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Alonso grabs first pole for two years as British stars struggle in rain
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Jul 2012   |  5:25 pm GMT  |  236 comments

Fernando Alonso survived a spin in Q1, a yellow flag in Q2 and picked the right moment in Q3 to set the pole lap for the British Grand Prix.

It was the Spaniard’s first pole position since Singapore 2010, as he edged out Mark Webber by 5/100ths of a second with Michael Schumacher third.

In a rain delayed qualifying session Alonso used all his experience and guile to be in the right place at the right time to take his 21st pole position. During the 10 minute final shoot out the timesheets changed constantly with Webber, Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton each holding provisional pole.

Hamilton faded however; he could not match the pace he had shown in Q2 and ended the session in 8th place. The McLaren team’s fortune was even worse with Jenson Button, who struggled with front tyre warm up on wet tyres in Q1 and ended the session in 18th place, his worst of 2012.

The rain delay came during Q2, lasting almost two hours. FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting was concerned about aquaplaning on the standing water.

When the cars went back out on track the conditions were treacherous but improving, with track position being the key to making it into Q3.

As the cars re-emerged for the final 6 minutes times dropped immediately with every car improving their previous time, making for a mighty scrap to find good track position as the chequered flag was dropped. Hamilton managed to claim the top spot at the climax of the session as Alonso and Vettel scraped through in the dying seconds, with their place in the final shoot-out being made secure by Romain Grosjean who spun in to the gravel at the final corner and ceased any chance of progression for those outside the top ten.

The beginning of Q3 saw the teams split on tyre choice, some opting for extreme wets whilst the majority chose the intermediate compound; the latter proved to be best suited to the drying track. Alonso looked threatening throughout the final ten minutes and used his ever wearing intermediate tyres to suit the track conditions.

Behind the top 3, Sebastian Vettel had a fairly quiet session and put in a late flying lap to join Schumacher on the second row. Felipe Massa had a very good session, although he was 1.3 seconds off Alonso, taking 5th place and managing to keep his nose clean in the terrible conditions. He is to be joined on the third row by Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn putting in a very solid performance, considering he had no KERS for the duration of qualifying.

Pastor Maldonado once again proved his prowess for qualifying, jointing Hamilton on row four in 7th place.

The final top ten places were filled by Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean. However, Hulkenberg will receive a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. Whilst Grosjean did not run in the final part of qualifying as he beached his car in the final seconds of Q2 and had to be rescued by the marshals.

Nico Rosberg was third in Q2 before the rain delay and didn’t get back into the groove, he exited the session in 13th place. However, due to grid penalties for Hulkenberg and Kamui Kobayashi, he will begin the race in 11th position with an extra set of intermediate tyres should the conditions allow it.

Alonso almost exited in Q2 as well, he was outside the top ten when he came across the zone of Romain Grosjean’s spin, but examinations of the data showed that he did slow down in that sector.

Someone who is sure to be disappointed is Sergio Perez, topping the timesheets in Q2 before the rain delay but finding himself down in 17th place by the end of the session.

The promised rain chose to play mind games with the Formula One paddock; staying dry all day until just ten minutes prior to the qualifying session meaning that all cars used the intermediate tyre in Q1. With the threat of more rain the first phase of qualifying became very chaotic as the showers briefly stopped and the track began to dry. And this stop in the rain proved crucial as a short burst of heavy rain fell with five minutes remaining meaning that no cars would improve for the remainder of the session, and therefore with Jenson Button sat in 18th place at this time he was the biggest loser as he would be unable to improve on his position. Although, the Briton chose to try his luck on a final set of intermediates and was set to reach Q2 were it not for yellow flags in the final sector of his final lap.

[Additional Reporting: Matt Meadows]

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Silverstone, Qualifying
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m51.746s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m51.793s + 0.047
3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m52.020s + 0.274
4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m52.199s + 0.453
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m53.065s + 1.319
6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m53.290s + 1.544
7. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m53.539s + 1.793
8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m53.543s + 1.797
9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m54.382s + 2.636
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus no time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m56.931s Gap **
11. Paul di Resta Force India 1m57.009s + 2.112
12. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m57.071s + 2.174
13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m57.108s + 2.211
14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m57.132s + 2.235
15. Bruno Senna Williams 1m57.426s + 2.529
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m57.719s + 2.822
17. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m57.895s + 2.998
Q1 cut-off time: 1m47.105s Gap *
18. Jenson Button McLaren 1m48.044s + 1.765
19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1m49.027s + 2.748
20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1m49.477s + 3.198
21. Timo Glock Marussia 1m51.618s + 5.339
22. Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1m52.742s + 6.463
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1m53.040s + 6.761
24. Charles Pic Marussia 1m54.143s + 7.864

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236 Comments
  1. Den says:

    Alonso and Maldonado showed their best laps in Q2 and got into Q3 under yellow flag (Gro) and should be penalized!

    1. Michael S says:

      I agree.. I also think they should not have put up red flag in the middle of a session… wait until Q2 is over… that was not fair to those who were fast in Q2 in the heavy rain but it did bail out Alonso

    2. Galapago555 says:

      Why? ALO didn’t set a “green” time on Sector 3, therefore no penalty for him.

      1. Den says:

        Alonso’s 3rd sector on the “yellow flag” lap was 33.3, the same time he showed on his best 3rd sector. BTW his first sector was 0,1 slower on the “yellow flag” lap.

      2. Sterling Mindenhall says:

        This may make your head explode, but it’s possible for 33.3x to be slower than 33.3x. The public timing system doesn’t show the significant digits, but they’re tracked.

      3. Galapago555 says:

        Alonso’s S3 on the yellow flag lap was .006 slower than the best he had set before.

        I can see the next point will be he didn’t slow down “sufficiently”…

      4. xrr says:

        It is better not to let Alonso to qualify, give him a life time ban from qualifications.
        He is causing lots of cry.

    3. Wayne says:

      “Fernando Alonso survived a spin in Q1, a yellow flag in Q2 and picked the right moment in Q3 to set the pole lap for the British Grand Prix”

      Fernando went out on the wrong tyres at the start of Q2 and were on their way out. Que a handy red flag and bob’s your uncle he’s on pole position.

      Why do these guys need a red flag in Qualy? If they think it’s not safe they can park up and let others take the gamble. Perez and Hamilton made the best of it in Q2 and they were screwed by the red flag and wasted a set of tyres. Let us all be certain – this was NOT the race where they would have been forced to continue without a red flag.

      Before you all say it – it is not a danger thing! As I said they can park up in qualy if they made a mistake with the tyres like Alonso and some others did. Some times they don’t even run in Q3 by choice!

      F1 is about strategy as well as pace right? That’s what I keep hearing. So if you get it worng in Qualy you should not be saved by a handy red flag.

      1. Wu says:

        Drivers will always want to go as fast as possible, teams will want to push their drivers. It’s a question of saving the drivers from themselves. Track conditions in sector 3 were undrivable, and puddles in high-speed areas were even more dangerous. The right decision was made.

      2. Den says:

        It was qualifying — not race. Every driver had understood that he would not improve in conditions like that.

      3. Den says:

        100% agree

      4. DK says:

        Good point! Alonso asked for a red flag and he got one.

      5. Tim says:

        so did Hamilton, he also asked for a red flag you know

      6. mcdo says:

        Uh, Lewis asked for it too

      7. Isaac says:

        Totally agree. The red flag pretty much reset Q2 and saved Ferrari from paying the price of the wrong tyre strategy. If they can continue the session in equally (if not more) torrential rain during practice, why can’t they in qualifying? It’s not as if the drivers are forced to drive on track? In the race they are, so red flags are totally understandable. But the mid-Q2 red flag really spoiled all the heroics/strategic decisions of Sauber and the 9 others who were in the top 10 before the red flag. This, coupled with the yellow flag incident, meant that IMO Alonso was very lucky to even get into Q3.

