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Mark Webber on pole at Silverstone as throttle map row rolls on
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Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Jul 2011   |  2:28 pm GMT  |  140 comments

Mark Webber took pole position for the British Grand Prix ahead of his team mate Sebastian Vettel, with Fernando Alonso in third just a tenth of second off pole position. The McLarens were over a second behind with Jenson Button, while Lewis Hamilton was disappointed to be down in 10th place for his home Grand Prix.

Webber said that the front row lock out didn’t prove anything after the row over the throttle mapping in the run up to qualifying. At an emergency meeting of the Technical Working group it was decided that the cars would all run with 10% throttle open when the driver lifts off, Red Bull’s least favoured option.

“The last three years our team has turned up early and left late. What has happened in last few months is years of preparation to put ourselves in this position. It’s all about interpretation of rules. We’re still here, I don’t think the fans are 1% interested in the technical thing. Let’s just keep the rules simple and get on with the racing.”

Alonso, who survived a scare in Q1 when he went off track into some mud but managed to get out again, said it was Ferrari’s best qualifying of the season, “We are closer than ever. Today we are quicker and tomorrow we can put some pressure on them.”

All the cars rushed out at the start of qualifying because showers were forecast and after a few minutes light race started falling. Fernando Alonso went off track but managed to escape by driving through a muddy section.

Most drivers were carrying a few laps worth of fuel and turned a series of laps in Q1, rather than go out for a single lap blast.

Daniel Ricciardo was making his debut for Hispania this weekend but he wasn’t able to do enough in the brief period when the track was dry at the start. He qualified half a second slower than team mate Tonio Liuzzi.

The rain fell heavily with five minutes of Q1 remaining and Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen had by then done a great job to get ahead of both Toro Rossos, who were knocked out.

In Q2 there was a tough decision to be made on what tyre to run as there were some damp patches, especially around Copse corner, while the south side of the circuit was dry enough for slicks.

The rain stopped and the track began to ramp up very quickly and the lap times tumbled. It was all about timing, being on the soft tyre at the right time. Two men who used to excel in these conditions were eliminated, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.

Paul di Resta again beat his team mate, Adrian Sutil, the seventh time in nine races. He ended up in sixth place, his best grid slot of his F1 career to date. Pastor Maldonado got through into the top ten for the third time this season.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Silverstone, Qualifying
1. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m30.399s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m30.431s + 0.032
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.516s + 0.117
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.124s + 0.725
5. Jenson Button McLaren 1m31.989s + 1.590
6. Paul di Resta Force India 1m31.929s + 1.530
7. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m31.933s + 1.534
8. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m32.128s + 1.729
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.209s + 1.810
10. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m32.376s + 1.977

11. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m32.617s + 0.977
12. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m32.624s + 0.984
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.656s + 1.016
14. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m32.734s + 1.094
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m33.119s + 1.479
16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m33.805s + 2.165
17. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1m34.821s + 3.181

18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m35.245s + 2.575
19. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m35.749s + 3.079
20. Timo Glock Virgin 1m36.203s + 3.533
21. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1m36.456s + 3.786
22. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin 1m37.154s + 4.484
23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT 1m37.484s + 4.814
24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1m38.059s + 5.389

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140 Comments
  1. james says:

    Every time people write Webber off he delivers. LEGEND.

    1. Michael S says:

      “lengend” being outqualied 11 out 13 times to your teammate is legend?

      1. james says:

        Pretty easy to out qualify your team mate when everything is handed to you on a silver platter, including your team mates front wing and a car that is built entirely around you whilst your team mate has to struggle to adapt. Anyway, even playing field now with the regulation changes and guess what? Vettel will back to the pack.

      2. Jaw Jaw says:

        Lap time depended on what the software map did when you turned in didn’t it? And now it doesn’t….

      3. Ricciardo says:

        Clearly the blown diffuser was working best for Sebastian, and that has shown this weekend. If they do end up getting rid of the blown diffuser for the rest of the year, I’d expect Mark to dominate Sebastian. Looks to me like you’re an angry fanboy? …[mod]

    2. AlexD says:

      Vettel had a bad day:-) 90% of the time he is beaten…well, it is a legend in a way:-)

    3. marian says:

      Not bad for a second driver…remember same race last year.

  2. Sideways says:

    Great qualifying session, best of the year so far. No waiting around in the pits while the clock ticks down, the action was full on all the time.

    Awesome runs by DiResta and Fernando, too bad about Lewis, and Red Bull was.. Red Bull, throttle mapping or no throttle mapping.

    Expect a stonking race tomorrow, I hope to see Fernando crash the Red Bull party, Lewis to carve his way through on tyres of his choice, and Force India to finish top 5. Bring it on !

    1. Wayne says:

      Yes, know why it was a great qualy? Because saving the joke-shop tyres was rendred largely irrelevant by the conditions. The new tyres have ruined qualy (one part of F1 that was perfect before this year!)

      1. Wayne says:

        As I understand it all the cars will revert to the Valencia spec from now on and the decision that was painfully obvious will be the one that wins out: leave it until the end of the season! Between this and Bharain – why is F1 incapable of taking, what is obviously the right decidion to the rest of the word, frist time? People are being paid WAY too much, way beyond thier level of competence. I am an average Joe and I would have made the right decidion both times – because it was so blindingly obvious!

