Read what the drivers had to say after the rain-affected qualifying session at Silverstone
Fernando Alonso - 3rd "I think that was the best qualifying of the year in performance terms. It's true that the actual result was better in Canada - second - but I was further off pole position than I am today. Furthermore, we are at a circuit that definitely does not suit the characteristics of our car and to be just over a tenth off first is a great sign. The new parts we introduced here worked well and I think that tomorrow, we can put those who start in front of us under a bit of pressure. The team has done so much work and this step forward is down to them. We have also made progress in the way we manage the tyres: from what we could see in the few dry laps we did today, we can even make the Hard tyre work, while back in Barcelona they lost us a lap in less than half a race distance. Tyre performance will be very important tomorrow, whether as forecast it's dry, or wet, which can always ambush you here. We will have to be ready for any eventuality: it will be important to get a good start, which constitutes the only really new element at this track compared to the past. Am I hoping for rain? No, especially for the fans who have already got wet for the past two days. Let's hope we can put on a great show for this very large crowd."
Felipe Massa - 4th "I'd say this was a good qualifying for us: to be third and fourth on the grid is a nice result, especially when compared to some Saturdays earlier in the season. In Q3, at first I did not get a good lap, making a few mistakes: I thought I could make up for it on my second run, but the rain arrived and it was no longer possible. Fourth place is therefore positive, especially as I was able to keep both McLarens behind me. From what we can see, the car seems competitive. Sure, we don't have much to go on, especially on full tanks and in terms of how the tyres will perform on a long run. It will be a bit like racing in the dark with so many things only coming to light during the race. How much was our performance affected by the new rules concerning the use of exhaust gases? All the cars, ours included, have lost aerodynamic downforce to some extent, some more than others, but I would say that the progress we have made compared to the others owes more to the updates we have introduced. How else can one explain the fact that, for the first time this year, we have also managed to get the Hard tyres to work in a correct fashion."
Stefano Domenicali, team principal "An encouraging qualifying, especially in terms of our performance. Coming this close to pole position at a track which, on paper, looks like a tough one for us, is a positive step and a good basis from which to start our work for the future, both in the short and long term. I say this because we have worked so hard these past months to make up a very big gap and, step by step, we are getting there. We have to continue in this manner, if possible doing even more. As for this weekend, which is such an important one for us, as it marks the sixtieth anniversary of Scuderia Ferrari's first Formula 1 win, we must try our best to have a good race. We start from good positions and from the little we have been able to tell over these past two days, the updates we have brought here are working well. Usually, our race pace is better than in qualifying, so let's hope that is also the case tomorrow… Finally, I wish to congratulate Jules for his GP2 win this afternoon, at the end of a race which he drove with brio."
Pat Fry, technical director "A good qualifying, during which we were fighting for the top places right to the end. All three sessions were very intense because we had to contend with the continuously changing weather. We tried to stay calm, even if we were all a bit concerned when we saw Fernando going off onto the grass: there might have been some damage done to the car and, with rain on its way, the situation would have been even more complicated. Luckily, everything turned out alright. Both drivers did a good job, trying to get the most out of the package at their disposal. We have so many new parts here, but yesterday there was no way we could evaluate them fully, because of the rain. However, given that there were no particularly negative conclusions, we decided to run all of them and, looking at this afternoon's performance, you could see the results. On a track where aerodynamic efficiency is the key element, we have got both cars onto the second row, with a smaller gap to pole than last year. This confirms that our development work on the 150º Italia is moving in the right direction, but we are well aware it is still not enough to be where we want to be. Tomorrow, we should have a dry race: we will be trying our very best to give all our fans something to cheer about."
Paul di Resta - 6th "I'm really happy with the result today. To be here for my first British Grand Prix and to be starting in sixth place feels great. The whole team did an excellent job and made sure we were out on track at the right times. The car has shown very strongly in every session and even in the wet yesterday we were very comfortable. Maybe there was a little bit of luck at the end of Q3 when the rain started again, but I think that in the worst case scenario I would have ended up in eighth. Hopefully we can carry the performance into tomorrow and come away with a strong result in my home race."
