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Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Saturday, 9 July 2011 09:34 UK

British Grand Prix qualifying at Silverstone as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)

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By David Ornstein

1500: A lovely little montage to wrap up today's TV coverage. Now let's switch our focus to Stupendous Silverstone Sunday. In 22 hours time, the lights will go out on round nine of the 2011 F1 season and it promises to be an absolute barnstormer. In the meantime, have a read of Andrew Benson's report from qualifying and keep your eyes across bbc.co.uk/f1 for lots of reaction, analysis and build-up to the big one. Will you do me one more favour? Please? Superb... get yourselves back here by 1100 BST tomorrow for two hours of uninterrupted build-up to the British Grand Prix. See you then.

1455: Apologies, golf fans, but still no sign of play at the Scottish Open. Something about a flooded course. It means the F1 will remain on BBC One for another five minutes. Happy days.

Fernando Alonso on qualifying in third: "I'm very, very happy. I think it's the best qualifying of the year in terms of gap. We've been more or less seven tenths to a second off the Red Bulls in the last few races. Silverstone is normally a circuit that's not good for us so to be one tenth off pole is good news. Obviously, new parts were brought and are working well. I'm pleased with qualifying but the real job will be done tomorrow. Hopefully we can be close to these guys [Red Bull] at the end and be on the podium at the end."

Press Association F1 correspondent Ian Parkes on Twitter: "14 successive front row starts for Vettel. 10 off the record now held by Ayrton in 1992/93."

A celeb has been spotted
Red Bull Racing on Twitter: "Famous faces with us in the Energy Station over the day: Jackie Stewart, Prince Edward Duke of Kent, TV's Carol Vorderman."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Josef, Southampton, via text on 81111: "Although the blown-exhaust issue is possibly taking up a little too much air time this weekend, I think it's fair to say most F1 fans accept - and to a degree enjoy - the technical complexity of our sport. Sure, sometimes it can overshadow the racing briefly, but it's not exactly the outrage some pundits are seemingly claiming!"

1440: The third Briton to qualify in the top 10 was Jenson Button and, like McLaren team-mate Hamilton, he wasn't best pleased. "I don't think the position [fifth] is too bad but the pace is," Button told BBC Sport. "It wasn't a perfect lap, we lacked balance. I don't know where our pace has gone; I can have a guess but we haven't built a car that's 1.3 seconds slower than the Ferrari." Jenson goes on to talk about the rule change controversy and Red Bull's pace. We'll get his full comments over to you asap.

1437: The inclement weather has led to a delay at the Scottish Open. Bad news for golf fans but great news for petrol heads. It means the F1 coverage will continue on BBC One for a while longer.

Paul di Resta on qualifying in sixth: "This weekend has been tough with the unpredictable weather. Coming here [to Silverstone] having never done a race on the grand prix track was always going to be difficult. But I've grown in confidence and that's where you see the progress. Every time we've been on track, we've been competitive.

"I think being realistic about it, our target was to get into Q3. We did that and went out there and did a very good lap. I've got to give credit to the team because they came here with some upgrades and they've got the car working well. We took the chance to run early [in Q3] and luckily it paid off. A good step would be to get some good points tomorrow."

1430: Mixed emotions for the Hamilton family because while Lewis is understandably downbeat, dad Anthony is altogether more chirpy. Why? Because he manages none of than Paul di Resta.

Lewis Hamilton on qualifying in 10th: "There's not too much to say. The fans here are fantastic. The support we've had has been magnificent. Hopefully tomorrow we can do something special for them, get some points at least. I've probably got a couple of people in front who I might be quicker than. Overtaking here is difficult but we could still have an exciting race. It hasn't been a great weekend but I'm happy at the support we have here."

Twitter
Press Association F1 correspondent Ian Parkes on Twitter: "Lewis' 10th place is his worst grid slot since last year's Malaysian GP. He has a lot of work to do from there."

Lee, Newcastle, via text on 81111: "Another error from McLaren, Lewis on old tyres starting 10th. Praying for a wet start tomorrow."