        What’s the result? No British driver realistically in with a chance of winning their home gp. Thanks F1, thanks a bunch.

        How much confusion has been spread and how much have the teams wasted trying to prepare for Silverstone regulations to have them changed and then thrown out at the last minute?

    2. frosty1 says:

      Lewis can’t use tyres of his choice if he starts 10th, can he? I thought that if you started outside the top 10 you get to chose…

  3. Fk says:

    Mansell just said on bbc that some teams have gotten hold of some fancy Nasa carbon fibres to put on their cars. WOULD LOVE TO KNOW more about that james and see how they are used differently from “ordinary” carbon fibre.

    1. Wayne says:

      Yes, shamed no-one has picked up on this and tried to explain it……

    2. Mario says:

      There should be no great leap in carbon fibre technology, may be a small one, but nothing of significance. Not until they manage to produce large enough graphene sheets that is. Then carbon will be history.

    3. John_C says:

      Well one of the early problems with the hot blown diffusers was they were melted by the exhaust gasses. NASA have developed some trick carbon fibre for the space program which can resist extremely high temperatures and it’s now finding commercial applications everywhere.

      I imagine one or more teams have spotted this stuff and are using it for the heat sensitive parts of the bodywork, also there are self-lubricating carbon fibre bush assemblies out there which are used in foundries etc and these probably could have applications in F1 too.

      I don’t think it’s the witchcraft which Mansell suggests it is, just the usual adoption of high end materials in F1.

      Google returns *tons* of stuff on NASA high temperature CF if you’re interested.

      Cheers,
      John

  4. Bayan says:

    Did you hear Murray Walker going over Webber’s pole lap after Q3? That was brilliant… just brilliant to hear his voice in F1 again.

    Great quali from Alonso and Massa. RB must be sweating buckets judging from the Ferrari starts in the previous races.

    1. Wayne says:

      Brilliant to hear Murray’s voice on live TV again! They should bring him back every year for the British GP live qualy to partner the current 2.

      1. Please no. I used to love Walker back in the day, but now when I watch Classic F1 on BBC Red Button I just find him irritating.

    2. Tank says:

      Made my heart sing to hear mr walker live again! He also comentated all thru p3 with the 5 live team.

    3. Jimmi C says:

      If science somehow cures death, I want Murray to be first in line for the treatment.

    4. unoc12 says:

      Maybe it’s becasue I’m not old, but I don’t really enjoy Walker commentating. I much prefer Brundle and Coulthard. Much more depth and less shouty

      1. DanielS says:

        “Not old”? Sorry, are you saying you have to be Murray’s age to enjoy his commentary or something? I’m 20 – I LOVE his commentary. Am I old?

  5. Harrison says:

    I would like to see Mr di Resta in McLaren or Red bull next year. Why not replace Sutil with Nico Hulkenberg?

    1. Lea says:

      I hope to see Di Resta in Ferrari, he has been great and I think deserves a top team spot.

      1. Harrison says:

        Well, to have a chance at Ferrari, he must beat Alonso regulary from begining as Hamilton did in 2007. Now we all know how that worked out, Alonso demanding no 1 status. Ferrari is not option for anybody (who want to become a world champion)as long as Alonso is there, and after he quits Vettel is probably to take over. So, if Hamilton joins Redbull, then seat is availble at McLaren and if he don’t there is seat availble at Redbull after Webber retires.

      2. jez says:

        Currently top drivers want to join Ferrari because of the teams winning history… Guess what happens when Ferrari don’t win for a few years. Or even come second in the championships?

        Most drivers sign to teams that will give them a chance to win races (J.V was a noteable exception). Schumacher thought the “Brawn wunder car” would propel him to another championship.

        At their current level, Ferrari will be the third most desirable team to join by the season end. And that’s only because Alonso is able to wring more out of the car than would be normally expected.

      3. Lea says:

        Di Resta’s attitude is different from Hamilton’s, from what I have I have seen so far. I think he would see it as a learning experience until Alonso’s time is up and he might even beat Alonso from tome to time. Ferrari have said that the door is not closed to another top driver just because Alonso is there.

      4. Harrison says:

        Come on John, you know what I mean. Hamilton suprised everybody including him self in 2007. He matched two time world champion Alonso (had lead over from race 3 I think)in his rookie season! My point is that it’s hard to beat Alonso (one of the best driver ever) and if (big if) you do then you can expect Alonso reacting.
        And no he’s not outdriving Alonso or anybody right now.

    2. L says:

      Sutil 10 points, DiResta 2 points, is why.

      You can qualify faster all you want but if in the race your teammate gets 5 times more points then you, you are missing the point.

      1. Mario says:

        Its’ just a question of time, let’s count the points again after the Brit GP.

    3. TFLB says:

      Perhaps because Hulkenberg was one of the worst drivers last year, and Sutil has 10 points, di Resta 2?

  6. Sebee says:

    So far it looks like Mercedes, Renault and McLaren suffered the most with these new defuser rules.

    1. Wayne says:

      James, what’s the deal with McLaren? Did they just get it worng in qualy or have they been completely stymied by the regs?

