Obviously the top news is the poison dwarf's decision
to move the British Grand Prix to Donington from 2010 onwards - time to blackmail a difference circuit Bernie? :(
I was at the 1993 European GP and, as much as I enjoyed the race, it wasn't a patch on Silverstone. Obviously things have changed over the past 15 years (ouch!) but the BRDC has put a lot of money into Silverstone - how can Donington compare?
Anyway, on to qualifying... my notes, as always, are behind this cut
Air temperature 20°C; track 25°C; wind 8.5m/s (that's windy!); humidity 47%Qualifying Session 1 (Q1):
KN is first on track, presumably to check out the car after yesterday's crash
There's definitely the threat of rain, so everyone takes to the track to put in a "banker" time, just in case
LH 1:20.288 - that McLaren is looking good!
10mins left; bottom 5 are JB, RB, GF, AS, SB
RB to P14 and SB to P11, so now DC is now the 2nd Brit in the bottom 5 :(
NH runs wide in Vale, just ahead of DC on his flying lap
It's clearly raining quite hard in some corners
5mins left, and with rain the bottom 5 are likely to stay there: RB, NR, JB, AS, GF
Pit-car radio for NR: he describes the car as bouncing, worse than in practice
2mins left: the slower cars have to take a risk - looks like the rain's stopped but the track may still be damp in places
1min left: on track for one last push are GF, SB, AS, JB, RB
Chequered flag falls; the track looks dry
SB just set the fastest Sector 2 time of the session!
GF runs wide in Priory and spins
JB can't improve on P17 :(
Bottom 5 are RB, JB, NR, AS, GFQualifying Session 2 (Q2):
Session has started but no-one's rushing to get on track; there's no rain forecast for the next 15mins
FA first to leave the pit lane
FA starts his flying lap as LH takes to the track
NR apparently had a suspension problem in Q1
JB said he couldn't get enough heat into the tyres for that final run
5mins left; bottom 5 are DC, JT, KN, (RK+NH yet to set a time)
3mins left; bottom 5 now SB, TG, DC, JT, KN
Time for the final flying lap; the McLarens are staying in their garage, as are the BMWs
Chequered flag is out
FM can only improve from P8 to P7
Bottom 5 are: DC, TG, SB, JT, KN
Battling for the top 10 grid spots will be LH, HK, MW, RK, NH, KR, FA, FM, SV, NP
Are Ferrari sandbagging or are they really lacking the car to make it to the front of the grid?Qualifying Session 3 (Q3):
Timing sheet resets, getting ready for the final 10min shootout that is Q3...
2mins into the session and still no activity on track
KR is first on track
KR fighting oversteer in his Ferrari
KR 1:22.519 - that's slow
LH runs wide in the complex but doesn't take to the pits
2:30 left; order is HK, KR, FA, NH, FM, MW, NP, LH, (RK+SV yet to set a time)
Pit-car radio for LH reminds him "don't overdrive" the car!
Chequered flags falls
MW 1:21.554 - takes pole!
HK 1:21.049 for his first pole in F1
Flying laps are now all done; order is HK, MW, KR, LH, NH, FA, NP, SV, FM, RK Provisional Grid:
HK, MW, KR, LH, NH, FA, NP, SV, FM, RK; DC, TG, SB, JT, KN; RB, JB, NR, AS, GF
So the Brits are P4 (LH), 11 (DC) and 17 (JB) - not a great showing for their home race