      8. Sterling Mindenhall says:

        What yellow flag incident? He slowed in the sector.

      9. stoic little says:

        I think they can red flag any session if it’s not possible for the Medical Helicopter to fly. I don’t know if that was the case here.

      10. Den says:

        The heli was flying all the way

      11. Wayne says:

        Would be happy if this was the case, but I don’t think it was mate.

      12. r says:

        Fully agree here.
        I would not be singing Alonsos’ praises too high at all James.
        how about headlining the article
        “F1 tries to stab itself in the foot once again”
        or
        “why bother?”

      13. Wayne says:

        agreed!

      14. Mike J says:

        Firstly i agree with the red flag point. The chance of ‘rolling the dice’ with your strategy early and getting an advantage over the opposition is lost and therefore Perez and co were hardest hit. However Lewis was also one of the earliest on the radio about standing water and visibility (sauber not seeing him) and it not being ‘drivable’. So he screwed himself however when Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and others all get on the radio, Charlie listens and makes a call.

    4. Hansb says:

      ….but examinations of the data showed that he did slow down in that sector….

      1. Den says:

        Yeah, and showed the same time he had done on his best 3rd sector in Q2 before.
        Button did slow down under yellows in Q1 and got out.
        Di Resta did slow down under yellows in Q2 and got out.

      2. Sterling Mindenhall says:

        “Same time” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      3. Galapago555 says:

        From FIA website, “Qualifying analysis – Alonso reigns supreme” http://www.formula1.com/news/features/2012/7/13560.html

        “He [Alonso] looked quick under the Grosjean yellows at Vale, but was able to prove that his time in sector three was not faster than his previous best”

        Period.

    5. Andrea Sasseti says:

      That is not how the yellow flag works. The only thing that matters is wether or not the driver slowed down in in the area behind the yellow flag. This can be proven or disproven in several ways. The fact that Alonso’s final SECTOR was slower in his pole-lap than his previous lap is sufficient proof in this instance.

      (of course, if a driver hasn’t set a sector-time in comparable circumstances, telemetry and the judgement of the stewards comes into play)

      1. Den says:

        Alonso did set his best 3rd sector time in Q2 few minutes before. And it was 33,3 — the same time he showed under yellows in the end.

      2. Galapago555 says:

        That’s false. He was .006 secs slower under yellow flags.

      3. puffing says:

        There is telemetry at hand also for the stewards to judge. And the judgement is that in that particular sector (3rd) Alonso slow down his speed of that particular loop. Same way as the stewards in Valencia judged from telemetry that Shumacher had slowed down even if his DRS was open. Final verdict: the driver slowed down, no penalty. No more so and so was said, just succinct wording.

    6. Tim says:

      Really……

    7. Anil says:

      ….you’ve always been allowed to do times under yellow flags if you lift off/slow down, which Alonso did. Infact he was on to get into the top 3 before he crawled round Vale

      1. Den says:

        In Q2 Alonso was never going to get in top 3. He was +0,7 from top 3 after two sectors.

      2. Quattro_T says:

        So in your world, it is only top 3 that make it from Q2 to Q3? Tuff luck!

      3. Den says:

        In my world people read not only the last reply

      4. Chris says:

        Agree about not red flagging the session. Everyone had done a lap and they didn’t have to be on track. There was no accident and Alonso was the one who benefitted.

      5. Quattro_T says:

        Wrong – Senna had not posted a time. Maldonado, di Resta, Grosjean, Schumacher, Massa, Alonso and Senna where in the drop zone when Q2 boat race was stopped. At least get your basic facts right! You are almost sounding like eddie jordan…

    8. Wu says:

      Same as Schumacher and DRS under yellows… the only important thing is to reduce speed. Alonso, like Schumi in the last race has done that enough so there’s no more need to talk of it.

      1. Den says:

        Alonso has done enough when switched to Ferrari. Since then he is following the “ferrari edition” of rules

      2. Galapago555 says:

        Yeah, it was so clear in Valencia and Silverstone 2010…

    9. Manu Francis says:

      Each & every driver (read interviews) agreed that there was too much water on the track to risk it………..villiota(pray for her) lost a eye during straight line test during dry conditions ,its not like F1 is 100% safe.

      The officials discuss it with the teams before red flagging a session.If they agreed who are we to disagree.Qualifying is about the fast cars so ferrari deserved to be in the top 10.

      1. Den says:

        C’mon! It’s motor racing. It is unsafe by it’s nature.
        And let’s face it — Villota (best wishes and quick recovery, Maria!) had no experience and no skills in driving a F1 car. She had no Super Lisense.

      2. puffing says:

        +1. Agreed. Even beloved Hamilton among many others asked in the radio for the red flag. “Yes, it is too dangerous.”

      3. Den says:

        Hamilton did NOT asked for a red flag. He said that it had been slippery and pited.

    10. xrr says:

      Cry tears in here are more than the rain hit Silvertone yesterday.

      Someone who didnt watch the qualification season yesterday may think that after red flag they only let Alonso to do a lap time in the better conditions.

      1. ida says:

        @DEN….Hamilton asked for a red flag BUT its not as bad as getting a crane to put him back on the track after spinning off at ‘the ring’ in 07……

      2. KRB says:

        I’ve seen this ‘crane’ thing before, and it’s so stupid. Those were the rules back then, a car could be put back on track with the crane in certain conditions. Why wouldn’t any driver take advantage of any legal rule available to them?! It’s stupid in the extreme to suggest they do otherwise!

  2. IDR says:

    From being out of Q3 to pole. Fantastic job (and very lucky red flag btw)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/idrs/7520650870/in/photostream/lightbox/

    1. Quattro_T says:

      The circuit was flooded in Q2 – either stewards red flag the session and wait for better conditions, or they do not which is same as turning Q2 into lottery. They choose to red-flag, thereby giving everyone a fair chanse to complete Q2 under drivable conditions. I cannot see how that makes Fernando “very lucky”. It is not like they gave him an extra set of full wets or prohibited the other drivers from taking part when qualy was resumed…

      1. Lawrence says:

        Awesome photo. A genuine laugh out loud.

      2. IDR says:

        I’m a big fan of F Alonso, and I think he deserved what he has achieved, and of course he had not taken the pole unfairly.

        But on the other hand he has been very lucky in having the red flag, because if not, he probably have not had many chances to improve his times with the track situation even before they decide to stop qualifying.

        To be lucky is not unfair, and you can be very lucky, but at the end, you have to do the job to be on pole. Fernando did it, no doubt on this.

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        Judging by some of the comments, they dried the track for FA only.
        Some posters on any of the forums are so blinkered with their hatred of Alonso and Ferrari, its become tiresome.

      4. Dave says:

        Couldn’t agree more! I wonder if Den is a McLaren fan..?

      5. Quattro_T says:

        I believe Den is Eddie Jordan :)

      6. Mike J says:

        Agreed. Alonso did what he had to better than everyone else. If i recall it was Lewis who was one of the first on the radio calling for a stoppage due to water and visibility issues. A lot of posters here seem to think that only the S3 time is important however the stewards can review all the data leading up to and after the ‘yellow flag ‘ zone. No issues here, great work by Alonso and Webber

      7. Peter C says:

        Well, go on a Spanish or Italian blog, then.