      1. James Allen says:

        Bit of both. Lewis didn’t get a run on new softs at the end, but they admit to being a bit off balance with the rule changes

      2. Michael says:

        McLaren’s magic bullet to their pre-season problems was Red Bull style blown exhaust. James, do you believe that the discussions will result in a reinstatement of Valencia regulations or will Williams and Sauber maintain their stance?

      3. Wayne says:

        Insight much appreciated, thank you.

    2. wolypoly says:

      Could it be that Mc Claren started the season with a poor car, developed it well but all the good work has now been undone or comprised and they are back with the original car?

  7. Nando says:

    Whiting must go.

    1. The Talent says:

      Agreed.
      What an embarassment. Changing the rules mid-season to slow down a dominant car, and then backtracking on the eve of qualifying so that there are different rules for different teams.
      What a joke.
      I’m embarassed to say I’m an F1 fan today.

      1. Carl says:

        it’s not just that. Look at his poor decisions to keep the saftey car out one a drying track. Canada was just dumb, so much so that Virgin even came in for intermediate tires.

        He’s past it.

      2. Galapago555 says:

        “Changing the rules mid-season to slow down a dominant car,…”

        Something similar happened back in 2006. Nothing new under the sun.

      3. What happened in 06? Mass damper maybe?

    2. Sebee says:

      Let’s not over react.

  8. AlexD says:

    FIA looked to be following the wind and it was changing in Britain. Decision was changed several times showing that there isn’t any clarity and up until now it is far from clear what is done and why.
    Sometimes I am wondering whether Charlie considers the image of the sport while playing with rules as it was done over the last 2-3 days.
    Anyways, as expected, Red Bull on pole even though not that of Vettel. Ferrari is closer and Mclaren, especially the one of Lewis seem to be struggling – is it related to rule changes?
    James, nothing was said…even mentioned about Ferrari and Cosworth in terms of rules. Why?

    1. sender says:

      Image???…Hmmm, some people say that there is no image…Whether that is the reality it is anyones guess.
      About the rule changes – I agree, there is no clarity.
      You can almost think of all this as an excitement and fun.

    1. WiLL says:

      FIArse

  9. Spoons27 says:

    So they are changing back to the original mappings for off throttle next race. What a farce!

    1. Harrison says:

      What a joke!!!!

  10. Patrick McLaughlin says:

    James,

    BBC saying before they came off air an agreement has been reached saying Valencia spec will be way forward for rest of season.

    Can you confirm this only affects mapping settings being fixed for quali and race ?

    Is the practice of maintaining a steady flow of exhaust gases when the driver is off-throttle still to be restricted by 90% ?

    And finally is there any scope for a team to contest tomorrow’s race result ?

    1. Well considering we essentially have new rules JUST for this race, I’d imagine there will be plenty of scope for protests.

  11. Glenn says:

    Well done Mark & RBR.
    Fail FIA.

  12. Irish con says:

    Well done redbull Ferrari and di resta. Losers are mclaren so far anyway. Too early to make a judgement after a day like that. Rules going back to what they were again anyway. Saves all the idiots going on about fia favouring Ferrari again anyways.

    1. Damian J says:

      That Ferrari was linked with FIA was often said with much justification in the past does make one an idiot Whether that is true currently is another matter.

      1. Damian J says:

        That Ferrari was linked with FIA was often said with much justification in the past does NOT make one an idiot. Whether that is true currently is another matter…..although Ferrari have remained silent on the FIA imposed off throttle gases issue….I wonder why?

  13. Peter C says:

    ‘Mark Webber said that the front row lockout didn’t prove anything’……….

    Oh yes it did. It proved that the Red Bull with Renault engine is affected far less than Christian Horner was making out yesterday & early in practice today.

    Fiddling about with the rules mid-season is the worst possible thing to do. Makes it look like amateur night!

    Anyway, Ferrari are closer now.

    International Assistance – good service indeed.

    1. Michael S says:

      there is very little braking here… what has Horner and Newey afriad are the coming races, with slow corners where they will not only lose grip, they will over heat the enignes…

    2. L says:

      Nonsense. This is a RB track and they just managed a tenth faster than Ferrari with this being a weak track for Ferrari.

      It has affected the RBR a lot, if it was the Valencia specs, they would have been at least half a second clear of the Ferraris.

    3. Krishchar says:

      @ Peter C

      Your comment does not have any sense

      Ferrari have worked hard and introduced updates which helped them to close the gap on redbulls

      Oh pity on Mclaren

      When ferrari worked hard and closed the gap, it happend due to the regulation changes

      However if mclarens were closer, then we call or say it as Innovation or great improvements

      Oh mate please give rest to your anti-ferrari thoughts

      Alonso has indeed pushing the team and driving them forward lonely throughout the season (You are Brilliant and genius Fernando)

      Excellent quali from ferrari as a result of hardwork (still disappointed to see redbull on pole) Hope ferrari can improve the pace and overhaul redbull sooner

  14. Robert Lujan says:

    Hhmmmm, that Qualy was well…. interesting. Great to see Kovalainen be the fastest of the slow. Kinda disappointed in Renault/Lotus. I knew the Diffuser change would hurt them, but look at Red Bull! They are still on top. I think we will know more after the next few races. Silverstone is a bit special. Can’t wait for the race tomorrow. Best of luck to di Resta!! Great Qualy for him today.