Unimpressed Hamilton fan via text on 81111: "Why do Mclaren get their tactics wrong so often? Robbing us of a genuine race."

Anon via text on 81111: "If Lewis Hamilton leaves McClaren they will only have themselves to blame - they need to provide him with a better car."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Derek, Glasgow, via text on 81111: "Excellent driving from Di Resta. Podium please! I expect great things to come from the Bathgate Bullet."

1412: Di Resta is talking to Jake, EJ and DC right now - we'll get the quotes over to you asap. What a day for the young Scot and Force India. What a day, also, for Red Bull. A second pole of the season for Mark Webber and a ninth out of nine grands prix for the team. Boy does Webber like Silverstone - he won here last year and looks all too capable of doing it again this time round.

Murray Walker on Paul di Resta qualifying in sixth: "He's an incredible young man. He beat Vettel in the European F3 championship. Then he went to DTM, the German Touring Car Championship, and he won the title. He's not in the best team, but Force India are doing jolly well and for Di Resta to come to Silverstone for the first time and qualify sixth is a mighty achievement and it indicates that he might be in an even better team next year."

1408: The Legend That Is Murray Walker© joins Martin Brundle in the commentary box to talk us through Mark Webber's flying lap. Wow. The commentator or all commentators. That was a spine-tingling minute and a half.

1405: So here's how the top 10 will line up for Sunday's race: Webber - Vettel - Alonso - Massa - Button - Di Resta - Maldonado - Kobayashi - Rosberg - Hamilton. After that it's Sutil - Perez - Schumacher - Petrov - Barrichello - Heidfeld - Kovalainen - Alguersuari - Buemi - Glock - Trulli - D'Ambrosio - Liuzzi - Ricciardo.

Chequered flag
MARK WEBBER QUALIFIES ON POLE POSITION FOR THE 2011 BRITISH GRAND PRIX

1358: Jenson backs out on his final flying lap and that means he'll start no higher than fifth. Hamilton still bottom of the pile. Red Bull appear to have a front-row lock-out, with Ferrari in third and fourth. Rosberg flying round - top times in the first two sectors - but it's too wet and he back out. Celebrations in the Red garage. Di Resta already out of his cockpit - all smiles.

1356: Vettel chasing his Red Bull team-mate hard, Alonso and Massa third and fourth respectively. Button, Di Resta, Maldonado and Kobayashi in the top eight, Rosberg and Hamilton bringing up the rear. We're hearing the soft tyres Hamilton started Q3 on were the same ones he used at the end of Q2. Time to switch to some fresh rubbers. And here comes the rain. Uh oh... "I fear this could be the end of the shoot-out," says David Coulthard on BBC One.

1353: Webber sets the standard with a 1:30.399 but McLaren are almost two seconds off the pace - what's going on? Ferrari very much in the mix. Di Resta too. Remarkable.

1350: Everyone exits the pits for the top-10 shoot-out. This is where the magic happens. Switch on, tune in, log on, tell your friends. Don't miss it. Let's go...

Team Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen after making it into Q2 and finishing 17th fastest on his debut qualifying session: "It us better than we were expecting. We've had a straightforward weekend apart from the weather and the car is functioning well. When conditions were favouring us, we took the opportunity - that's what we've got to do every time."

1350: Three home drivers in the final session of qualifying at the British Grand Prix. Magnifico. But can anyone stop a certain Mr Sebastian Vettel? We're about to find out.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Tom, Manchester, via text on 81111: "I hope Jenson joins Red Bull next year, not a chance Vettel could beat his racing style if they were in the same car. He's proven himself as a world champion and next season I hope he gets his crown back, if not before..."

Chequered flag
1345: Caught your breath yet? One of those blink-and-you-miss-it sessions. Felipe Massa takes Q2 with a 1:31.640, and he's joined in the top-10 shoot-out by Wbber, Alonso, Button, Rosberg, Vettel, Kobayashi, Hamilton, Di Resta (what a performance) and Maldonado. We say cheerio to Sutil, Perez, Schumacher (yes, SCHUMACHER), Petrov, Barrichello, Heidfeld and Kovalainen.