Adrian Sutil - 11th "I'm quite happy with this qualifying session. It puts us in a good position for tomorrow. It was very close with four or five positions separated by a few tenths and I just missed out on making Q3 in the final few moments. The track conditions were tricky because it was a little bit wet at the beginning of Q2 and the track was constantly improving as it dried. We made the right calls with the tyres and made the most of the conditions so I'm quite happy with the outcome. I think the weather conditions are likely to be a bit better tomorrow and points will be the aim."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, team principal "To be starting the British Grand Prix from P6 and P11 is an excellent result for Force India and we can be very pleased with the performance of the car today. The weather conditions have been challenging for everyone over the last couple of days, but we've remained focussed on the job and found a good balance with the cars despite the lack of dry running. I'm very proud of what Paul has achieved today. He has come here extremely confident and delivered an outstanding performance. Adrian, too, has felt very comfortable and we are now well placed to get both cars in the points tomorrow. Silverstone is always one of the highlights of the season and a special race for Force India. It's the home of our factory and a strong result here would be a fitting reward for the team's hard work so far this year."
Daniel Ricciardo - 24th "My first qualifying session was alright but it was a bit frustrating with the weather, we couldn't do two runs so we were just limited to one but it was ok. I would like to be a little bit closer to the rest of the field but I can't try to expect too much for now, it's a big learning curve. I'm half a second off Tonio which isn't much but for a racing car driver it is quite a lot, I want more but I shouldn't really expect too much at this stage, if I can keep closing the gap then it's ok."
"The F111 is actually quite good, with the option tyres the level of grip has surprised me, that's one part that will come from experience; knowing how far I can push it. In high speed corners I can still race at my speed. I think there's definitely potential and if I'm able to keep an open mind and am willing to learn; I think we will definitely move forward."
"I met the team on Wednesday and it's been a pretty deep introduction and I think it's gone quite smoothly, everyone seems really nice. With the engineers, it's hard to come into Formula 1 and start a fresh relationship in the middle of a season but I think we're doing quite well and I'm sure it gets easier from here. I expect to finish the race and be competitive, if I can maybe close the gap in the race and be within a few tenths of Tonio, I think that would be a positive start and some progress. If we can get ahead of a few other cars then that would be a good result."
Vitantonio Liuzzi - 23rd "It was a difficult qualifying session because of the weather but also because we've had an issue with the car since yesterday; the handling hasn't been good since the beginning and the weather hasn't helped us to understand the new bits we've brought on the car. It hasn't been easy, we didn't have the best balance for qualifying but, overall, it was the best run we've had all week because it was a bit better overall."
"The race will be quite difficult because our rivals seem to be running faster than last year. We knew that this circuit wouldn't be great for our car but we have to keep on pushing and see how it goes tomorrow."
Colin Kolles, team principal "It was a difficult day because a lot of rain came down in FP3 and it wasn't easy to get the set up right for qualifying. Obviously, also during qualifying it started to rain and, unfortunately, we had the wrong timing and were unable to do a second run. So this is why the result is quite disappointing."
"Tomorrow we have to finish the race and we will see what will be the end. Today I would have expected more; we knew that it would be difficult because we had traction problems and have a lack of downforce. We had some new parts on the car but, unfortunately, it was difficult to get the right timing and to react in the right way under these circumstances."
"If tomorrow we have what we had today then I will be happy. In free practice it's better to have dry conditions; in qualifying it's better to have consistent conditions, either rain or dry, and all this didn't happen. For us, starting at the end of the grid, the best would be to have heavy rain like in Canada for the race."
Heikki Kovalainen - 17th "I'm very pleased with that. Before qualifying we knew it would be important to get as much as we could out of the dry tyres because the showers were expected - small showers, but we just didn't know when they were going to happen so we had to give it everything on the slicks. At the start of Q1 I managed to get a pretty decent lap in and got everything out of the car almost immediately. Then when I went out for the second run the rain started but having got it right when it was dry we were already where we needed to be so the whole team can be pleased about where we ended up.
"Hopefully I can put in a good race from 17th. I know the whole team is working very well together and even though the outright performance isn't quite there yet, we are still getting everything out of the car and attacking the teams ahead - that's what we're here to do in our second season, so days like today are very encouraging for me and everyone in Team Lotus."
Jarno Trulli - 21st "The rain played its part in Q1 and the session unfortunately was cut short after I'd only had one run. It wasn't quite good enough, which is a shame, but we have one car in Q2 which shows we have the pace to take the fight to the cars ahead, so hopefully I can have a strong race tomorrow, as long as I can avoid any bad luck with the conditions!"