  15. Martin says:

    Kobayashi’s best grid placement of the year. Hopefully he can make the most of it.

    1. Chris Chong says:

      Hope so too. He’s been over-driving the car since Canada and Sauber had an uncharacteristically poor race in Valencia.

      Go, Kobayashi saaaaaaaan~!

  16. Miha says:

    Alonso only 0,1 sec off pole? It looks like new rules are favoring Ferrari. If RBR will lose some speed on sunday (and they usually do), Alonso is set for the first win of the season.

    I didn’t se the qualy, but can someone answer me: are Red Bulls still capable of using DRS in corners other team aren’t?

    1. F1_Dave says:

      “I didn’t se the qualy, but can someone answer me: are Red Bulls still capable of using DRS in corners other team aren’t?”

      From what I saw they are.

      Red bull had DRS open through abbey while most others didn’t. they were using DRS earlier through corners like copse & stowe and even using it through maggotts/backetts while most were not.

  17. Mao Xiaogang says:

    Ferrari is catching, hopefully the races following will be more exciting!

    1. F1_Badger says:

      No they are not. The faster team was handicapped! The FerrariIA is doing its usual.

  18. Ross Dixon says:

    Why does everyone in F1 say fans aren’t interested in the technical side. I think if things were explained clearly by members of the teams then fans would find it exciting

    1. Peter C says:

      Yes, a bit insulting to most enthusiasts (as opposed to fanboys) to be told we ‘don’t understand it’, when all we have been doing all this week is soaking up the facts of this horror- story like sponges.

      I can understand Jake Humphrey saying that ‘viewers are in a turmoil & don’t understand what’s going on’, but when we all read JA avidly & Scarbs has an excellent run-down on hot/cold blowing, mapping, etc., we understand what Ross Brawn, Martin Whitmarsh & Christian Horner are on about.

      You can’t expect the broadcast media to explain much – they have to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

      We’ll just have to ‘Calm down, dear.’

      1. Peter C says:

        I’ve just read a few more posts on this thread & am sorry to say that a lot of people really don’t begin to understand even the basics of blown diffusers & engine mapping.
        Even the basics, but to many people this is why F1 is so fascinating – the politics, the team rivalries, the behind-the-scenes stuff, the brilliant engineers & designers.
        Then, at the end of it all…….the racing.

      2. Martin Collyer says:

        I get the bit about hot/cold blown diffusers but crankcase pressure has been mentioned as a reason why Mercedes are allowed to fire four of their eight cylinders on overrun.

        I understand how crankcase pressure exists with pistons charging up and down many thousands of times a minute, perhaps a bit of blow-by of the piston rings, even on overrun. What I don’t understand is the connection between that and firing four cylinders, presumably on a much retarded ignition setting.

  19. Olivier says:

    Gutted for McLaren. They’re back to where they were at the end of the Winter testing …

    On a positive note. This will make for some great sub top racing; Mercedes vs Renault vs McLaren

    But still, gutted.

  20. Jonathan Chan says:

    As a Mclaren fan i’m bitterly disappointed with 5th and 10th respectively. But as an F1 fan this weekend has been a complete shambles, a technical change was meant to be enforced this weekend and it appears there has and hasn’t, which has arguably favoured some teams over others. I’m very confused, and now we’re apparently heading back to how the cars were run in Valencia after Silverstone?

  21. Dave C says:

    James,
    Yet again Torro Rosso make unusual management decisions. Is it simply poor choices or are they supposed to be contrarian in the way they run the team to give Red Bull information?

    James I would love to see an article (when you have time) about Torro Rosso and their performance. Particulary answering questions about their management style and hopefully explaining how a 2nd team with similar chassis, equally competent engine (ferrari v. renault) and shared knowledge can be such a poor relation to the main team.
    thanks
    Dave C, UK.

    1. devilsadvocate says:

      Nothing has been shared other than money since the start of the 2010 season when they officially became their own constructor. Simple really…

    2. jez says:

      In 2009, Red Bull investment in F1 totalled $175, with $158m going to RBR and the balance of $17m to Torro Rosso. In 2008 the Red Bull spent $135m, $129m of which funded RBR and $6m was given to TR.

      On this basis I think TR are doing OK!

    3. DJR says:

      I too would love some insight into this oft-unspoken of team.

  22. Frankie says:

    The FIA under Todt has been the best thing to happen to F1 for so many years that it is difficult for me to go back and find a comparison.

    That said, the total mess we see before us now is solely down to the FIA. They started off with good intentions only to find that practicalities (such as blowing up engines) meant that the rules had to be modified to give consideration. What this has done is to give one team a massive advantage from these rule changes.

    When you consider past history with these types of changes they have been left to the end of the season to rectify when you have had the main design of the car around such a function / rule. The FIA knew perfectly well this design was happening as early as last season and let this go ahead, so what we are seeing today should come as no surprise.