  3. Ashutosh says:

    I believe he should not have been in FP2. Clearly he set his fastest lap time under yellow flags. Had it been Hamilton or Schumi, the FIA would have handed out a grid penalty.
    Just like he did in Valencia, he got away this time. He is driving well, but whenever in doubt is getting away far too often.

    1. Ankit says:

      He did back out in the final sector where the yellows were displayed and was slower than his personal best time in the final sector. His fastest sectors (1&2) were before the yellow.

    2. AlexD says:

      What was in Valencia? I hope you understand that the lap consists of 3 sector. Yellow flag was in the last part of sector 3 and this is where Alonso was slower than in the same sector a lap before. He managed to show a faster lap overall because he was faster in S1 and S2 – simple, no?

      One race ago Schumi was not punished for using DRS under the yellow flag because Merc showed the data that he was slowing down, despite the DRS.

      Think about it before you try to express your negative emotions.

      1. Den says:

        His best 3rd sector was 33.3, the same he showed under yellows.

      2. Sterling Mindenhall says:

        Slower. Is. Not. The. Same.

      3. Galapago555 says:

        Times are measured with an accuracy of thousands of second. Therefore 33.3 can be slower than 33.3.

        I’ll give you an easy example, maybe you understand it:

        33.301 is FASTER than 33.302 but SLOWER than 33.300.

        Being all of them “33.3″

    3. Quattro_T says:

      Yes, I also noticed his car was fitted with 8 wheels in Valencia. FIA, of course as always, closes its eyes when Fernando/Ferrari are pushing the rules to the limits.

      1. Chris says:

        Ferrari are riding their luck at the moment, but doing it well. The red flag was a joke, they didn’t have to be on circuit, and surprise surprise it was Alsonso moaning. There had be no accident and no one was going to improve their time.

        This year the Italian press referred to the updated Ferrari as a Ferrauber (google it)!! Luckily Ferrari has lost it ability to produce the fastest cars, and Sauber are not great at developing!!! My guess they’ll have to hope they continue to ride their luck!!!

      2. puffing says:

        It was not Alonso moaning. Stop moaning, please. Alonso said the same than other drivers. Too dangerous. You can read the incomplete list of the “moaners” in another comment below in this trend. And add to the list the name of Hamilton, who also said in the radio to his team that it was too dangerous.

      3. xrr says:

        lol

        So it is all about being lucky.

      4. Mike J says:

        Yes, but as i recall Lewis was also one of the earliest to call it as unsafe with standing water and drivers not seeing following cars ( sauber turning in on Lewis). Surprisingly it was Lewis , Vettel and Alonso all making radio calls re: same issue, not just Alonso

      5. Galapago555 says:

        Yeah, you know, Ferrari International Assistance, etc.

        LOL.

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      OFGS!!! If I read it correctly, an F1 circuit has around 10 timed sections per lap. Not the 3 that we see on the TV feed.
      If you ever watch the race, at the base of the screen you see constantly updated data of time differences between the runners.
      The stewards would have very accurate data of Alonso’s speed through the yellow flag section.

      Don’t forget, Button was 1.7s quicker than the 17th place time till he arrived at Vale on his last run. Circuit conditions prevented his getting through Q2.

      Alonso’s run may have been better circuit conditions in sector 1 and 2 and it was sufficient to get through.

    5. TheGreatTeflonso says:

      James what is your prediction for podium places in today’s race please? I feel like Schumacher will do well today.

      Lots of sour grapes apparently over Alonso’s pole from Hamilton fans, sad to see. Does a guy that hasn’t had a properly fast car in 5 years not deserve some credit? I have a feeling no Brit will win today. Instead a Spaniard and a Swiss might. And yes, there are no Swiss F1 drivers in today’s race I believe.

      1. James Allen says:

        I also feel Michael will do well today.

        If it’s very wet, why not a win?

  4. Michael S says:

    That was 100% not fair to throw the Red Flag in the middle of a session. Both Ferrari’s were DONE and they were bailed out by waiting for better conditions to go back out. Alonso went from not getting out of Q2 to taking Pole… Does not seem fair at all.

    If they wanted Red Flag they should have waited for Q3 to stop action.

    1. MANish says:

      Life is not fair or is it … The RED FLAG came in as it was impossible to drive not just for the Ferrari but for the rest of the others as well. Try and read the post race team and drivers quotes and you will find out that they all agree that it was the RIGHT decision to stop the session. Every one has an opinion just like you and me but unfortunately its the drivers whose opinion counts not us as they are driving not YOU or me…

      1. Den says:

        So why did not they stop the qually in Monza 2008 when Ham was in the same situation and was held by the stewards for “check” when the track was at it’s best?
        It was qually — not race. If it is not safe you wouldn’t improve and no sense going out.

    2. xrr says:

      According the drivers like;

      Vettel
      Button
      Hulkenberg
      etc.
      It was definitely the right call to stop the session.

      While there is so much water on track (more than tyres can evacuate) it is not possible to control car anymore as tyres are not directly contact with asphalt anymore.

      1. Den says:

        If you think you can’t control a car and couldn’t improve, go to the pits and drink coffee.

      2. xrr says:

        lol

        If I see Vettel, I will give your advise to him.

      3. Andrea Sasseti says:

        The distinction between not being able to improve and not being able to control the car is massively important.

        If track conditions become a bit worse but are still drivable then yes, Ferrari et al are out of luck if they can’t improve as there shouldn’t be a red flag as long as conditions are “safe” (this happened in malaysia a couple of years ago, for example). Seeing a midfielder take pole in those circumdtances is always pretty fun.

        If track conditions deteriorate to the point that drivers cannot control their car then track conditions are unsafe and the red flag comes out. That is basic safety-procedure and is done from pre-season testing to the final lap of the final grand prix. To do otherwise would be criminally irrisponsable (litterally!).

        If you want to argue that yesterday, track conditions were such that it was possible to trundle along safely 10 seconds off the pace and therefore the red flag didn’t need to come out then we can agree to disagree. But if you think that the red flag shouldn’t come out when track conditions are such that drivers cannot CONTROL their car, just to reward good pitwall insight or luck you are being absurd to put it VERY mildly.

      4. Quattro_T says:

        I hope next time Hamilton will manage to qualify a bit higher, when conditions are difficult. Probably then we will not have to read your duplicated complaines about red yellow and what not flags all over the page. Then maybe you would sit and enjoy seeing the best of the best taking pole in a wounderful way :)

    3. Sumanth says:

      What a ridiculous argument. So, just to see the ferraris’ out, they should be willing to risk for one of the cars to have a bad accident in dangerous conditions? Hamilton was telling his team over the radio its too dangerous too!

      1. Den says:

        They would put a red flag or SC, or put a yellow flag out just to see Ferraris’ “in”

    4. Andrea Sasseti says:

      Since when is it not acceptable to red-flag a qualifying-session or race? If the track-conditions are unsafe the red flag comes out, that is all there is to it!

      The notion that the track should stay green when conditions are unsafe just to disproportionally punish a team for making a small gamble on their first stint is completely absurd.

      I cannot believe anyone would take such a position just days after Maria de Villota’s crash,

      Upon further reflection, I actually can believe it. Eddie Jordan spent the entire break raging because he is horribly biased against sensible rules that put his favourite drivers at a disadvantage (see also tyre changes under red flag in Monaco last year and Lewis’ fuel issue in qualifying in barca this year). He also sees conspiracies everywhere.

      Look at it this way: what if, at the halfway mark in q2, the rain had subsided instead of worsened? No red flag and all cars would have been able to put in another few laps just like they did today with probably a similar result. The red flag gave no-one an advantage. You and Jordan and Anderson are just bummed it didn’t give ferrari a disadvantage or Lewis an advantage. And FYI, I’m personally displeased at Perez not getting pole but it would be wrong for me to think he got robbed today.