1343:Rosberg, Kobayashi and Sutil enter the top 10. Hamilton pits, Jenson snatches fourth on his final flying lap. Schumacher drops out.

1340: Massa shoots round in 1:31.640 to go fastest. Webber, Alonso, Vettel and now Hamilton make up the top five. Di Resta, Maldonado, Perez, Petrov and Schumacher in the top 10. Where's Jenson? Down in 13th. Make your move, son.

Hispania driver Daniel Ricciardo on his debut qualifying session after finishing 24th fastest: "It was interesting. The weather has made it difficult for us and it would have been nice to get another run with the option tyre. It was OK, but I can't expect too much at this stage."

1338: Webber sits second on hard tyres. Great work. Many tipping Aussie Grit for the win tomorrow. Here come Hamilton and Button on soft tyres. Both heading out for a three-lap stint. Critical moments.

1336: The midfield boys are doing all they can to sneak a place in the top-10 shoot-out and Williams, in particular, are looking good. Team-mates Maldonado and Barrichello both enjoy stints atop the timesheets on slick tyres before Sutil of Force India reels off a 1:34.872. Messrs Brundle and Coulthard predict we're going to lose a big gun or two. Six minutes left. Webber and Vettel should be OK but Button, Hamilton and Alonso need to up their games.

1330: Some drivers head on to the damp track for Q2 on soft tyres, others on intermediates. Big calls all round. You get the feeling the weather could well play a significant role this weekend.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Neil, London, via text on 81111: "I don't see what the hype is about Sebastian Vettel... the only difference between him and other drivers is the car. Remember Jenson Button back when he won the championship, he had a bigger diffuser which made his car a lot faster. When other teams started using it he was losing... just saying I don't think Vettel is as good as everyone says."

1327: Plenty of smiles in the Team Lotus garage after Heikki Kovalainen makes it through to the second part of qualifying, a 15-minute session that ends with another seven men dropping by the wayside. Here we go...

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Fernando Alonso continued after that off, with stones and pebbles in his car, cleaned them up and then put in a lap of 1:32.986 which is good enough for fifth - so that Ferrari is clearly not damaged."

1320: The track is drying up but there's talk of more rain on the way. You'd imagine the big guns will try to get a few flying laps under their belts in FP2 before retreating to their garages. Right now, Mark Webber is the man to beat. The Red Bull driver clocked a 1:32.670 from seven laps. Maldonado, Massa, Vettel and Alonso in the top five - Hamilton seventh, Schumacher ninth, and Button 11th. McLaren have lots of work to do in front of their home crowd.

Chequered flag
1320: Talking of rain, the wet stuff brings Q1 to a tame end as the drivers cautiously make their way back to the pits to save their tyres. We lose Ricciardo, Liuzzi, D'Ambrosio, Trulli, Glock, Buemi and Alguersuari. Bad news for Toro Rosso.

1315: This week's drag reduction system (DRS) zone - the area in which the moveable rear wing can be deployed to aid overtaking - is found between Aintree and Brooklands. But that's only for the race - in qualifying it can be used anywhere, provided it's not raining.

1311: Last year's winner Webber regains top spot with a 1:32.670 to lead from Maldonado, Massa, Vettel and Alonso. Hamilton is seventh, Schumacher ninth and Button 11th. As we stand, Hispania debutant Ricciardo, Liuzzi, D'Ambrosio, Trulli, Glock, Buemi and Alguersuari are going to drop out. And here comes the rain!

1309: Mark Webber pips Red Bull team-mate Vettel to move top of the timesheets before Felipe Massa and Pasto Maldonado do likewise of the soft tyres now they've warmed up. Several cars struggling for grip. Fascinating stuff.

1307: Vettel leads the way with a 1:33.55 from Alonso, who loses grip coming out of Brooklands and careers into the gravel at Luffield. "I've never seen a Formula 1 car go into the gravel there," says David Coulthard on BBC One.