    The FIA have tried to change the rules for good reason but in the process have had to make practical concessions that they have totally unbalanced the F1 field. I doubt the FIA imagined the carnage that has engulfed them when they set out down this path and why I believe they will pull the plug on these changes in the interest of fairness.

    I don’t really blame the FIA as their intentions were admirable. But as things developed they have become engulfed in this massive birds nest which will serve as a reminder in the future.

    1. Carl says:

      They haven’t given one team a massive advantage. They’ve given teams running Ferrari and Cosworth engines an advantage.

    2. Bob Quindazzi says:

      I don’t think their intentions were remotely admirable. All they offerred was the ridiculous “save fuel/environment” argument which in the context of a global enterprise that burns millions of gallons of fuel a year doesn’t amount to .00001%.
      The ONLY justification for rules changes at mid-year are safety considerations. Competitive imbalance and some politically correct lip service and not within the scope of consideration.
      It’s kind of shocking how badly they’ve cocked this up. The only fair resolution will be to go back to the previous spec, but I doubt all the teams will agree.

    3. John says:

      Who cares. This isn’t the first time they’ve come in with a rule change mid-season. Remember the mass damper issue? Alonso was running away with the title, they changed the rules, and Renault were suddenly significantly slower. Wish Red Bull would get over it and move on…

  23. goferet says:

    Finally Vettel doesn’t grab pole FINALLY!!!!!, we can do with more of the same thank you very much but it seems the FIA will have to first ban Red Bull running their front wing before that team’s monopoly of pole can even come close to being broken – Gosh OMG!!!! WHEN WILL IT EVER END!

    Interesting to see that Ferrari are the team to benefit the most from the off throttle ban. Same old, same old **wink*wink**nudge*nudge**

    Well done to the British cavalry.
    Paul Di Resta WOW 6th, he definitely pulled the rabbit out the hat on that one & with Jenson Button 5th, well that was the best he could have done with that car unfortunately.

    As for Lewis, bless his soul, he just wanted to make sure the fans get their money’s worth tomorrow after the rain washout on Friday so decided to save a pair of boots for Sunday so don’t blink or you will miss, hold on to your seats for it’s gon’ be explosive.

    Thank goodness Lewis never has the fastest car for look at what we would be missing out on. Go get them Lewis

    Okay, here’s my predictions for the British Grand Prix.

    Since Silverstone rarely favours the pole sitter, am going for a Vettel win (yes I know – unfortunately *Sigh*) and since Webber won it last year, well Webber’s goose is cooked matter fact, after his performances this year, I doubt he will win any race this year.

    Alonso is due another DNF so may his wish come true.

    As for Jenson, he must have been cursed by an ex-girlfriend or something so I doubt he will finish higher than 4th again.

    So my podium positions are

    Vettel
    Webber
    Hamilton

    See you on track kids

    1. Galapago555 says:

      “Alonso is due another DNF so may his wish come true”

      Whose wish?

      1. TheLegend says:

        I was wondering the same…

  24. Adrian Setterfield says:

    does anyone else think its just a coincidence that the exhaust blowing is reduced massively and webber is now exactly on par with vettel in qualifying?

    1. fullblownseducer says:

      I would put money on it being no coincidence.

      But I don’t think the MENTAL goings on this weekend were intended to help Webber. No no, who else seems to have benefitted GREATLY, more or less closed the gap and find themselves locking out the second row?
      Tough titty Martin – outfoxed again.

      1. marian says:

        Maybe because they both have now the same car FINALLY?

    2. L says:

      No, Vettel didn’t have a good lap, watch it. That was why he was so eager to go again and the rain stopped it.

      Webber got lucky, like in Barcelona. Of course then the Webber fan would say that it is Vettel’s job to do a good lap but still Webber got lucky.

      What is funny is, when Webber is a few hundreds off Vettel, everyone praises Webber like the new Senna (even though he was slower than Vettel..), and now Vettel was slower a few hundreds suddenly Vettel is total crap and there are all kinds of conspiracies floating above.

      1. iceman says:

        I’m pretty sure no-one said Vettel is total crap.

      2. Paul Kirk says:

        Well there are, aren’t there?
        Good on yar, Mark, bring home the bacon tomorrow, Mate!
        PK.

      3. james says:

        Jeez, drawing a long bow there. Where has anybody said that Vettel is total crap? I really am unable to find a statement anywhere along those lines.

      4. PeteM says:

        Maybe just Maybe Webbers style suits this new engine mapping moreso than Vettel. Vettel will get around if if he is not already just unlucky for the rain. Same could be said for Daniel Ricciardo v Luizzi. Rain put a halt to Ricciardo’s attempt to qualify higher than his team mate and I think those who know nothing of him will soon. He is the real deal.
        This is F1 and bring on the weather to again play with the field for the race.
        Webber is quick in changing conditions my worry is that RB will concentrate moreso on Vettel again or thats how it seems to me anyway.
        Question why is it always Webbers car that has the issues. Its happened that many times its becomming obvious who’s car is getting the attention.

      5. Martin says:

        Hi Pete,

        It was noted last year, I think by Newey, that Mark had worked out earlier how to get on the throttle really early in a corner to maximise the blown diffuser. The software changes gave Vettel more. Coulthard has commented that Sebastian works the front tyres more than Mark and the rears less. This might be part of the performance swing – Mark might be gain in pace but still have tyre wear issues relative to Sebastian with these Pirellis.