      1. Wu says:

        Where de Villota’s crash was tragic, it can’t compare to driving in the wet. I suppose you meant that anything can happen, and the track conditions increased the inherant dangers of the sport, with which I agree.

        I found it very strange that EJ was out for blood this time around. Bias against the 3 cars that now make up the top 5 along with the Red Bulls? I know everyone is entitled to an opinion, and EJ has plenty in abundace, but hasn’t the same thing happened a few years ago in Brazil? I don’t think EJ mentioned anything about the first runners then. Strange.

      2. Andrea Sasseti says:

        Yeah I meant that dismissing any safety-aspect in general is especially absurd now. If people want to argue that track conditions were safe enough to drive (slightly more slowly) than that is fine, even if that contradicts most drivers’ opinion -including Hamilton’s who was second.

        My issue is that according to Eddie and the people that ape his argument, the red flag should never come out during a qualifying session even though conditions were unsafe. Punishing a team for doing a lap on inters somehow trumps basic safety-procedure.

      3. Den says:

        “You and Jordan and Anderson…”
        Or maybe it’s you

      4. Andrea Sasseti says:

        Yes I am bummed. I’d have loved to see a topsey turvy grid. But that requires certain conditions, like in malaysia a couple of years ago. Steadily worse weather would have done it as long as it didn’t deteriorate to the point of causing unsafe track conditions. But it did deteriorate too swiftly and now I have to settle for a relatively normal, entirely fair qualifying session. I can deal with that.

      5. Quattro_T says:

        Yes, when media acts that way you cannot be surprised if people without applying (own) critical thinking/reasoning, just accept what media is saying as the complete and only truth… I also saw what was being said on the BBC today… sad to see really, but not getting surprised anymore when Ferrari/Fernando get blame for all sort of things over there. Eddie? He is there I think mostly to make people laugh. I stopped already in 2010 to take anything he says seriously. Much better to, like most people he interviews does, have a laugh at most things he says.

      6. Andrea Sasseti says:

        As a ‘colour commentator’ Eddie is pretty good, I think. But the way in which he bends logic to explain why rules were broken to give non-McLaren top-teams an advantage is getting really, really old.

        I feel that if Brundle had stil been there, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal since he’s usually very reasonable. But without his counterpoint, people are going to ape Jordans moon-logic.

      7. Peter C says:

        Re. Jordan.

        I live in Ireland – it happens all the time.

      8. Chris says:

        Everyone had put in a lap, the drivers didn’t have to be on track did they?

      9. Andrea Sasseti says:

        Everyone has 20/15/10 minutes to set the quickest laptime they can. If the track is closed they can’t set that laptime so the clock stops. Yesterday was not special. It was normal procedure, no-one was given an advantage: it was the same for everyone and everyone had the same amount of time they have every saturday.

        As for the red flag: it comes out when track conditions are unsafe. No exeptions. It’s this way for everything from pre-season testing to the middle of the race. Massive rainfall is treated the same as debris on the track or whatever else would make conditions unsafe. To do otherwise would be absurd.

    5. Tim says:

      we talking conspiracy here.

    6. Anil says:

      They couldn’t wait until q3, the track was undrivable. I was there and there were 2 large rivers running through Abbey!

      1. Kev says:

        I am a fan of circuits that offer genuine opportunity to overtake and I like Silverstone as a circuit. But seeing the bias that is shown here and the garbage that certain people spout about Ferrari being favored due the red flag, I am intended to make this statement.

        The qualifying would have probably continued if the circuit was not shit-like in draining the water off the tarmac. If Silverstone can improve that, maybe the sessions wouldn’t be needed to be stopped halfway.

        We just had a driver lose her right eye due an accident and we wouldn’t want anymore injuries because our favorite driver wasn’t on pole.

    7. ali says:

      Those of you who are crying about the red flag and how it is a conspiracy to help Ferrari etc, please get a brain. Lewis Hamilton was P2 behind Perez before the red flag and came on the radio and stated it is impossible to drive in these conditions and that they shouldnt be out there. The red flag is for safety, whats worse is you would think after such a terrible tragedy with the Marussia test driver this weekend, safety is the main concern. I hate dumbasses who just follow what biased pundits moan about. Secondly how were Ferrari’s saved, they had 6 min 19 secs before the end of Q2, they still had a chance to make it into Q3.

    8. hero_was_senna says:

      Wasn’t MSC in the same predicament as the Ferrari’s? He spun at Becketts after all..

      What am I saying, he doesn’t drive for Ferrari anymore!!

  5. Serrated_Edge says:

    James, I was sat at Village today and it was noticable the Red Bulls and Vettel in particular had a different engine nose which sounded like engine blowing off throttle.
    Are Red Bull bending the rules?

    1. James Allen says:

      They are exploring them

      1. HowardHughes says:

        Awesome reply.

      2. Sumanth says:

        So how come the FIA is not investigating this?

      3. Den says:

        FIA would investigate this and say: “Take this illegal thing that gave you advantage for few races out. No punishment of course. We are looking forward for a new illegal things, Adrian!”
        As always.

      4. monktonnik says:

        I guess that it is up to the stewards of the meeting. If someone protests then they will investigate. After that the FIA would probably have a mandate to release a clarification.

        I think that is how it works.

      5. Alex W says:

        There is no rule against the EBD as such, for cold blowing atleast, and that is what Red Bull have been doing all along, it is the new exhaust layout rules that effectively “ban” the EBD, but you can blow cold off throttle all you like.

      6. James Clayton says:

        I guess there’s been no official complaints from other teams. Which, I guess, is because they haven’t figured out what they’re doing yet.

        These rules are a farce. Why did they not just specify that the exhausts have to be pointing UP at an angle of at least, say 20 degrees?

      7. The FIA will have been presented with the concept and will have agreed to it to a certain extent.

        The genius in F1 consists in exploring the loophoi in both technical and sporting regulations.

        The devil is in the detail.

  6. LD01 says:

    Although they made us wait for it, what an incredibly Qualifying Session.

    Silverstone should be proud. It has set up a mouthwatering race for tomorrow.

  7. FerrariFan says:

    Hi James,
    Is there anyway of finding out who has how many new wets and inters? I guess we are going to see more rain tomorrow. Another question I have is how long does a wet tire last in wet conditions?

    I hope the race is not delayed and not held behind the safety car for too long. We all want a proper race in the wet.

    Schumi has been wanting rain all week and though I support Alonso, I would like to see Schumi on the top step. Another driver to watch out for is Hamilton. He seems to be the only driver who is enthusiastic to race in rainy conditions while others complain of all sorts of problems.

    As for the No.2′s, I think Button has tire heating issues, no matter what the conditions are. Massa seems to have found form and this may lead to an extension of his F1 life in Ferrari for at least a year. Webber is going to cause some headache at RBR similar to 2010.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      BTW thumbs up to those British fans. It was good seeing such a crowd in such dreadful conditions. The traditional race venues should never be dropped for some cash-rich states that have boring circuit layouts and boring/absent crowds.

      1. Scott says:

        Great to see fans at an event!!! Even the teams seem more responsive to the big effort from the fan base

      2. Buddy says:

        Still don’t get it. A couple of mil’ should fix up Silverstone’s parking and drainage problems. That’s chump change – why isn’t anyone spending to upgrade Silverstone? Anyone of the top drivers could afford to pay for it. Bernie is willing to throw away 40 million on one guy, but won’t fork out some change to improve the conditions for 20,000 fans!

