Fernando Alonso topped the time sheets at Silverstone to take pole position during a rain-sodden qualifying session at the British Grand Prix. He’ll start ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber in second and Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher who will start third.
Sebastian Vettel will start fourth, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was seventh fastest while his team mate Jenson Button — who was eliminated in the first qualifying session — will start a lowly 18th on the grid.
It was a qualifying session dominated by inclement weather, with drivers at no time able to run on dry tyres. Indeed there was no running whatsoever at one point, the session interrupted for an hour and a half due to torrential rain.
Alonso had been struggling before the session was halted. Neither he, nor his Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa looked like they were going to make it through to the top 10 shoot out. Alonso scraped through at the last moment despite appearing to set his fastest time during a period of yellow flags, during which drivers are required to slow down because of a hazard on the track.
When the session resumed, Alonso got the better of a tense, hard-fought battle with Mark Webber, completing a lap just 0.047 seconds faster than the Australian. Felipe Massa wil start tomorrow’s race in fifth, Lotus-Renault’s Kimi Raikkonen will start in sixth, Maldonado in 7th, Nico Hulkenberg in 9th and Romain Grosjean in tenth.
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:51.746
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:51.793
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:52.020
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:52.199
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:53.065
6 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1:53.290
7 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:53.539
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:53.543
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:54.382
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault No time
Photo: Mr Fujisawa