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Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 14:30 UK

British GP qualifying as it happened


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By Caroline Cheese

1430: See you tomorrow at 1130 BST sharp as we begin the build-up to what may or not be the last British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
British GP is secure - Ecclestone

1426: I'll be off shortly, but live sport continues with the Lions v South Africa and a US Open golf marathon.
Live text - South Africa v Lions
Live text - US Open

1423: While Jenson Button has to settle for sixth - his worst qualifying position of the season - fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton is 19th, his worst ever grid placing. Not a great start to a big couple of weeks for British sport.

Get involved on 606
From Fabbyulous on 606: "Wouldn't you just love to be part of the Red Bull team right now. First and third, second place is the sluggish starting Rubens Barrichello and behind Webber is the Trulli train - excellent!"
Join the debate on 606

1417: Jenson Button reckons he could have moved up at least a place on the grid had his Brawn team not called him in. "An odd decision" is how he describes it.

From Den, Romford, via text on 81111: "There's a Red Bull in Brawn's china shop! Well done Seb."

Championship leader Jenson Button: "I really struggled with low grip, especially in the last complex. I just felt like I was skating around. Qualifying was not fantastic - but that's the way it was."

Ross Brawn on Jenson Button's performance: "He didn't get the balance he wanted. I think with a bit of thought overnight we might be able to make some improvement because obviously Rubens is looking good."

1411: Sebastian Vettel is punching the air, celebrating pole position for the third time this season. Team-mate Mark Webber's final lap is not only not good enough for pole, it's not good enough for the front row either. Rubens Barrichello will start alongside Vettel ahead of the Aussie. Jenson Button is down in sixth - bad news for him, but good news for the race?


1409: Vettel is top with a 1:19.509 ahead of Barrichello. What can Mark Webber do?

1408: Rubens Barrichello is on a flier, as is Sebastien Vettel...

1406: A brief lull as several cars come in for some new shoes. It's a Red Bull lock-out at the moment, with Barrichello third and Button fifth.

1403: Seb Vettel is top... but not anymore, he is toppled by team-mate Mark Webber with a sizzling 1:20.040. Yes, Sutil blamed the crash on his brakes, not vice versa, click manual refresh, there's a love.

1401: Good news from Ted Kravitz who reports that Adrian Sutil has returned from the medical centre and he's fine. The German has blamed the crash on his brakes.

1400: Green light is on and the top-10 shoot-out is on... Eddie Jordan picks Mark Webber for pole, as does David Coulthard. I'm sticking with Vettel.

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan: "A possible change in the pecking order... but I wouldn't write Jenson Button off yet. I'm sure he will put in a big, big session here."

1353: That's it then, and while Jenson Button survives, we lose Ferrari's Felipe Massa as well as Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen, Nelson Piquet and Nick Heidfeld.

1352: The clock has stopped... and Jenson Button's final lap only moves him up to eighth. Nervous times in the Brawn garage.

1350: Jenson Button pops up in seventh, but is quickly pushed down to ninth by Rubens Barrichello and Jarno Trulli. Still trouble for the championship leader.

1350: Everyone is on the track except Mark Webber, who is top. Less than two minutes remaining and Jenson Button is stuck in the drop zone.

Text in your views on 81111
From Paul via text on 81111: "If you look at the slow-mo of Sutil's off, something bounces over the track to the infield just as he starts to lose it. Looks like something fell off."

1345: Jenson Button's worst qualifying position is fifth this season, and he is yet to finish a race outside the top three. I still refuse to believe he won't produce a stunning late lap to snatch pole...

1343: Jenson Button moves up to 10th, and still seems to be struggling. In fact, he is nudged down to 11th. Kubica, Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Piquet also down there.

1340: Mark Webber posts a superb 1:18.638 - on hard tyres too. The Aussie is flying this weekend. The 2008 pole lap was 1:21.049.

1337: The 15 minutes of Q2 are under way - and the cars are streaming out onto the track. It's as if they've heard rain is on the way.

1336: Ted Kravitz adds that the crash was serious enough that Adrian Sutil will have a compulsory medical check-up.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Force India have had a quick look at the telemetry but they can't see anything obvious. You would think if it was a suspension or brake failure, they'd see that very quickly. It's worth bearing in mind there is a lot of new development on this new Force India. Normally they'd run it around a test track but they haven't had that chance with the ban on in-season testing."

1332: Jenson Button managed fifth quickest, with Rubens Barrichello back in 11th on the other Brawn.