        I missed Ricciardo while he was in Australia (I’m in Canberra), but I agree that Red Bull has signed him up because he is fast, not because he fits any particular demographic. (Seb smiles a fair bit, and Mark and Casey (and Robbie Maddison) cover off on the Australians in motorsport area pretty well). A key thing for his career could be his height and weight (which I have not idea about). Right now I would suspect that the current Ferrari is built for short guys and exploits that.

        I think the reliability thing gets over emphasised. Mark has generally had fewer engine issues than Sebastian (it is an external supply), both have had gearbox issues in Canada last year (and now Mark in Valencia), so the failures are rare, both have had several KERS failures.

        There is certainly more love from the Red Bull company for Sebastian, but Mark has a greater history with the team and co-owns an F3 with Horner from memory. Fundamentally, he has a weight distribution and centre of gravity disadvantage to Sebastian – although this year the rules have constrained the weight distribution part. The results are what they are, and there will be people such as some fans of Mark, Lewis or Fernando who look to diminish the value of the results that Sebastian has achieved. Red Bull will have a few options, such as Nico Rosberg, but I suspect the team are happy to keep Mark based on performance – and I don’t mean someone to come second.

        cheers,

        Martin

    3. james says:

      Yes, I think exactly that and it is SWEET!

  25. cjf says:

    From the trackside it seemed the back end of the McLaren was moving about alot through Farm/Abbey today so tyre wear could be an issue for them. They didn’t look to have the downforce of the Ferraris/Redbulls.

    On a few occasions the Ferrari seemed to have a twitchy front end so they’d better hope that doesn’t come back to bite them in the arse if we have a wet race. I think their new Redbull style rear wing/DRS is working well and this probably has as much to do with their improvement as the whole blown diffuser thing.

    Pity Q3 finished as it did depriving us all of a last minute shootout.

  26. Franko says:

    If there is no failure in Renault engines in tomorrow Silverstone GP race one can assume it
    was all a raw prawn from Mr Honer.

  27. rvd says:

    Good on Webber, and a damn fine effort from di Resta.

  28. Speed F1 says:

    Rule changes during the grand prix weekend!!! Has it ever happened before??? Fingers crossed for Webber.

  29. Tom11 says:

    Congratulations Mark Webber. Outpaced Seb in Q1, Q2 and Q3.

    That was one exciting qualifying session, if this is the effect of the new regulations, close qualifying and no vettel finger than lets keep them this way.

  30. K99 says:

    As quali was interrupted it’s difficult to be sure that MW has the run on SV. Also explains why LH is back at 10th compared to JB at 5th. Let’s hope The Ferraris get a jump on the RBs on the start to make it an interesting race. We also still don’t really know how the tyres will behave during the race which could also hopefully spice things up.

  31. fullblownseducer says:

    Ross Brawn has said the FIA had to do something as there were going to be protests made this weekend – who was it threatening the protest(s), James? Any ideas?

  32. sender says:

    It is almost shocking that Barrichello is so mediocre when compared to Maldonado. It seems that Rubens is not able to extract anything from the car while Pastor is better at it.
    About the regulations and all the changes – this season is getting more and more disappointing. It is just so confusing. Nobody understands what is really going on and who is influenced more/less…
    How can anybody know that the regulations will not be changed two, three, five more times? Where is the guarantee? Already this weekend there were several changes.
    Of course, a lot of viewers don’t even follow this as they do not read a lot on the Internet but there are also a lot of people who follow this and they see what is happening.
    There is nothing wrong if FIA decide to change the rules mid season, they have the right to do this, but there must be some perspective, it must be as equal as possible for everybody and everybody should be influenced the same way.
    This weekend is totaly ruined by these regulation events and the most disappointing thing is that you can not be sure that there will be an immediate end to it.
    Let’s hope for the best solution.

  33. Cain says:

    I hope for a RedBull win and hope Mercedes engine cars being further back, cause clearly 1 engine is being favoured at Silverstone. It’s funny how yesterday Martin Whitmarsh was going on to say that Renault will get unfair advantage but didn’t say a word about Mercedes engines allowed to use engine over-run. But still I respect Martin as a team boss.

    What I find most surprising is that Ferrari has not said a word. The team that speaks even when theres no need to speak, has been more quiet these days like never before, clearly there must be something in there, in their silence.

    About the qualy. Di Resta doing good job, I find Sutil being most over-rated driver on the grid and I would change him for Hülkenberg for sure. Williams seems to have found some speed, I remember Barrichello and Maldonado being on top of qualy for some time and Maldonado being 7th quickest surprises me big time.

    And finally wanted to say the new Silverstone track confuses me. Usually it’s 1 or 2 laps and I remember it but I got lost many times watching qualy. I miss the old Silverstone.

  34. Sammy says:

    I wonder why Webber has Sebatians pace all of a sudden. Where does that come from?
    Makes you believe that Webber was always running without the blown diffusor in the past races…
    Ayway, Ferrari are there and unfortunately Mclaren are not…
    Tomorrow we will all whitness the first victory of Ferrari and Alonso this season.
    Please let it be dry!