  8. Illuminatus says:

    Hi James,

    Is it possible for you to also mention which drivers have which and how many sets of tyres remaining?

    Its always hard figuring that out right through the weekend and hardcore F1 fans like knowing as much as we can, so its something that will be great value add on your site.

    Thanks!

      1. Nigel says:

        That would be very interesting.

        I got the impression that the intermediates weren’t lasting too well for some of the teams (McLaren ?), and if the weather is mixed again tomorrow, some could struggle.

      2. SP says:

        James, where can we read or hear about this in the morning? Will it be on your radio show or on Sky/BBC coverage? Thanks!

  9. Antti says:

    Is Lotus allowed to fix Kimi’s KERS for the race?

    1. Michael S says:

      yes, they Lotus just announsed his KERS are 100% and ready for the race tomorrow

    2. Staffan Holmberg says:

      Yes, they can, if they can find the failing component.

    3. Lisa Thomas says:

      they tweeted about 6 that all was fixed.

      However, failing to fix it during the quali break is not so good. They must have known it could be fixed in the time or they would not have started…. Funny telling RAI he had no kers just after he leaves the garage and is still in the pitlane…. Q3 again wrong decision by the team to send Kimi out on wets when the inter was the right choice. Yes hindsight, etc, but really Lotus have to improve their performance:
      - pit stops are too slow
      - strategy calls not often bright and sparkly

      1. John says:

        Lotus usually fails on Kimi’s part. They usually perform better with Romain’s car. They still have not fixed 100% the steering issue on Kimi’s car, and if there would be additional testing days they would probably have again Romain only in the car. Strange, eh?

  10. FerrariFan says:

    I had a dream of Christian Honer with a voodoo doll of F2012 !

    1. AlexD says:

      It was not a dream, it was covered by SKY today

    2. Sumanth says:

      lol.. he is working it pretty hard by the look of it then.

  11. goferet says:

    Yes Pirelli tyres are great but rain affected races & qualifying are brilliant for they have a way of throwing the cat amongst the pigeons —> Good stuff.

    Very impressive performance from Alonso to get Ferrari’s first pole in almost two years but yet again, the planets are aligning in his favour for it could have all gone horribly wrong in Q2, let alone that moment when he saved the car from spinning out.

    Good job too from the other stars from Valencia in the form of Webber & Schumi for not only are they up there but they also got the better of their teammates in the wet.

    Meanwhile, it appears the different wet weather Pirellis tyres work on some cars and not on other for instance, Lewis was mighty in Q2 with his full wets on well as Ferrari struggled to get into Q3

    On the other hand Mclaren can’t seem to get heat in the inters as shown by the Q1 grid slots of P14 for Lewis & P18 for Jenson.

    I believe this is the same story from Malaysia 2012.

    Anyway, looking forward to a great race tomorrow (preferably with rain but not too much) for with such a situation, drivers with poor grid positions like Jens have a chance to gain ground.

    Right, my prediction for tomorrow’s race is

    1. Webber
    2. Alonso
    3. Grosjean
    4. Vettel
    5. Schumi
    6. Massa

    1. Martin says:

      I agree with you on the McLaren on the intermediate tyres. Not so sure on the Ferrari being poor on the full wets though. Alonso’s times were behind Massa’s and there were times when the track was wetter. Ferrari aslo wet okay on full wets in Malaysia given its lack of downforce. I suspect it is more spring-rate and geometry related for McLaren.

  12. Michal Szczyrek says:

    Bravo Schumacher! Good luck for tomorrow, first win since comeback is within reach…

  13. Ram says:

    Is Pastor complimenting the Williams or the other way … the year before Rubens was much better than Pastor …would the Williams have been better off with an experienced driver like Rubens or his performancewould have been similar to Bruno …. is it possible Bottias may be given a look in by the end of the year if Bruno continues to struggle

    1. Buddy says:

      Pastor has oil money behind him – lots of it too.

    2. I would also love to see what Bottas can do.
      However, according to Alex Wurz, Bruno is progressing. His race pace looks good, it’s the qualifying that seems to be a let down.

  14. val from montreal says:

    Im so fed up of hearing how Ferrari have a bad car ! Ferrari DO have a great car actually … As usual the press are quick to praise Alonso … Ever thought that maybe Massa is pretty much driving the car BELOW its actual standards ??

    Schumacher , the 43 year old phenom , once again showed his class … He’s going to win tomorrow … I hope it rains …

    1. AlexD says:

      Ferrari has a good car, but is it clearly not the fastest on the grid.

    2. radosav says:

      how can you say that schumi is phenom while massa is driving below its actual standards and alonso has great car?
      maybe alonso is phenom , massa drives a bad car while schumi drives a great car?

    3. dzolve says:

      Yes. It was very interesting to see Massa clearly slow down in the final sector of his penultimate quick lap in Q3! He had a personal quickest first sector and was purple in the middle, then was a second and a half of the pace in the final sector – ensuring he didn’t overtake Alonso’s time!

      This is not the first time he’s been in danger of overtaking his team mate and backed off, I feel really sorry for him!

      1. Pman says:

        Ridiculous. Would he not be of more “use” to Alonso if he qualified on pole and then just let him by at turn 1?

      2. Satish says:

        So he backed off by 1.3 seconds?

      3. Buddy says:

        That is just silly. Quote Massa:

        “Felipe Massa (5th, Q3 – 1m 53.065s)
        “It’s a nice result for the team, mainly because, when the red flag came out, both myself and Fernando were out of Q3. We did a good job at the restart in the last few laps of Q2 and then, in Q3 we were always in the fight for pole position, but I was losing time right at the very last corner, as I was locking the rear wheels. All the same, I am pleased with fifth place.”

        So, he would have gotten a better had he not locked up his rear wheels. Conspiracy theorist aplenty today. Wonder why that is? Probably because Lewis and Button didn’t qualify very well……

      4. Craig in SG says:

        I think the rain affects the tin foil.

      5. Doohan says:

        Or he made a mistake?
        The FIA told him to slow down so they can sell more tickets in Spain next year?

    4. Quattro_T says:

      This is Ferraris first pole in two long years. Furthermore, it came now probably more due to weather conditions (and another remarkable driving effort), than the car being as quick or quicker than the other cars.

      Unless you think Ferrari have consitently (since 2010 actually) being faking being slower on outright speed (1,5! seconds off pole in Melborne 2012 gives a hint?) than the other teams, there should not be any doubt wheather or not Alonso is outperforming that car.

      Actually I often feel media are NOT giving Alonso the recognition he deservse. Every time Fernando produces a result as today and a commentator goes “Fernando is probably the best driver out there AT THE MOMENT” I smile. Why? Simply because he has being doing this same things at least since 2010 – consistently getting his car into positions where it does not belong speed-wise, beating other drivers (Mclarens, Redbulls, Renaults etc) who are driving faster cars than him.

      “Ever thought that maybe Massa is pretty much driving the car BELOW its actual standards ??”

      When I see a car consistently qualify 0.5-1,5 seconds OFF pole even in the hands of Alonso as well, I draw the conclusion car is inherently slower than the best. When at the end I see Alonso, consistently (race after race and year after year) beating Redbulls/Mclarens/Renaults etc, I think then only of the greats eg Senna, MS etc. So I agree, please stop using “AT THE MOMENT” and just enjoy the show this man is putting up for us! This kind of drivers do not show up very often…

      1. MANish says:

        100% my thoughts too…

  15. Sebastian says:

    How much laptime is KERS worth in these conditions at Silverstone?

    1. Lisa Thomas says:

      according to Lotus [Permaine] a tenth or two.