1305: The lights go green and those 'lesser' teams emerge from the pit lane. Then come the big guns. All 24 cars are on the track. Sensational engine noise. Soft 'option' tyres the order of the day. "Rain at Copse, rain at Copse," Felipe Massa is told over the Ferrari team radio. This could get spicy. Very spicy.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Neil, London, via text on 81111: "Still think a Red Bull will take the win, but watch out for one of the 'lesser' teams snatching a place on the podium. Go Di Resta!"

1258: Last but not least, a reminder about our driver tracker. It's an excellent way to follow the 24 men in cars. Take a look.

1255: Not long now until the start of qualifying and the excitement is most certainly building. Here's the format: a 20-minute session (Q1) that ends with the slowest seven drivers dropping out, followed by a 15-minute stint (Q2) after which we lose another seven men. Ten advance to Q3 - a 10-minute shoot-out with one aim, pole position.

1245: BBC One viewers have just been treated to some sort of bizarre fashion show/photo shoot type thingy featuring Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Not too sure what all that was about but this is far better - the Brits taking part in some jet-ski mayhem.

1240: Anyone fancy talking about Formula 1? As in the sport itself? Enough about exhaust blown diffusers for now. Let's turn our attention to what promises to be a sensational qualifying session. If, that is, anyone can catch a certain Mr Vettel. Wherever you are in the world, it's your duty to tweet me @bbcsport_david or text us on 81111 (UK). Thoughts, memories, comments and questions all welcome. And if you're among the thousands of fans at trackside, we definitely want to be hearing from you. By far the best crowd in F1.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "The F1 technical bosses are now out of their emergency meeting, and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner tells Ted Kravitz that they are 'trying to find a solution'. He says both Red Bull and the FIA have offered concessions, which mean Red Bull will continue to run for the rest of the weekend under the ruling FIA race director Charlie Whiting issues on Saturday morning. Horner believes that puts them at a disadvantage compared to the Mercedes teams, but not everyone agrees with that. It sounds like another ruling will be made ahead of the next race in Germany in two weeks' time.'"

1235: Asked whether there would be any changes this weekend, Horner added: "Here? No. We won't be allowed a concession. At the moment, in our opinion, we are running at a disadvantage compared to other manufacturers. We're trying to find a solution. The simplest thing would be to go back to the way we were two weeks ago."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner: " We were trying to find a solution because it's in nobody's interest to have a lack of clarity. [FIA race director] Charlie [Whiting] made an offer. Red Bull has also offered a concession this weekend to run as we are. Obviously we need all the teams to agree to move on and put it behind us."

1230: The row about off-throttle blowing of exhaust gasses rumbles on and Red Bull are not happy...

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Silverstone: "Daniel Ricciardo is just one of several drivers in the field who regard Britain as their second home. The Australian moved from Perth to the slightly less sunny climes of Milton Keynes when he became part of the Red Bull family. Now, the 22-year-old has his parents and sister here as he embarks on his first weekend as a grand prix driver for Hispania. He's been loaned to the Spanish minnows from Toro Rosso, where he was a reserve, for the rest of the season. Ricciardo has got big plans in F1 and I met him at Silverstone to hear all about them."

1225: It is indeed a deserving home for the British GP following a multi-million pound refit that has resulted in a brand spanking new pit and paddock complex featuring the aforementioned Silverstone Wing. It came at a cost of £28m, stands 30m high and 390m long with 41 garages built using 1,200 tonnes of steel. We have a new start-finish straight and 0.472 miles of fresh track. 'A country fair masquerading as a world-class venue'? Think again.

Twitter
gurdy1 on Twitter: "New Silverstone looks very impressive. A deserving home for the British GP #BBCF1"

1215: Calmed down from Murray Walker Madness yet? No, me neither. Sadly, I don't think Murray will be on air during qualifying, but DC and EJ are stepping into the breach and both have joined Jake for a chat with Damon Hill outside the shiny new 'Silverstone Wing'.

