 1:36.203

21) Jarno Trulli 1:36.456

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:37.154

23) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:37.484

24) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:38.059

107% time: 1:39.156

Q2

Pastor Maldonado edged through to Q3

Pastor Maldonado edged through to Q3

While the rain quickly stopped, the track remained damp as Q2 began. Several cars emerged from the pits on soft tyres, while both Mercedes drivers took on intermediates.

Rosberg and Schumacher were joined by Fernando Alonso on inters, while it became apparent that certain parts of the track were unsuitable for dry tyres. Despite this, the dry tyres soon became the way to go, as the times began to tumble again.

Both Williams drivers topped the timesheets for several minutes, before being beaten by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez. Mark Webber, and then Adrian Sutil, thrashed that time by 2 seconds.

Fernando Alonso set a 1:31.727 to go fastest. Vettel went 4th, while Massa and Webber moved to the top.

With 1 minute to go, the times were still falling, as a last gap charge for Q3 began. Pastor Maldonado edged out Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez for 10th place, while Button leaped from 14th t0 4th on his final lap.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Adrian Sutil – 1:32.617

12) Sergio Perez – 1:32.624

13) Michael Schumacher – 1:32.656

14) Vitaly Petrov – 1:32.734

15) Rubens Barrichell0 – 1:33.119

16) Nick Heidfeld – 1:33.805

17) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:34.821

Q3

Webber broke Vettel's streak of pole positions

Webber broke Vettel's streak of pole positions

With more rain expected for Q3, the smarter drivers were the first out of the pits. Sebastian Vettel set a 1:30.431, while Mark Webber went 4 hundreths faster than his teammate.

The Ferraris went 3rd and 4th, while the McLarens were horribly off the pace. Button was 1.5 seconds off Webber, with Hamilton a further second behind.

Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg went 8th and 9th, with Hamilton relegated to 10th. Paul di Resta impressively went 6th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado.

With 3 minutes to go, the final runs were being prepared. However, the rain began to fall again, albeit not as intensive as before. While Jenson Button went out for a final lap time, he gave up before the end of sector 1. Nico Rosberg bravely tried a last-gasp run, but a slip entering the Hangar Straight ended his lap prematurely.

With no further fast laps to be set, Mark Webber was declared to have pole position, marginally ahead of his teammate. Alonso was one tenth off Vettel, with Massa and Button 4th and 5th. Paul di Resta put in a fantastic lap to go 6th.

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