    2. Ray says:

      .3 sec per lap

    3. Doohan says:

      They estimate about .3 according to an article regarding Kimi on the autosport site.

    4. Martin says:

      I believe about 0.5s. A key effect of running in the wet is not traction, but the tendency to do lap after lap, rather than a single flying lap, as is usually the case in the dry.

      In that case, the driver can get an added boost by coming out of the last turn more quickly. This works really well at somewhere like Monza where the main straight is long, and the line is a long way from the last corner and the first corner. In the race this deployment strategy may not be the most effective in terms of lap times.

  16. Holly says:

    Fantastic lap to grab pole, he was a little lucky with the red flag but also beneficed other drivers.

    The pole was all down to Alonso’s skills sinning again.

    Great job by Schu and Webber too.

  17. Dan Orsino says:

    Thing is no one was aquaplaning at Q2 06:19

    Should Charlie Whiting have waited until cars had BEGUN to aquaplane first, then red flagged the session? would have been fairer to Perez, Hamilton and others who already set a time

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Man, MS had 3 aquaplanes before it was stopped, FA almost crashed and even Lewis was calling for the Red Flag. It clearly was needed to avoid a big crash. Every minute 2 or 3 drivers went out of track and it was just geting worse. Luck for Ferrari and shame for Perez, but that needed to be stopped.

      1. Doohan says:

        I think we need to clarify what’s aqua planing and what’s just a normal in the wet mistake.
        What happened to Schumi at Beckett was clearly aqua plaining.
        Yet what happened at the final complex was the back getting loose under braking.

    2. Sumanth says:

      Indeed. Wait for another driver to lose an eye or worse. That would be fair!

    3. Anil says:

      Several cars had already aquaplaned by that point. Massa, schumi and alonso were all flying off the track.

    4. Buddy says:

      For all you Lewis fans out there, Lewis nearly ran into the back of Perez in Q2. Even he agrees with the decision…..

      1. Ankit says:

        True. He did make a call to his team regarding the poor visibility.

        For all who are arguing against the red flag, the drivers all seem to agree that the decision was correct even those who were later knocked out after Q2

  18. abashrawi says:

    I will come straight to my point: great lap by Alonso, but can’t feel understand the point of red flagging the session until the conditions get better! I mean other teams/drivers got to their positions by great efforts and making the right calls, you can’t just wipe all that effort the way it happened. If you have used an extra set of tires because you knew conditions would get worse later, you can’t be penalized for that.

    Fair enough if conditions got worse than racing would permits, stop the session and keep the current standing, then delay the next session until conditions improve.

  19. Onko says:

    F1 in the past produced many greats,some that
    will never be equal,but which ever you slice it
    you can’t leave Alonso out perhaps in today
    modern F1 he stand out above all his peers as
    the best and a getleman to boot.

  20. Matt W says:

    The FIA need to look at the current car specifications as it seems we get red flags every time it rains recently. F1 is supposed to be an all weather series barring the rare monsoon.

    I’m not suggesting drivers race in unsafe conditions, but the cars need to be able to handle poorer conditions than they do now.

    1. cookie says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Can’t remember in the past of so many red flags in the wet

      1. One lunger says:

        Next thing you know there will be phantom full course cautions and safety cars, to bunch the field up again, oh, wait a minute….

        Yes my friends, this is NOT nascar!

    2. Quattro_T says:

      “I’m not suggesting drivers race in unsafe conditions, but the cars need to be able to handle poorer conditions than they do now.”

      Any suggestion how?
      The first step I guess would be to make sure drivers are still able to control car safely while travelling on centimeters of standing water, at competitive speed…when that is done, you will have to ensure they (the drivers of the cars) are able to see further ahead than their front tyres, in the spray behind other cars… And increase ride hight some 5-10 centimeters. I am sure, when/if all this is done somehow, someone will start complaining “How did we end up with this artificial racing”….

      I think it is much easier to (once or twice a season) either cancel a session or, as they did today, delay it and thereby giving all the drivers an equally fair chanse going at it when conditions are acceptable for motor racing.

    3. GT_Racer says:

      Got nothing to do with car design, Any car would have had problems in the conditions today & in fact even the driver of the medical car complained of aquaplaining when he was doing some laps during the red flag.

      The biggest cause of aquaplaining is the tyres not been able to handle the amount of water on the track.
      We had monsoon tyres for a bit but they were never used in a race & good year & bridgestone coudn’t justify the development & transportation cost’s so scrapped them.

      Also consider that a problem thats more race specific is visibility. We saw today Hamilton nearly drive into the back of a Sauber because of the low visibility caused by the spray.

      In the past there was less red flags & look what used to happen, You had races where virtually nobody got to the end.

      It was the Drivers via the GPDA that asked the FIA to be more cautious in wet conditions after some big wrecks caused by wet conditions through the 90s.
      One of the scariest was Dereck Warwick at Hockenheim in 1993, Totally blind in the spray he drove into another car at 190mph down the straght & nearly had his head taken off when he went into a gravel trap upside down.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tOx43JHfMM

      1. Matt W says:

        I have seen in the early 00s many races in worse conditions than yesterday. I’m sure the collective minds of the technical working group should be able design cars that can run in the British summer season. If not, declare the series as dry weather only.

        It isn’t fair on the spectators to have to sit through the continual farce every time it rains because F1 is too arrogant to admit it can’t run in the rain anymore.

  21. Marc Aubry says:

    Glad to see FA on pole. Once more, he is in a position few expected. I know the rain makes it that much more of a lottery but you have to agree that he has the knack for coming through a tight situation and make the most of it.
    MW alongside reflects the WDC standing and for one, l am happy to see more of a trend as such to the championship.
    MS in third is gravy to any qualifying podium. would love not much more than to see him rise to the top step at race end.
    Still l would not dare predict tomorrow’s podium. No need to wish for a good race tomorrow, you sort of know it is going to be a cracker. Marc

  22. Sergio says:

    …And again no image at all of Ferrari Garage.

  23. ~ A says:

    I guess it was pretty clear that Alonso slowed down under yellow flag and may be Vettel too. They’d have gone much faster otherwise.

    But I don’t see the rationale in comparing with pervious lap’s sector time! It makes more sense to compare ratio of sector time under yellow to previous (or next or both sector time of the same lap depending on where the yellow flag is shown) to the ratio of the same things from previous lap.

    How exactly is it determined whether or not a driver slowed down under caution (yellow flag)?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I guess the point is the driver can’t improve his sector times.

    2. Abashrawi says:

      Exactly! You cant compare to previous lap because the situation could be a lot worse in that sector this time around that you are bound to be slower even if you go flat out (and the opposite is true as well).

      And in anyway if the rule is to compare to previous lap he did slow down by 0.03 seconds i think, impressive!

    3. Buddy says:

      Telemetry should tell all….

      1. ~A says:

        What exactly are the rules? What data is looked at and how is the comparison made?

  24. kp says:

    Another example of Lewis excelling in the wet?

    Dream on.

    1. James Clayton says:

      He did amazingly in the wet. Unfortunately not so well in the drying conditions.

  25. Amit says:

    I think Schumie could have had pole if he had got the tyre choice right first time around.

    1. Robert N says:

      Agreed. His first flying lap on inters was only 3 tenths off Alonso’s pole time. And Alonso and Webber continually improved their times as they got used to the conditions.

      If it rains tomorrow, Schumacher might be the 8th winner this year.

  26. Ian C. says:

    At the beginning of the season it looked as if McLaren were going to run away with the constructors championship and the drivers championship would be between Button and Hamilton. After Valencia it was quite clear that McLaren had been passed by Ferrari and Red Bull. Qualifying today really showed how far the McLaren has fallen. What’s also interesting is that in an average car how average Hamilton performs.