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer "I am delighted with our performance today, and especially pleased for Heikki. In conditions like that it is a good result for the whole team to get the strategy calls right and Heikki did exactly what he needed to do to get into Q2, and he gave it his best shot in that session as well so full credit to him. On Jarno's side he has been struggling all day with the balance so I am obviously disappointed for him, but tomorrow in the race I am sure it will be different and he will be able to attack the group in front. Overall this has been a good couple of days for us. The team has reacted well to all the changes we have had had to make with the amendments to the regulations and now we need to round off this weekend with a strong two-car finish and take the fight to the teams immediately in front of us."
Tony Fernandes, team principal "I am very happy with today's performance. To run like this at Silverstone, where the Team Lotus dream began when I met Mike here, and put a car into Q2 in only our second year is a big achievement. Heikki gave it 100% and Q2 is a deserved reward for his efforts today. I am a bit disappointed for Jarno - we'll have to find out what happened to him because there was quite a big gap between him and Heikki, but now I am looking forward to the race tomorrow. Our race pace has been good all season, so the aim is to maintain our much improved reliability record and see what happens in the race itself."
Jenson Button - 5th "Today was a bit of a topsy-turvy day. The balance of our car wasn't great, and it's always difficult when you find out at the last minute what you're running: it isn't a matter of a mere flick of a switch to change things. For some teams, the tightening of the regulations helped; but it hurt others. So I guess fifth place feels just about okay after what we've been through in the past few days. Hopefully, we can still take the fight to the guys in front at our home grand prix, and give the famous Silverstone crowd something to shout about."
Lewis Hamilton - 10th "I enjoyed the changeable weather conditions today, but it's disappointing to have ended up so far behind. For Q3, we fitted a used set of Options for our first run when the others ran new tyres, and that hurt our performance. Then, when we fitted new tyres for the final run, it started raining so I couldn't improve my time.
"I think there are a couple of guys in front of me who ought to be slower than me, so I'll do my best to make progress in the early laps even though overtaking here is difficult. I hope we can still have an exciting race, but it'll be tricky. I guess I'll be hoping for rain tomorrow to increase my chances of getting a good result. Nevertheless, the fans here are the best in the world - they're sensational in fact - and they'll spur me on in the race. I really hope I can do something special for them tomorrow."
Martin Whitmarsh, team principal "Clearly, we'd intended to qualify better than fifth and 10th for our home grand prix, so inevitably today's qualifying session was a disappointing one. It's been a difficult day, blighted by a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in relation to the regulations, and compromised by equally changeable weather conditions. That combination made things difficult for everyone, and the shape of tomorrow's grid was always likely to be tricky to predict as a result.
"But tomorrow is what really matters, and in Jenson and Lewis we've got two of the most skilful and most combative racers in the sport today. I know how dearly they'd love to be able to put on a good show in front of the most knowledgeable and most supportive spectators in Formula 1, and you can be absolutely certain that they'll be giving it 100 per cent as soon as the five red lights go out on the startline gantry at 1.00pm tomorrow - and so will everyone else at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes."
Nico Rosberg - 9th "We have made good progress with our technical package this weekend, but P9 is not the best that we could have achieved today. At the end of Q2, I was in fifth place, but on my final lap in Q3, the track was wet in turn 15 and I just couldn't improve in that final sector. With the pace of the car, hopefully we can make up some places in the race tomorrow."
Michael Schumacher - 13th "Qualifying did not go totally right today but I am not frustrated as I know the reason why. Owing to the uncertain weather situation, and in order to not risk driving in the rain, we went out rather early, which simply turned out to be too early. On my last lap, the tyres were unfortunately already gone and, especially in turn six, I suffered understeer which cost me the time to make it into the top ten. It did not have anything to do with the gearbox issue we experienced this morning. Let's see what can be possible now coming from P13 and having some fresh tyres available - maybe some rain could help."
Ross Brawn, team principal "We have had very limited dry running with our new aerodynamic package this weekend, as well as having to come to terms with the change in engine strategies. Rain in the final sector prevented Nico from achieving a better lap time at the end of Q3, which would have made a reasonable difference to our starting position. Michael lost out by less than seven-hundredths in a very close battle in Q2, but it was a patchy qualifying session during which we didn't catch the track at the right times. Today was the first step in utilising the new exhaust designs and technologies, and we are still finding our way."
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport "Nico posted his fastest Q3 time on a set of used option tyres which had completed an out-lap earlier in the session, and was considerably quicker with his new options in the first two sectors of his final attempt. His two split times were good enough to suggest he could have finished P5, but he had to abort the lap in the last sector because of rain. Michael missed out on Q3 by less than a tenth of a second. Starting from ninth and 13th places on the grid, we did not achieve the maximum possible today, but nevertheless we will fight for better results tomorrow."