1210: Switch on BBC One. Tune into BBC Radio 5 live. Log on to the BBC Sport website . We're all live and very much interactive. Why am I getting nervous? Are you? Special times.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "This engine/diffuser row is certainly keeping us all busy this weekend. Following the FIA's U-turn on Saturday morning, disallowing a concession to Red Bull's engine supplier Renault that had been allowed on Friday, there is now an attempt to reach consensus on the issue. It may be that this is not unrelated to the arrival at Silverstone of FIA president Jean Todt. An extraordinary general meeting of F1's technical working group - group of leading engineers and FIA race director Charlie Whiting - has been called to try to reach a consensus on the issue. Martin Whitmarsh, Christian Horner and Ross Brawn, the bosses of the McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes teams, are also there. Could they possibly change the rules again? That would be the third time in less than two days."

1200: Qualifying for the 2011 British Grand Prix. This, my friends, is where it all gets rather serious. You with me? Wonderful.


Twitter
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson on Twitter: "I'm told there is an extraordinary general meeting of F1's technical working group happening now to try to reach consensus on engine rules'."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "As you may have read in my blog explaining F1's latest technical row, the argument over off-throttle blown diffusers even reached the drivers briefing on Friday afternoon here. But that wasn't the only discussion point there. Michael Schumacher was complaining that the green sections on the outside of the track - some of which are artificial grass and some painted - did not have enough grip. One driver texted another drily: 'Someone should tell him you're meant to drive on the black bits.'"

1130: Right then, time to do my bit for British tradition and devour a classic fry up. Your job? Have a read of Sarah Holt's report from final practice and get your tweets and texts in ahead of qualifying at 1300 BST. I'll be back at 1200. A critical afternoon awaits.

Twitter
marktharparms on Twitter: "So, despite all the bickering and moaning and removal of blown diffusers, Vettel is still fastest in Practice 3... no change then."

1120: A frenetic final practice session, all 12 teams working like Trojans to fine-tune their packages. But soon the tinkering stops. The serious stuff begins. Hands are revealed. Qualifying for Sunday's British Grand Prix. 1300 BST. Show us what you've got.

Anon via text on 81111: "With the commanding lead S Vettel has, Do you think the chosen points system is the correct one? I believe every car should receive a point i.e. 24 down to 1, giving nil points for DNF, DNS etc. Five additional points given to the fastest lap during the race. This would give a fairer allocation of points and certainly wouldn't have a leader having sufficient points after seven races winning the championship less than half way through the racing year."

Force India on Twitter: "Session done. Paul in P10 and Adrian P12 after the first relatively dry session so far! Next up, qualy in a couple of hours."

Chequered flag
1100: Just for a change, Sebastian Vettel is the fastest man on the track. The reigning world champion and championship leader posts a fastest time of 1:31.401 from 17 laps to take the spoils in final practice. Any hope for his rivals? Well, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finishes second with a 1:31.464 and Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber comes third, 0.428 seconds off the pace. Felipe Massa is the only other driver within a second of Vettel, with Maldonado, Button, Kobayashi, Rosberg, Perez and Di Resta all in the top 10 but quite a way back. Lewis Hamilton's fans will hope their man pulls a rabbit out of the hat in qualifying - he comes through 13th fastest with a time of 1:33.842.

1058: Applause from the grandstands as British duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button bring their McLarens into the pits. That's them done for FP3. Button currently sits sixth-fastest with a 1:32.956, 1.555 seconds off the pace. Hamilton is down in 12th, 2.441 seconds off Vettel's top time of 1:31.401. Excitement building.

1056: Mark Webber returns for the last few minutes of the session and goes straight up to second with a lap of one minute, 32.176 seconds. Alonso continues to lead the way... until, that is, Vettel storms round in 1:31.401. POW. Take that.

BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Natalie Pinkham: "It emerges that it's a gearbox problem for Michael Schumacher, but he's putting his helmet back on and they're confident he'll be back out before the end of the session."