1330: They've rather pointlessly re-started Q1 to finish the last 24 seconds of it. Obviously, no time to do an out lap and a flier so as I say, pointless. Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen squeezed into Q2 in 15th, behind the BMWs of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld. Kazuki Nakajima was quickest ahead of Mark Webber and Seb Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton speaking to the BBC: "I did the best I could. I was pushing as hard as I could. We were just dead slow. I've had incredible support from the fans - they're the ones that really get me through it. I was pushing on that last lap [when the red flag came out] - but it was nothing special, it was slow. The race is over - but we'll keep fighting and hopefully put on a good show for the fans."

1326: Adrian Sutil appears to be OK, which is a relief because it was quite some impact. Force India will have a busy night rebuilding that car ahead of tomorrow's race.

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan: "Force India were hoping to get both cars into Q2. Neither managed it."

1323: Hamilton joined on the sidelines by: Fisichella, Bourdais, Sutil and Buemi. Hamilton and Sutil are best mates... or they were, anyway.

1321: Martin Brundle reckons something at the rear of Sutil's car went as he came into the corner and he went straight into the tyre wall. Lewis Hamilton is merrily waving at the crowd as he comes into the pits. Odd. Does he realise he will start the British Grand Prix on the last row of the grid? That's the worst qualifying position of his career: 19th.

1319: But wait... Adrian Sutil loses his Force India in spectacular fashion at Abbey and the red flag is out. Lewis Hamilton will start from the back of the grid.

1318: Lewis Hamilton is 19th - and he has one final lap to get into Q2.

1317: Raikkonen pops up in sixth - leaving Lewis Hamilton in 16th, joining his team-mate in the bottom five.

1316: Three minutes until we drop five. Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen are both in the danger zone.

1313: Heikki Kovalainen comes into the pits for some softs. The Finn - last year's pole position man - lies bottom at the moment and in serious bother.

1312: It's a Red Bull one-two - which could well be how qualifying finishes. Felipe Massa down in 15th and flirting with danger, Heikki Kovaleinen also struggling.

1310: Mark Webber goes quickest, as Lewis Hamilton almost loses it at Becketts. Kovalainen, Kubica, Buemi, Fisichella and Piquet the men in the danger zone.

1308: Coming up to halfway through Q1, and Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli are setting the pace. Trulli's stunning 1:18.886 puts him top at the moment.

1306: ... But not quick enough to topple Jarno Trulli's Toyota. Mark Webber hasn't posted a time yet but he's on the track now.

1306: Jenson Button, on the harder compound, putting together a quick one...

1302: Now there are cars on the track. Quite a few in fact, Giancarlo Fisichella putting down the first marker with a 1:21.732 in his Force India.

1300: Green light on - and Red Bull report that the weather forecast is for no rain for at least the next half hour. No cars on the track though.

BBC analyst Martin Brundle: "I wouldn't be at all surprised to see an all-Red Bull front row."

1254: If you're a British F1 fan, that has to be heartening news no? Whatever happens with Donington, there will be a British Grand Prix next year. That is, of course, if the sport survives... small issue, but still...

1251 BREAKING NEWS: Bernie Ecclestone says if Donington Park is not ready, Silverstone will "for sure" host the British Grand Prix next year.

1249: BBC pundit Eddie Jordan turns Jeremy Paxman as he grills Bernie Ecclestone on why it's taking so long to sort our the FIA-Fota row. "We're going to try," is all Bernie will say - although he adds: "I sympathise with the teams because they should spend what they like."

Bernie Ecclestone on whether he'll bring peace to F1: "We'll do our best. I'm sure we'll find a way. Everyone should stay in their own position, the way it is now. I think in the end people will have to see sense and not bust all this business, for what? Basically, nothing."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Silverstone: "Rejoice! The inside track - or tread - on tyres is back. Actually, how the tyres perform at Silverstone could be crucial in determining who takes pole position. The Brawns have not shown their dominant pace in practice so far and while that was also the case in Turkey, maybe, just maybe, they could struggle here. The Brawns are much more gentle on their tyres than Red Bull, their chief rivals, who push them hard. The Red Bulls ran into trouble in Monaco and Istanbul where their tyres deteriorated in the heat but on colder circuits Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber's aggressive style will help. Experts at tyre suppliers Bridgestone say Silverstone's track temperature is around 17-20 C which means Brawn could well struggle to warm up their tyres in time for a hot lap."

1239: Murray Walker tips Mark Webber for victory today, agreeing with BBC commentator Jonathan Legard. I reckon Vettel will get pole though. You?
Murray Walker's preview

A celeb has been spotted
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "Maybe it's the weather - it's cool and breezy out there and it feels like it might rain - and maybe the FIA-Fota row has sent them all to sleep, but the celeb count at Silverstone as I walked through the paddock just now was disappointingly low. I spotted 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter and Labour MP Peter Hain. And that was it."