    1. Doug says:

      Button 2nd in FP3 & Hamilton up at the sharp end on the wets…McLaren have a BIG problem…getting temp into the intermediate tyres. If they can solve this issue, they’re still in with a fair chance this season.

    2. Yos says:

      Wait at least tomorrow to bash them, points are distributed tomorrow. One bad qualifying for hamilton (8th) then he is average, that is funny.

  27. Kay says:

    2 rain masters on the front row and one of them is MSC! O_O. Congrats to Alonso and a huge slap on the back to Webber!

    Totally surprised that Hamilton and Button ain’t up there as they are suppose to be good in the wets, even more surprising Jens didn’t get thru to Q2!

    1. Dan Orsino says:

      not so long ago, certainly last year, Jens would have been the absolute favourite at silverstone in these conditions.

      But ever since the great Prost endorsed JB on James’s show he can’t put a foot right… Maybe James could get Prost to un-endorse Jenson before it’s too late

      1. Buddy says:

        Even Briatore and Lauda praised Button. It’s time for everyone to take their words back.

        But seriously, I think there is something wrong with the McLaren cars….

    2. bmg says:

      Actually, it’s webber and Alonso on the front row.

    3. Martin says:

      Hi Kay

      I think too much is made of certain drivers being good in the wet. It really comes down to the car, and I get the impression that just as McLaren has had races where it can’t get the tyres switched on, while the car is fine on full wets, McLaren can’t get the intermediates to work in the right temperature range.

      Cheers,

      Martin

  28. Paul H says:

    Races are always more exciting when there is drivers in mixed up grid positions and combined with the likely rain it should make for a good day’s action tomorrow. Hopefully no red flags though – think the highlight of my tv watching today was the Vulcan flypast!

    1. Tim says:

      “watching today was the Vulcan flypast”

      come on it was great drama :)

      1. Peter C says:

        It depends if you are keen on aircraft or not.

        The Vulcan flypast was magnificent & happened when the ‘great drama’ of Mexican Waves was taking off.

      2. Paul H says:

        In fairness I’m an aircraft buff too and from the moment a Vulcan did a high alpha pass overhead at Finningley back in the day, setting off all the car alarms in the car park below, they’ve been the highlight of any day! Really recommend Vulcan 601 by Rowland White about the worlds longest range bombing mission if they want to read a bit about them.

  29. xrr says:

    Alonso deserved to be on pole as he slowed down in sector3 during Q2 and put a very good lap during Q3.

    This is not the first time a qualification season red flaged due to the rain.

  30. Daniel MA says:

    Would it be fair to say that Mark is getting closer and closer to becoming the No. 1 driver at Red Bull? or will it never happen?

    1. Lisa Thomas says:

      Not at Silverstone at any rate. I’m pretty certain in my bones that Vettel will win. He’s got a picture of James Allen on his RBR nose, that will surely bring him good luck!

      1. James Allen says:

        I know, I’ve no idea who put that there!

      2. Buddy says:

        Hopefully Seb won’t rear end anyone :)

    2. nino says:

      Never, until Marko guy is there!

    3. D. says:

      It will happen when the sun rises from the west.

    4. Luke Clements says:

      I think it’s fair to say he’s getting closer to the No.1 driver at RBR, but he’ll never be the No.1 driver at RBR.

      No matter the results, SV is the golden boy of RBR and can do no wrong, period. I genuinely think most of RBR still loves MW and some would absolutely delight in him beating SV to a championship, but no matter what SV is the future of RBR.

      I always find it amazing when I’ve seen the body language in the garage and on pitwall when MW gets pole or wins, it’s very subdued celebrations (except from his side of the garage). When SV gets poles and wins, it’s backslapping, hugging, crying all round and massive smiles on CH’s face in particular. Same story with radio messages when MW wins, it’s very ho-hum “nice drive, good work, we suppose it will do” etc. Its yahooing and idol worship when SV wins.

      Just my biased opinion ;)

  31. Jesper says:

    A great drive from Alonso. However, just like in Valencia the incident with the yellow flags is just too obvious to not warrent investigation. I seem to recall a grid penalty for Hamilton and Perez for setting the fastest sector time under yellow flags in India if memory serves.
    Has the regulations in this area changed significantly since then or is this merely the ever returning penalty inconsistency?

    1. GT_Racer says:

      Perez/Hamilton got penalised in India last year for setting a fastest sector time under yellow flags as you say.

      Alonso’s final sector time was slower under the yellow flags today, This shows that he backed off.

      At Valencia Mercedes showed the stewards data which showed Schumacher had slowed down in the yellow zone (He lifted off before the braking zone & then braked about 30m earlier than usual for the corner) so there was no penalty.

      The FIA don’t just go by the 3 timing sectors, They also have additional timing loops every 200m round the circuits, GPS data & full access to every cars telemetry data.

      They use all of this to judge yellow flag incidents with far more accuracy than us lot simply watching on TV.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      You not read any reports?
      He slowed down in the 3rd sector on that lap…

      1. Lisa Thomas says:

        Did he slow down? Or was it a mistake and swerving correction that added time to his last sector?

  32. Methusalem says:

    At Wimbledon, Serena Williams almost lost the championship when rain interrupted the match after the 1st set. At Silverstone, Alonso made a radio call for the read flag, he got it, and had his qualification under yellow flag. Lucky again?

    Disappointing McLaren. They don’t seem to make things right. Button was no better than Marussia’s Glock. Hamilton, I think, destiny has brought him to MP cars, and he is going to have a tough time this year with the two latino MPs; Maldonando & Perez. It will interesting to see how is going to get rid of the taxi-driver tomorrow.

    Alonso will be 2012 champion!

  33. azac21 says:

    The same dudes that were on the pondium in Valencia!
    Experience counted the most today it seems. Bring on a wet and dry race!

  34. Methusalem says:

    Were these the first ever qualifications without DRS? Is it possible to identify now which cars perform best without DRS?

  35. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    My reasonable dream on Sunday, I would sign for:

    1. Schumi
    2. Webber
    3. Alonso
    4. Hamilton
    5. Raikkonen
    6. Massa
    7. Vettel

  36. michael grievson says:

    Great qualifying. I have to say though I disagree with the commentary that Q2 should not have been red flagged. If a driver had a huge accident Eddie Jordan and co would have been the first to say Charlie Whiting should have red flagged. Best to avoid an accident than wait until one happens

    1. John O'Neill says:

      Completely agree – in a sport that is so competitive you need somebody to save the teams and drivers from themselves.

      It’s all well and good to say that “if it’s too dangerous, don’t go out” – but somebody would risk it, and probably have an almighty crash.

      I also disagree with the calls from Eddie Jordan to abort qualifying and take the grid based on the Q2 results “because the delay is frustrating for the fans”.

      Although inconvenient for TV schedules, we need to remember that there are people at the track who have paid hundreds of pounds to watch qualifying, and they should take priority.

      It is right in my view that they make every effort to complete qualifying.

  37. Pete says:

    Congatulations to schu, not bad for a old timer!! Schu for the win….. Want to see that victory jump:):)

  38. Lisa Thomas says:

    Strange that every time the cameras showed Kimi sitting in his car in the Lotus garage, they switched to thermal imagery, so all his engineers glowed with bright thermal colours. But Kimi himself didn’t show up on the thermal pics: he’s just a guy that’s cool as ice!

  39. John Z says:

    Red flag or not, there was 6:19 left in the session. It was the same for all 17 cars left, 6:19 to advance to Q3. Alonso did his job. Then there was 10:00 in Q3 for the final 10 cars to take pole. Alonso got it done. It’s silly to carry on about the red flag. It was a lake out there and they were right to stop it. Even Hamilton, amongst the bravest in hard rain, was in favor of it.

