Qualifying analysis - Alonso reigns supreme 07 Jul 2012
The wet weather that has been such a feature of this weekend at Silverstone continued to wreak havoc during qualifying on Saturday. Whilst McLaren seemed to struggle in the rain that delayed Q2 for over an hour, Ferraris Fernando Alonso made the most of the conditions to take a well-deserved pole position, his and the teams first of the season. We take a team-by-team look at how all the runners performed
Fernando Alonso, 1m 51.746s, P1
Felipe Massa, 1m 53.065s, P5
Alonso had an adventurous day which included a spin at Club in FP3, then only just scraping through Q2. He 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. Massa had a major spin in the first part of Q2 and was very lucky not to be hit as he rejoined. But overall this was a great afternoon for the Prancing Horse, with their first pole since Singapore 2010 and fifth place too.
Mark Webber, 1m 51.793s, P2
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 52.199s, P4
Webber was right in the thick of the fight for pole and was philosophical when he lost out by five-hundredths of a second to Alonso. Vettel for once was overshadowed by his team mate and said that he just had a tough day. Red Bull, however, look very strong for the race, and second and fourth on the grid hardly counts as a disaster.
Michael Schumacher, 1m 52.020s, P3
Nico Rosberg, 1m 57.108s, P13, will start P11
Schumacher had a major spin in Becketts in Q2 when his Mercedes aquaplaned, and he blamed that on having the wrong visor without anti-fog. But he got a second chance with the restart and did a great job to take third on the grid. Rosberg, however, went off at Vale in Q2 and said he was surprised not to be quick as he had done better in similar conditions yesterday.
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 53.290s, P6
Romain Grosjean, No Q3 time, P10, will start P9
Raikkonen had no KERS but still pulled a strong lap out of the bag to go sixth in Q3, which was a pretty good effort. He thought that with a better tyre choice, which would have given him more than a lap on the intermediates, he could have done better still. Grosjean was a little fortunate to make it through to Q3 after spinning and beaching himself at Vale. His mistake simply showed how easy it was to get caught out by the changing conditions.
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 53.539s, P7
Bruno Senna, 1m 57.426s, P15, will start P13
Maldonado was again strong and qualified a solid seventh, just ahead of Valencia Nemesis Hamilton. Senna was going well in conditions he enjoys, but lost his shot at Q3 because of the yellow flags for Grosjeans spin at Vale.
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 53.543s, P8
Jenson Button, 1m 48.044s, P18, will start P16
This was a deeply disappointing qualifying for McLaren. Button just didnt get the front tyre temperatures he needed and failed to get through Q1. Hamilton dominated the restarted Q2 comfortably on full wets and made the right choice of intermediates for Q3, but also ran into tyre heating problems that robbed his MP4-27 of grip and he had to be satisfied with eighth.
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 54.382s, P9, will start P14
Paul di Resta, 1m 57.009s, P11, will start P10
Hulkenberg did a fine job and was unlucky to drop from ninth to 14th because of the gearbox he had changed before FP3. Di Resta said his VJM-05 had zero grip in the super-slippery conditions that pertained at the end of Q2, after he had gambled on a dry set-up which made it too stiff. He was bumped from Q3 right at the end by Alonso. He will start P10, however, after his team mates penalty.
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 57.071s, P12, will start P17
Sergio Perez 1m 57.895s, P17, will start P15
Sauber felt robbed. Having started Q1 on intermediates they bravely tried dries but soon discovered that was a mistake. But Perez and Kobayashi were fourth and seventh. After the first part of Q2 they were first and sixth. But then they tried inters again at the restart and that was too optimistic. Perez was thus 17th, until Kobayashis five-place penalty from Valencia was applied, which dropped him to 17th and, allied to Vergnes penalty, promoted Perez to 15th.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 57.132s, P14, will start P12
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 57.719s, P16, will start P23
Ricciardo lost his best lap in Q2 after Grosjeans spin, but is very optimistic if the race is wet. Vergne was fourth at the time of the stoppage, but couldnt repeat that pace at the restart, and in any case was penalised 10 places because of his clash in Valencia with Kovalainen.
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 49.027s, P19, will start P18
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 49.477s, P20, will start P19
Caterham had a disappointing day after the promise shown by their new package yesterday. Petrov said he was almost happy and felt that the upgrades were beginning to pay off, but Kovalainen said that he couldnt quite get his lap together as the conditions worsened at the end of Q1 just when it had seemed dries might be worth a punt.
Timo Glock, 1m 51.618s, P21, will start P20
Charles Pic, 1m 54.143s, P24
Glock was entertaining ideas of Q2 on his final lap on Q1, but then saw a wall of rain in the Hangar Straight and eventually spun exiting Club and ended up just short of the pit wall. Pic reported a very disappointing day, with fuel pick-up and electrical problems in the morning which required a gearbox change and thus incurred a penalty of five grid places. It ultimately made little difference to his grid position, as he finished Q1 last. He was the only driver not to meet the 107% requirement, but has been granted permission from the stewards to race.
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 52.742s, P22, will start P21
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m 53.040s, P23, will start P22
Both drivers said what everyone else did - that it was a lottery and that it was almost impossible in the changing conditions to know what lay beyond each corner.
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