1054: Williams driver Pastor Maldonado was up early to speak to BBC Radio 5 live this morning, coming across as a thoroughly nice chap. So it's nice to see him briefly go quickest with a 1:32.496 after an unrivalled 19 laps. Alonso, of course, hits straight back with a 1:31.464. Button (1:32.956) is now third and Vettel moves up to eighth with a 1:33.477 after 12 laps.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Robin Rumble via text on 81111: "We are Sat at the back of the Abbey grandstand and you can't see the pits because of the concrete pit wall, but love the sound of the cars leaving the pits."

1050: Genuinely cannot believe the amount of by tweets and texts about Murray Walker - Twitter hashtags #murraywalker and #bbcf1 are going wild for the man. But, believe it or not, there is actually some action taking place ON the track. Fernando Alonso currently tops the timesheets with a 1:32.843 from Kobayashi, Rosberg, Perez and Britain's Di Resta. The two other home hopes, Hamilton and Button, are a couple of seconds off the pace but have yet to set out of low fuel runs. Ten minutes remaining. Watch this space.

Twitter
Modernlydie on Twitter: "So nice to hear Murray Walker commentating on FP3, can't stop smiling! #murraywalker"

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "Amid all this talk about off-throttle blowing, etc, it's easy to forget that all the teams are facing a hectic time trying to prepare for qualifying at 1300 BST, trying to cram all the work they normally do on Friday into one hour this morning - and an hour disrupted by rain at that. With 25 minutes left, Sebastian Vettel had done only four laps and Fernando Alonso six. There's going to be a lot of guesstimation going on."

1040: Fancy a bit of respite from all serious stuff? Apparently Sergio Perez is taking Sauber team-mate Kamui Kobayashi for fish and chips this evening. Perez used to live in nearby Oxford and loves the British Grand Prix. Any plans for you Silverstone campers tonight?

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Bad news for Michael Schumacher as his car is up on the stands. They've got a problem with the exhaust and have seven or eight men working on it. That's a big job but they'll try and get him out for the end of his session."

1038: Ted adds that Webber has an engine exhaust problem - not for the first time this season - and his mechanics are facing a race against time to get him back out for the end of this session. If he doesn't make it, that will be just six dry laps for the Aussie in two days. Bad news. And it's not looking good for Schumacher either...

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Mark Webber's car is in pieces in the Red Bull garage as they've got a problem in engine bay. There's some kind of leak. The mechanics have taken the heat shroud off and the engines guys from Renault are having a look."

Nick, Norfolk, via text on 81111: "There is one thing missing in the new pits... a proper old English red phone box!"

1030: Breaking-ish news. Mark Webber has a problem with his car. We don't know what it is yet but BBC reporter Ted Kravitz is on the case down in the pit lane. Remember, the pit lane and paddock have been moved from Woodcote-Copse to Club-Abbey as park over Silverstone's £28m redevelopment. What do you lot think of the new layout? The 'Silverstone Wing'? How about the view from the grandstands to the lowered pit lane and off-centre podium? Sends us your thoughts by Twitter and text.

1028: The rain forces all the drivers return to the pits, with 2010 British GP winner Mark Webber leading the way. His lap of 1:34.699 is 0.733 seconds quicker than the second-fastest time set by Kamui Kobayashi. Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button complete the top five as Fernando Alonso sits 13th, Lewis Hamilton 23rd and Sebastian Vettel 24th. Early days, of course, but any more rain and the timesheets may not look too different come 1100 BST.

1025: Even more sensational news reaching us. 'Murray Walker' is trending globally on Twitter. "What does that mean," he asks BBC pit-lane reporter Natalie Pinkham. "It means everyone's talking about you," she replies. "Hello everyone! Happy to to be talking to you," says the legend himself. What a man.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "You're not going to believe this. But I've just had a phone call from Bernie Ecclestone's motorhome, where the big man himself is trying to watch the BBC coverage of practice, but they can't find the right channel. The good news is that with a bit of help from my colleagues here in the media centre, we've sorted it out for him."

Murray Walker on Michael Schumacher's decision to race in 2012: "I'm absolutely delighted as I'm an unashamed Michael Schumacher fan. He's not a barrel of laughs I have to admit. But I think he is a good bloke and what's more I think he can still win races provided he gets the car in which he can. He hasn't' got it at the present moment but Michael's got the talent - I'm sure of that."