Mark Webber - 1st "I've always enjoyed driving here, but you still have to put it all together. You don't get these results without applying yourself. It was a very mixed session for all of us, even in the build up with yesterday's rain. It was important to make sure every lap counted, as you never knew if it was going to be the one that counted for your main grid position, so even in Q2 you had to make sure you weren't caught out. In the end I'm happy with the job we did; it's easy to slip up in conditions like that from a logistical point of view and also from the driver's perspective, so it was a good job by the team and we're in a good position for tomorrow's race."
Sebastian Vettel - 2nd "I think it was a difficult session with the changing conditions. I think when it starts to rain here it can be on different parts of the circuit, so it's quite difficult to see where it's wet and where it's fine, so you rely on the out lap or the previous lap. If you go flat out and hit a damp area, it's very easy to go off track. So, I think it wasn't easy today, but in the end it was mostly dry. It's a shame we couldn't get the second run in Q3, I would have loved to have challenged Mark again, but he got a good lap. It was a very good result for us, especially with all the talk that was going on into this race, so it's good to see that we're still on top of our game and can produce quick lap times. Anything can happen tomorrow, I think this circuit is tough on tyres, so we will see what we get tomorrow."
Christian Horner, team principal "After so much off circuit focus, it was a relief to finally get into the grand prix weekend in very difficult conditions. Both drivers did a great job to navigate though Q1 and Q2 and the first run proved to be the crucial in Q3; it was nip and tuck between the drivers and Mark produced an excellent lap to claim his second pole and the team's ninth of the season. We can see that Ferrari is pretty close, but today was a huge performance for the team."
Vitaly Petrov - 14th "I am disappointed, as we all came here with much higher expectations. The rain has disturbed things this weekend, there's no doubt about that. Today again, the weather has made it very difficult. As a result, we could not unlock our potential and secure the flying lap that we would have needed. Having said that, the car feels very strong and fast in high speed corners so I still remain optimistic that we can gain quite a few places in the race tomorrow. I hope our strategy is effective, because the DRS sector is not very long and overtaking opportunities here are limited. We will need to be very much on our game to take our performance up, but we are up to the challenge."
Nick Heidfeld - 16th "At this stage, it's still difficult to see how much effect the changes made to the mapping rules had on our performance this weekend. It had an impact, of course, but our feeling is that today's situation is the result of several factors. The rain did make our preparations difficult, also. The car is not bad to drive and it does not seem slow, we've just not been in a position to fully exploit it. We struggled with the rear wing yesterday and then this morning, changed it for qualifying that hopefully worked better but obviously disappointed to only be in P16."
Kamui Kobayashi - 8th "It was a tricky qualifying with the constantly changing conditions. It was extremely difficult to predict what would be right and what would be wrong, but we have handled this quite well. In Q1 I struggled a bit because I wasn't used to the car's balance on the hard tyres, and didn't have a chance to do a lap on the soft compound because the rain set in. In Q2 the track conditions were still tricky and damp, but in Q3, when I did my final lap on fresh soft tyres, everything worked out the way it should do. I am happy with this lap and I am especially thankful to my team because, due to their hard work, we recovered from what happened on Friday morning. Now I want to make the most of all this in tomorrow's race."
Sergio Pérez - 12th "I think we did a good job today. It is a shame to miss Q3 by 36 thousandths of a second, but I'm quite happy with our performance. Because of the changing conditions it was not an easy qualifying. Overall here our car is good. This is thanks to some improvements but also down to the circuit. The high speed corners suit us quite well. From where I will start the race I have every chance to score points tomorrow, and I am very much looking forward to my first British Grand Prix."
Peter Sauber, team principal "It has become even more difficult to get into the top ten, and this means you are going to be even happier when you make it. Congratulations to Kamui and his crew, as today timing was also very important. Sergio's 12th place is also alright, and he has saved a set of fresh tyres for the race."
James Key, technical director "I think all in all it was a reasonable day. This morning we had the first dry running of the weekend, so there was a lot of work to do. A lot of the test items from Friday had to be carried over to a very busy third free practice, but we pretty much proved everything we needed to, which was good. In qualifying it was tricky, as the conditions were very, very variable and quite difficult to predict, even though we had radar showing that the rain was quite light. It would have been great to get both cars into Q3, but we got one so we can't complain at all. Sergio did a great job to be 12th, and Kamui did very well to get through. Our position is okay, although it would have been nice to be a little bit further ahead, but we know our race pace is very strong compared to our qualifying pace so we will be looking to make the most of our starting positions tomorrow."