1229: A welcome break from Fota/Fia shenanigans as home hero Nigel Mansell appears on the telly - although of course he can't avoid the elephant in the room. "It's like coming back home," says the four-times British GP winner of returning to Silverstone. "We all know in motor racing, the impossible happens week after week. This is an unfortunate situation we're in. It's not good. Being very positive, I hope everyone will get back together - but if not, hopefully there'll be a new beginning."
British winners at British GP

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan: "Bernie is the key. If Bernie moves to the teams, that's the end of the game, but he hasn't, so Max remains strong. I'm appalled by the whole thing. Bernie has the power and the influence to sort it out, and he should do so."

More from Max Mosley: "It's not about money, it's about power. There's one particular individual [in Fota] who fancies himself as a 'Bernie'."

FIA boss Max Mosley on the row with Fota: "We have made concession after concession, Fota keep saying no."
BBC interview with Max Mosley

Text in your views on 81111
From Luke from Tooting via text on 81111: "Re 1200: I'm cooking some Supernoodles right now. Only the finest cuisine can be enjoyed with F1."

1212: BBC1's coverage is under way (manually refresh if you're in the UK) and our first live shot is of a gentleman wearing Union Jack trousers. Aaah, the great British public.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "After the fun and games of yesterday, I had hoped that we might be able to forget about politics and focus on the racing. How naive of me. Chatting to people in the paddock this morning, I'm actually beginning to wonder for the first time whether it's going to be possible to find a solution to this political crisis. Attitudes appear to have hardened, and there appears to be no appetite for compromise among the rebel teams."

1207: You'll be pleased to know I spent that short break productively: finding out that the popular chocolate biscuit Breakaway, a staple of the 1980s school lunchbox, is still in production. I will shortly phone Fota with my brilliant sponsorship idea.

1200: Welcome back. You find me reeling from the news that a colleague of mine claims he has never had a kebab because he doesn't like "vegetables and salads". Yes indeed. And you thought the FIA/Fota row was controversial.

1113: I can only apologise. I haven't mentioned the FIA/Fota row for over an hour. I will rectify that when we return for qualifying at 1200 BST... See you then.

1109: Brawn's championship leader Jenson Button is down in 12th, two places behind Rubens Barrichello. Interesting. Another appalling session for Robert Kubica, who is rock bottom.

1105: We make that the 11th practice session Rosberg has 'won' of 14 this season. I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong. So far, that has translated to 11.5 points.

1102: The Williams are followed by one-lap specialist Jarno Trulli and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari looking good in fifth and sixth. Mark Webber's Red Bull is down in ninth but Antony Davidson reckons he's running with a lot of fuel and on old tyres.

1100: Chequered flag is out and guess who's on top? It's Nico Rosberg of Williams of course! He is the first man to go under 1:19 this weekend, pipping team-mate Kazuki Nakajima.

1057: Jenson Button looks like he's holding up Fernando Alonso as they come into the home straight. "A little bit naughty," is Anthony Davidson's verdict. All change at the top as all the cars try out the option tyre: Trulli followed by Rosberg followed by Nakajima. Timo Glock runs over the same kerb where Mark Webber came to grief yesterday but appears to have escaped serious damage.

1054: Ferrari's Felipe Massa, on the softer tyres, pops up in first with a 1:19.596.

Text in your views on 81111
From Ben and Jimmy via text on 81111: "Sat down at Stowe and that Red Bull is just too fast!"

1051: Sebastien Buemi finally joins the party, his Toro Rosso's hydraulic problems presumably fixed. Still a Vettel, Trulli, Nakajima one-two-three, but Jenson Button is now fourth.

1047: Seb Vettel has posted a time now - and it's the quickest so far. A 1:19.983 put the German ahead of Jarno Trulli and Kazuki Nakajima.

1045: Lewis Hamilton is a second quicker than McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen at the moment. Kovalainen was on pole last year.

Lee McKenzie
Lee McKenzie meets the fans at Silverstone
BBC Sport's reporter Lee McKenzie in the midst of Silverstone's campsites: "I've enjoyed my morning with the fans because they are true, dedicated motorsport supporters who sleep out come rain or shine - though I'm not sure much sleeping goes on in the campsites. It's great to see people embracing the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and there's a real feeling it's an unnecessary move going to Donington Park in 2010. What's special about the British fans? Well, I've been to plenty of races around the world and I have to say they really know their motorsport."

1042: Red Bull's Mark Webber goes quickest. His team-mate Seb Vettel, who appears to have reverted to the old nose-cone on his Red Bull, is yet to set a lap time.

1038: Championship leader Jenson Button, who had a pretty sorry couple of sessions yesterday, is putting in some quick laps but is down in ninth at the moment. Still Nico Rosberg on top ahead of Fernando Alonso.

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "McLaren haven't got any upgrades for this race, except a few tiny aero tweaks. Neither driver will be using Kers as they don't feel it's worthwhile after Heikki used it in practice yesterday."