  35. Conrad M. Sathirweth says:

    James, Hamilton went out on his first run in Q3 on slightly used options, did Button do the same?

    1. If that’s the case, as that’s the tires Hamilton set hiss only time on, he’ll be starting the race with VERY used tires!

  36. Jarman says:

    What a farce. How on earth they thought this would end up well, I don’t know. If I was McLaren I would be marching straight into race control after the race tomorrow and dispute the result, no matter the result. I going to the race tomorrow and already I feel a bit robbed of a true race (my first in person). Without all this mucking about Ferrari and McLaren would still be pressing the Redbulls in race pace so what have we gained….Nothing at all apart from the 2 Brits being down the field….Farce!

    1. L says:

      Mercedes are the ones who wanted these rules, you should keep up wioth what went on.

      Now it looks like it hit them the most, suddenly they want to change to old specs. LOL.

  37. DH says:

    Team manager and drivers are asked pointed questions. Why not Whiting et al? Why are they above the rest? I’d think he’d want to be public with discussing his decision-making process. Otherwise there will always be accusations of being for/against certain teams.

    Red Bull is not my favorite team, but personally I don’t care for the rule-fiddling stuff during the season. They’ve earned their advantage by doing the better job.

  38. Nando says:

    These meetings should be open to the public. The FIA make FIFA look transparent.

    1. Please don’t compare the FIA to FIFA. FIFA is a joke. At least the FIA seems to care about the fans. These rule changes are due to a perceived loss in control of the development of an area the FIA sees as wasteful. Burning fuel for downforce goes along the same lines as the “fan” car and they were both banned.

      And no sport has public meetings between team principals. This isn’t Jerry Springer…

    2. Sebee says:

      Don’t you think we sometimes know or want to know too much? I for one would like the sport to keep some mystery. I don’t want to know everything. It’s already too democratic and too many people are pulling Charlie each way to have their say. 10% – suck it up and get on with it. Lobbyists are the worst think to happen to politics and now here it is in F1 again. FIA should get input then dictate in my view. You don’t like the rules? Tell me about it when I ask your input next time.

    3. Dan says:

      Some things have to be kept behind closed doors otherwise it would compromise the sport by just telling everyone each teams’ secrets and car specifications. FIFA are far worse than the FIA as well.

  39. Johnny Leone says:

    Whiting, Brabham, South Africa, 1983… Chuckles knows how to bend the rules, from past experience…

  40. Syn says:

    Didn’t the FIA act on exhaust blown diffusers because they were told by several teams that there would be protests otherwise? I guess the FIA felt that protests would bring the sport into disrepute. Whereas, this flip-flopping on the rules…

    With hindsight, the only mistake the FIA made was not postponing the changes until the various complaints from the engine manufacturers had been sorted out.

    If there has indeed been agreement among the teams to postpone any change until 2012 I assume they’ve also agreed not to protest in the meanwhile.

    1. Shane says:

      The protests wouldn’t have brought the sport into disrepute, they would probably have erased the Constructor’s points for any car found to be using an exhaust blown diffuser, which is everyone except for those running a Cosworth engine.

      1. devilsadvocate says:

        You saying we’d then have a wcc for a team with currently 4 points? That’d be a record.

  41. azac21 says:

    So the changes have affected the Renault team significantly more than RBR?

    That proves what a great car RBR is! It is not just the engine, not just the diffuser, the front wing or the DRS. It’s the hole package.

    1. irish con says:

      agree here 100 percent. there is never one reason why a car wins all the races. its always because it is the best overall package and always will be.

    2. LT says:

      I don’t think anyone is disputing how good the RB is, it’s the half-arsed handling of this by the FIA

  42. Svalbard says:

    Will the row be resolved because Hispania are less likely to protest the blown diffusers now that they have taken the Red Bull money to run Ricciardo?

  43. Patrick Byrne says:

    If they’re going back to Valencia-spec after this race though will it be a return to Vettel/RB domination. It would be a pity for the championship!

    Great job by Di Resta. In fairness, Sutil wasn’t far off in Q2 but 6th is remarkable. He reminds me a bit of DC in his Mclaren days or JYS – quite serious and corporate. I like him though – he seems v grounded and humble. In contrast to a certain other British driver!

  44. Charlie B says:

    The fact is the Renault engine is the most compromised and Red Bull still lock out the front row. The McLaren obviously doesn’t have the downforce without the blown diffuser.

    Ferrari haven’t gained, others have lost, all teams (bar one) were obviously negatively affected by the rule change.

    And now we do the sensible thing and revert to Valencia, which means all of this was for nothing.

  45. Michael S says:

    I am stunned how many are making excuses for Mark… He did great today. I don’t think he needs conspiracy theories. There is no way on earth RB was shutting down Mark’s blown D before today, no team tries to hurt one of their drivers it makes no sense. He and Seb have the same car, Mark has always gone very well at Silverstone and he did so again today. Would have loved to see everyone get one more run to see what Seb and Alonso could do…

    1. Robyn says:

      No ludicrous thing the conspiracy theorists come up with stuns me anymore…

    2. james says:

      “No team tries to hurt one of their own drivers”

      unless one of the drivers is the delegated No 2. and they take parts off his car to put on the delegated No 1. driver.

