• Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Webber second, with Alonso third
• Button down in 14th place with colleague Hamilton fourth
Red Bull Racing were in a league of their own as Sebastian Vettel claimed a stunning pole position for tomorrow’s British grand prix. Vettel, who started on pole at Silverstone last year on his way to a dominant win, got the better of team-mate Mark Webber in a heated battle for supremacy, the German posting a quickest time of one minute 29.615 seconds.
Hopes of a British win remain intact with Lewis Hamilton wringing the best out of his ill-handling McLaren to take fourth, but there was misery for his team-mate Jenson Button, who could manage only 14th, and was left to describe his car as “undriveable”.
“This morning the car felt really good, but I personally think there was something wrong [in qualifying],” said a frustrated Button. “The car was undriveable this afternoon as soon as I jumped into it. I took so much front end off the car, about five or six turns, which is about one and half per cent, which is just wrong.
“We had this problem on Friday. We just had to keep taking front wing off the car to try and find the balance. I don’t know if I have lost rear downforce since this morning or what, I don’t know, but it is pretty undriveable.”
With the disappointment clear and bitter in his voice, he added: “This weekend has been tricky for us, but that wasn’t normal. We have got new aero parts on the car, we’ve a new front wing, and that is working really well, but something felt very wrong then. I was getting on with the car very well this morning, even though we did not have much practice, and it was moving along nicely, but I don’t know what happened then.”
Asked if it was the right decision to remove the upgrades, Button added: “For now. There’s a lot of work we need to do on the upgrades to improve them. It wouldn’t have been right to run them here, I don’t think, so that was the right decision.”
Final positions after qualifing
1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1min 29.615secs, 2 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:29.758, 3 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:30.426, 4 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 1:30.556, 5 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:30.625, 6 Robert Kubica (Pol) Renault 1:31.040, 7 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:31.172, 8 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Williams 1:31.175, 9 Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) BMW Sauber 1:31.274, 10 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:31.430, 11 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:31.399, 12 Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) BMW Sauber 1:31.421, 13 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Williams 1:31.635, 14 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 1:31.699, 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Force India 1:31.708, 16 Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Renault 1:31.796, 17 Sebastien Buemi (Swi) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:32.012, 18 Jaime Alguersuari (Spa) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:32.430, 19 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus F1 1:34.405, 20 Timo Glock (Ger) Virgin Racing 1:34.775, 21 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Lotus F1 1:34.864, 22 Lucas di Grassi (Bra) Virgin Racing 1:35.212, 23 Karun Chandhok (Ind) HRT-F1 1:36.576, 24 Sakon Yamamoto (Jpn) HRT-F1 1:36.968