  40. jay harte says:

    james who is your money on for the victory tomorrow ?
    im going with “mick the shoe” or kimi .

  41. Tom in adelaide says:

    Anyone smarter than me care to calculate the on-track distance between MAL and HAM based on those Q3 times?

  42. ida says:

    I think Alonso showed Jenson that by knowing the rules he could have progressed into Q2. Jenson backed off and lost about 3 seconds when he saw the yellow flag in the last few corners on a lap that up to then was quick enough to get him thru. He should have known his previous laps sector 3 time and stayed under that and hope it was enough. Which it would have been.

    1. Buddy says:

      Yes, a small lift for a fraction of a second would have shown up on the telemetry and that should have been enough avoid any penalties.

  43. Christopher says:

    Anyone who is stating that throwing the Red Flag during Qual is ridic. The track was not suitable for driving. Plain and simple, FP, Q or the Race itself. Do not think for one second that they did it to spare the Ferrari’s. HAM VET and a bunch of others said that it was a good idea to stop the session.

  44. Nick4 says:

    If there was any doubt as to the legality of Alonsos’ Q2 performance, you can bet your bottom dollar that Ferrari’s opposition would have been the quickest to protest. They didn’t and one has to accept that the stewards and Charlie Whiting were similarly quite satisfied that Alonso had not infringed the yellow flag rules.

    The suggestions that there is a conspiracy not to punish Ferrari and Alonso for so called infringements are baseless. It’s worth remembering that in 2010 Alonso had a bad run of luck with the stewards; following a brief outburst at Valencia, he shut up and nearly won the 2010 WC. Hamilton on the other hand felt persecuted last year and let himself down badly by the end of the year.

    Let’s just enjoy the spectacle of these great drivers performing at the top of their game. By the way, Alonso’s peers on the F1 grid voted him the best amongst their illustrious ranks last year. That said, we are witnessing a great era of wonderful talent and numerous ex-WCs and we the spectator and fan should enjoy the spectacle whilst it lasts.

    1. puffing says:

      I cannot agree more with you. Thanks for putting this balanced opinion in words.

    2. Peter C says:

      It surely shows that the Teams are generally very sporting in their attitude to protesting others.

      ‘Gamesmanship’ used to be more prevalent than it is now (in F1, not football), although there was one particular Team who used to protest everything, sometimes getting a judgment in their favour.

      They don’t do it so much now.

  45. monktonnik says:

    Great qualifying.

    Alonso deserves pole, if only for that save he pulled off when he nearly stuck it in the wall in an earlier session.

    I kind of see Martin Brundle’s point about JB backing off too much, but my mind is drawn back to Suzuka in 2009 when he and Barrichello got penalised for not lifting under yellows. Shame, because he looked as though he was getting to grips with the tyres.

  46. SP says:

    So, if they start from their grid slots, rather than behind the SC…. what is/should be the situation with those starting on the racing line? Would they get a better start in damp conditions?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I guess that the racing line position is not relevant (gives no advantage) once the track has been washed out.

  47. JohnBt says:

    British fans won’t be happy at all. The red flag called was triggered by Alonso and many drivers agreed it was the right call. Enjoyed Q3 with all the wobbling and drivers trying very hard to stay on track. On raceday it could be a different story. Just hope rain stays light and they’ll have a good fight. Who knows it might be blue sky and a heated track.

  48. Doug Adams says:

    So glad Q2 was red flagged. I managed to spot my FacesForCharity photo on Seb’s car during a close up in the pits. Seriously….

    1. Tom in adelaide says:

      That’s awesome, i’ve trying to spot my daughter – no luck yet!

  49. Lynn says:

    Shows that old timers are still great in the wet. Today it would be nice to have the experienced drivers on podium again!

  50. Puffing says:

    I will put it the other way round. The lap was good enough (under the preasure of getting the pass), Alonso was clever as to slow down just but the necessary under the yellow flag, hence Alonso managed eventually to pass to Q3. Driving excellence, knowledge of the rules, quick thinking and a bit of champion’s fortune.

  51. Elie says:

    When you have four or more cars doing piroettes on the same lap that’s defintely not driveable and I for 1 commend Charlie Whiting and the stewards for red flagging when they did . It was spot on ! Who wants to see cars doing 2.10+ laps even if they weren’t spearing of the track ! Great effort by the fans their enthusiasm was truly endearing!

    Now all that’s left is to congratulate Fernando and Mark for a good quali. I still think mercedes , Mclaren will be good in the race but I still wish Kimi will pull off a win that would make me smile:)

  52. Micky says:

    C’mon guys…. please get live timing; Alonso’s sector 3 was Yellow(not green) so no penalty there. And as much as I like to watch the race on BBC I have to say they are pretty biased. It almost made me laugh the way Eddie j wouldn’t stop about proving there was no need for a red flag… and on top of that insinuating it was to give Ferrari an advantage….. PLEASE…. what do you want then? A severe crash to happen? Red Flags are for safety. If anything he should be complaining about Silverstone’s water drainage system!! It’s not like it never rains in England ;) … And BTW, yes Alonso has been “lucky” these last races but luck is what happens when hard work meets opportunity.

    1. Sterling Mindenhall says:

      What he said.

      James, it’d be nice if you could do a feature on timing and scoring, to how many decimal places it’s tracked, some historical examples of when that’s been a factor, etc. A non-trivial subset of your readership seems to think that time is only measured in tenths.

  53. Sergio says:

    A very simple question James. Imagine Lewis Hamilton winning UK GP and no image at all of Macca garage. Imagine Englishman overtaking during race and no images at all of Macca garaje; imagine HAM reaching pole and no images of Macca garage. Can you? I don’t think so. FOM infinged art 27 of General Prescriptions.

  54. gari says:

    Great drive by alonso, but I’m with Gary Anderson – session shouldn’t have been stopped and ferrari would have had egg on their faces. Everyone had a chance to set a lap and they didn’t have to go out in it. Should be a good race, alonso looking good for back to back victories I think.

    1. puffing says:

      No, for a number of reasons you can read all along this thread. In brief: Red flag in quails is ruled for avoiding accidents that may end with casualties and sure in losing cars to the race (though my be you like Circus Maximus entertainment more than F1 racing); pilots and teams agreed with this particular red flag, it is documented; every pilot equally had 6+ minutes to improve times after red flag; spectators at home and in situ with enough patience/love for the race waited and eventually had the full civilized spectacle.

  55. Luca says:

    The top teams are now so closely matched that the turkeys in the paddock are looking more out of place every day. Losing out on Q2 because you slowed down due to a parked Marussia seems as randomly unlucky as a man can get. But as gutted as I was for Jenson, I was delighted that Alonso chose the path more travelled by.

  56. Chris says:

    If Alonso was Perez, bet all the Ferrari fans would be saying the session should not have been red flagged.

    Can help wondering what Alonso would be saying as well!!

  57. Michael says:

    C´mon guys, have you not noticed that this is the SANTANDER British Grand Prix and who sponsors Ferrari and Alonso!

    1. James Allen says:

      It doesn’t work like that, really!

  58. JRichardson says:

    Did Hamilton not say it was too dangerous on the team radio as well??

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, regrettably from McLaren’s point of view

  59. Quattro_T says:

    Hmm, looks like it gonna be a dry race. di Resta mentioned in qualy yesterday that they went with a dry setup on the car (which compromised wet qualy). di Resta a joker in this race. Not sure if more ppl took the same approach..

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