1034: Against the odds, we've got a few times on the board now. Nico Rosberg is up top with a 1:22.268 ahead of Timo Glock's Toyota.

1030: Adrian Sutil went third quickest in second practice yesterday, which even he was a bit surprised about. Even more surprising when you consider that my BBC colleague was messing about in his Force India machine earlier this week. Watch the video if you don't believe me.
F1 mole goes behind the scenes

1022: There's a light rain shower forecast for 1300 BST today, coincidentally the time qualifying begins... I love you, Nelson Piquet Jr. He's only gone and posted out first flier of the day - it's a pedestrian 1:25.756, but no matter, he gave it a go, and I will always remember him for that.
Silverstone weather forecast

1018: The sun's coming out... still nothing to report on the track though. Just the 40 minutes of this remaining.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "Driving in this morning, the rather frightening thought occurred to me that it is 26 years since I first attended the British Grand Prix. That was a scorching hot day crowned by Rene Arnoux snatching a last-gasp pole for Ferrari. Rather worryingly, I can still remember his lap time off the top of my head - one minute 9.462 seconds. That's the sort of thing a man probably shouldn't admit."

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Sebastien Buemi has done precisely zero laps so far. His car has a problem with the hydraulics system and is up on the jacks. Toro Rosso aren't having a great weekend so far."

1008: I've got an uncle called Roger who lives in Devon (see below). I wonder... Installation laps done, and it's all fairly quiet on the track.

Text in your views on 81111
From Roger, Devon, via text on 81111: "Conditions will favour Piquet, I think."

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan on the FIA/Fota row: "It's very unsavoury and a lot of people are getting frustrated and angry by this. This will not be an easy play - people dig in and see their own point of view and aren't necessarily willing to see other people's. The teams and Max need to look at their situation and Bernie needs them to see sense and get rough with them if he needs to. What's going on at the moment is unacceptable. There's only one person that can sort this out and the knight in shining armour is Bernie Ecclestone."

1000: Holty (see below) may be looking forward to final practice - but I'm not sure I am. BBC 5 Live Sports Extra's Anthony Davidson explains that none of the teams will want to 'clean' the damp track so he's not expecting a lot of action this morning. The green light is on and Fernando Alonso emerges for his installation lap with intermediate tyres on his Renault.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Silverstone: "Welcome to the weekend from a shivering Silverstone. It's grey, gloomy and I can actually see my breath hanging in the air - in June! BUT none of this really matters because it's the British Grand Prix and the atmosphere here is totally unique. It's a real festival feeling and BBC HQ has just been woken up by a cacophony of air horns from the grandstand. The British race is due to begin its 17-year stint at Donington Park in 2010 but there are serious questions over whether the updated track will be ready in time or if the funding is even in place to make that happen. At least for now we have a final practice session and qualifying around the fast, flowing curves of the Silverstone circuit to look forward to."

BBC Sport pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "The track is officially wet even though it's not raining. It rained overnight so I'm not sure how much action we're going to see this morning."

0950: In just 10 minutes, the cars will be hitting the circuit and we'll be looking out for the Red Bulls again after they dominated yesterday's practice sessions, Seb Vettel going quickest in both. Ross Brawn, the boss of Brawn, described them as simply "too quick". BBC commentator Jonathan Legard is tipping Mark Webber to win his first GP tomorrow.
Jonathan Legard blog

Text in your views on 81111
From Alan at Silverstone via text on 81111: "Would members of Fota and the FIA have the time or guts to talk to some real fans? We care about the sport and should also be considered as part of the future of F1 don't you think? No fans = no TV franchises = no money? F1 needs to talk to us. Would they dare?"

0942: In an exclusive interview with BBC Sport, Max Mosley has accused the eight 'rebel' F1 teams of "posing and posturing" after they announced plans for a breakaway series. For some reason, the words pot and kettle have immediately sprung to mind. Must be time for a cup of tea.
FIA to sue over breakaway attempt

0930: Hello, hello, hello. Hope we find you in tip-top shape today ahead of some more thrills and spills in the FIA/Fota ding-dong. Ooh, and some motor racing too.

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see also
Vettel on pole as Button stutters
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Button downbeat on victory chance
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix qualifying results
16 Jun 09 |  Results
Mosley confident of F1 resolution
21 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British GP is secure - Ecclestone
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix qualifying photos
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Vettel tops British GP practice
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix practice results
16 Jun 09 |  Results
British Grand Prix practice photos
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
David Coulthard column
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix quiz
16 Jun 09 |  Funny Old Game
FIA to sue over breakaway attempt
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
F1 teams drop breakaway bombshell
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton vows to save British GP
18 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Mark Webber column
16 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Formula 1 is 'finished' - Alonso
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1

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