Jaime Alguersuari - 18th "We were a bit unlucky and also we didn't get it right, because we should have switched to the soft tyre sooner, as they are worth about two seconds compared to the hard, so we never used our full potential. But it is not all negative, because we have good data in case it is wet again tomorrow and also as regards the Prime tyre on a long run, so we can be in good shape for the race. If we make the best of any opportunities, then it is not impossible for us to finish in the points again by the end of tomorrow afternoon. At least I have lots of new tyres ready to use and with only limited use of the DRS allowed in the race, we could be competitive not only in the wet, as was the case on Friday, but also in the dry."
Sebastien Buemi - 19th "I'm a bit disappointed, as we were not expecting the rain to arrive so soon, which meant we did not run the Option tyre as early as we might have done. But the rain came down hard on my "out" lap, so I never got a chance to set a good time with the soft tyre, which normally is as much as two seconds a lap quicker than the hard. On the positive side, we have plenty of new tyres for tomorrow, so let's hope it will be dry. From this start position, getting a good start will be essential because, even with DRS, I think overtaking at this circuit will be difficult. This season we have started from poor grid positions but still gone on to have a good race and I hope that is the case tomorrow."
Giorgio Ascanelli, technical director "Of course it's disappointing not to make the cut into Q2. This morning, the drivers did not get much of an opportunity to run on low fuel, as we concentrated on race preparation, so we started qualifying sending them out on Prime tyres for a few laps to get a feel for a light car. Then, once they came in to switch to the Option, the rain came and caught us out, which meant there was no chance to improve the lap times."
Timo Glock - 20th "I'm quite happy with where we are today - I'm P20, I got Trulli and it was a pretty good lap. The car didn't feel great in the dry this morning, so we made some changes, but it still wasn't quite there. I gave it everything for that one lap though and did quite well. We're never quite sure what Silverstone will bring in terms of the changing weather, so I like this kind of qualifying where you just have to hammer down for a lap to get a banker in early and sure enough the rain came. With a new set of tyres you have this one magic moment to make it all come good and I just made the best of it at the right time. There was a small mistake on my part but I got ahead of my immediate competitors so I have to be pleased. I'm very excited for our home race tomorrow."
Jérôme D'Ambrosio - 22nd "This morning went really well, I had a good feeling with the car. This afternoon was fine too but unfortunately with the weather changing I was unable to get a second run, which was unfortunate as I made a mistake on the fastest lap of my first run. But I think in general it's not so bad and it should be a good race tomorrow."
John Booth, team principal "With better conditions today we were able to start our dry set-up work and tyre evaluations, although FP3 wasn't without rain and this did mean that we haven't quite got all the data we required from the tyres. Timo performed well in FP3 but was never really with the way the car felt, particularly compared with the well-balanced car that he had in Valencia. Working with his engineers he made some fairly comprehensive set-up changes before qualifying, which is always a risk. However he was happier with the car in his first run and posted an impressive lap. The rain at the start of FP3 cut short a planned long run for Jérôme, which would have given us more tyre data. However, Jérôme used the opportunity to complete some set-up work that ultimately both cars benefited from. It's a shame Jérôme didn't get the second run in qualifying, as I'm sure he would have improved."
Pastor Maldonado - 7th "Our car is working well and we gave a good performance today. It is Williams' home race so I'm happy for the team. I'm quite confident and really looking forward to tomorrow as I always enjoy racing at Silverstone. The circuit with its quick corners suits our car so let's see what happens."
Rubens Barrichello - 15th "I had traffic at the end of my first timed lap in Q2 which damaged my second timed lap as well. When a track like this is drying out you can lose everything so it's very unfortunate that happened. We need to see what the weather is going to do tomorrow but I think the car is a lot better than our qualifying position shows and the team have done a good job."
Sam Michael, technical director "It was good to have one car in the top ten today. We ran all the new parts on both cars - the exhaust, diffuser, front wing and suspension, which is always rewarding and gives the factory a clear direction for the forthcoming races. We're running to the FIA's 10% throttle requirement here which is something that will be reviewed again before Nürburgring. Seventh was a great result for Pastor in conditions that were more difficult than usual, and he's now in a strong position for the start of the race. Rubens was on it as well, but track conditions didn't go his way this afternoon."