      1. Peter C says:

        That’s the way it worked at the time,JA. RB were not TRYING TO HURT Webber.

        Which other parts than the new Newey front wing in 2010? I can’t remember.

  46. Oliver says:

    Dont mean to be pessimistic but,

    Vettel will pass webber at the start, quickly build a 5 second lead, then look after the tyres for the rest of the race and win comfortably.

    Hamilton will crash/get taken out, trying to make his way through the feild. The Mclaren will be slow throughout the race aswell.

    Prediction.

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Webber

    In some ways glad im at work so i dont have to watch the bore fest

  47. Dino says:

    Congrats to Webber for his 2nd pole of the season – the only man to take the place from Vettel.

    Whatever the intention behind the diffuser row was (hopefully to rein in the rampant Red Bull), it appears to have only made an impact to the only team to steal victory from Vettel this year – McLaren.

    I can’t imagine Lewis will be happy being 2 seconds off the quali pace – perhaps it can be put down to a poor lab, but even Jens couldn’t do much better than 1.5 off the pace. Clearly, McLaren have been hard hit.

    If the rules are to be scrapped and we go back to a “Valencia” spec rule book, Germany can’t come too soon. Although, I suspect that many fans will have turned off by then if Vettel romps to another commanding race victory with the rest squabbling over seconds.

    Ah! Well, can’t fault the FIA for trying…

    Personally, I’m hoping Alonso wins, if only to break up the Bull hegemony!

  48. Matt says:

    Was the decision by McLaren to run Hamilton on an old set of tyres during the quickest part of Q3 more likely the reason for the performance than the rule change. Not sure if Button was on the old tyre too.

    1. Peter C says:

      Yes, it was the old tyres apparently.

      And according to SKY News this morning, Hamilton has again gone public in criticising McL for ruining his quali.

      If true, will he never learn? Behaves like a spoilt child then attacks the team publicly.
      …[mod] If true, of course.

    2. Martin says:

      The McLaren never looked quick in Q1 or Q2, so I’m not expecting much from them.

  49. Peter says:

    Hi James,

    Time for Button is wrong his was a 131.898 you have him slower than Di Resta and Maldonado. How good a result was this for Di Resta was it luck with the weather in q3 or was he 6th place quick anyway, either way very impressive!!

  50. Adron Gardner says:

    Cheers for Webbs. But this throttle business is COMPLETE nonsense.

    The gap from the top to everybody else is still huge. Where are the days when a good driver could take a bathtub and put it on the podium? Now we argue about throttle positions?

    Garbage.

    1. Nick says:

      Brilliant comment! Although I’m following F1 only for a decade I would have loved to live “the days when a good driver takes a bathtub and drives it on the podium!!!”

  51. Matthew says:

    A friend said to me today:

    Ferrari-International-Assistance

    There is too much going on for the FIA to understand how this change will affect any of the teams – the engineers are even acknowledge it’s guess-work!

    But I’ll take a benefit to Ferrari and the 2011 season any way it comes.

    It may be messy and a terrible PR exercise but watch the viewing figures if someone takes it to Vettel.

    Magic.

  52. John says:

    Well, from all the comments on this site, every fan bagging the other teams drivers, Formula 1 is truly alive.I love it! All I can say is Dan give it your best! You must be on cloud 9. It makes Indy Car look like little league.Lets keep this sport exciting and never return to the Schumacher boring era. Promote more young talent.

  53. Sergio says:

    It’s a shame to see McLaren struggling. Not for them, I say that thinking in F1 politics & media pressure from now. If Macca had done a good job today, the story would have been completely different from the BBC and other British media. This is not the case and we are expecting “fair” analysis and verdicts on F1 politics. The blindfold of justice has a hole that tells us that is more concerned about pleasing everyone that deliver true justice. The illegal advantages should not be negotiated or discussed, just apply the law. Problem here is a large list of FIA decissions about technical issues: mass damper, blown diffussers, flexible wings, etc. F1 is more than races, much more. Everyone has to do their job: just putting pressure on his side.

  54. Ricardo says:

    Hi James!

    There seems to be a bit of a contradiction in Mr Horner’s argument, or at the very least he’s not explaining properly. They say that limiting throttle opening to 10% will hurt their engine reliability but at the same time they complain that this limy will make the race at a disadvantage.

    It seems to me that the connection between these two points is not clear. Is he implying that they will have to compromise the engine to ensure that it does not fail? Or is te reliability issue a cynical way of defending their performance?

    Also, could you shed some light into Mr. Whitmarsh’s mention of te Mercedes engine being compromised?

    Thanks, for all your posts!

  55. Maximum Attack says:

    Serious question. Why didn’t Jenson or Lewis point out the absurdity of going out on slicks in the rain?
    If they did, why didn’t anyone listen?
    If they did listen, why did they decide it was a good idea anyway?
    Lewis I understand, he just tends to do as he is told when it comes to the strategy. But Jenson? I’m shocked he went along with it.
    My guess is that it was just another McLaren self-outsmarting tactic. I suggest McLaren sack the manager. It’s happening too often.

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