1015: Most of the teams are out on the track as they look to make up for lost time. Sixteen timed laps so far, with seven-time world champ Michael Schumacher top of the pile following an effort of one minute, 36.228 seconds. Meanwhile, Pastor Maldonando says on the Williams team radio "it's starting to rain". Oh dear.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Silverstone: "Kamui Kobayashi was the only man to crash out during Friday's soggy practice sessions but Sauber seem to have shrugged off the incident, which might be just as well as the Japanese driver still wants to impress the team as he looks for a drive in 2012. The 24-year-old got his first full-time F1 seat drive with Sauber in 2010 but is not yet signed up for 2012. 'Sauber is a good place to learn F1, it's a private team and if something is not going well then Peter Sauber talks to me and I have to improve,' said Kobayashi, who has quickly gathered a reputation as one of the most daring drivers on the grid. 'It's a good experience. I still have more than nine races and it is too early to say. Red Bull and McLaren are top teams but I don't think they have any space!'"

BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "It is a big weekend for Force India's Paul di Resta as he embarks on his first home grand prix. His family have all travelled from Scotland to support him - the first time most of them have been there to watch him race in Formula 1. To celebrate his first British Grand Prix, Paul has a new one-off helmet design encorporating the Saltire flag, the Union Jack and with a circuit map of Silverstone on the back. Another driver who has changed his helmet for this weekend is world champion Sebastian Vettel who has photos of his pit crew pulling funny faces incorporated into the design."

1010: For those of you interested in the engine rules or anything else F1-related (Sebastian Vettel, the Silverstone upgrades, Lewis Hamilton, predictions, Murray Walker etc etc), just tweet me @bbcsport_david using the Twitter hashtag #BBCF1 or shoot me an SMS on 81111 (UK). Sound good? Excellent.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "It's been quite a morning here at the British Grand Prix. If you've been following the row over the engine rules, the news is there has been another development. After the public row between Red Bull's Christian Horner and McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh in a news conference on Friday, there were more meetings and the teams were expecting a final decision from FIA race director Charlie Whiting at 0830. It finally came just before 0930, and when it did, it caused a bit of an explosion at Red Bull. It was that the concession their engine supplier Renault won on Friday, having argued the Mercedes-powered teams had been given an advantage by the latest ruling, had been withdrawn. A clearly angry Horner has stormed off to see Whiting. Could Red Bull now protest McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari?"

1000: We're up and running on the Red Button and in the video console at the top of this page. If nothing else, just tune in to hear the dulcet tones of Murray Walker in the commentary box. He's currently on air with David Croft and Anthony Davidson. Beautiful scenes. Early half-spin for Tonio Liuzzi on the cold intermediate tyres as Mark Webber - top in Friday practice - out for an installation lap.

More from Ian Ferguson: "SILVERSTONE NOWCAST: Increasing signs of potential shower / convergence line development from now thro FP3 into quali."

Twitter
BBC weatherman Ian Ferguson on Twitter: "SILVERSTONE, UPDATE: Chance of a few heavier showers into quali AND, importantly, the race is higher based on latest MetO f'cast/profiling. Sunday's threat of some showers for race due to upper trough easing east, destabilising things. Could be lottery."

0955: Five minutes until the third and final free practice session gets going. It's an hour-long affair and gives our 12 teams one final opportunity to work on their cars before qualifying at 1300 BST. Following my hugely optimistic weather report, BBC pit-lane monkey Natalie Pinkham tells us that there may be some rain on the way. "After yesterday's washout, in which the teams learned pretty much nothing, we really need some dry running," says Nat.

The sun is out
0950: On a far brighter note, it's not raining at Silverstone. Wahoo. In fact, the sun has just come out. Still a tad windy and chilly, but it looks like we're all set for some much-needed dry running after Friday's rain-blighted shenanigans.

0950: If you haven't completely got your head round this off-throttle blown diffuser malarkey, you must. It's really very important and could have a significant effect on this season's title race. For everything you need to know on the subject, read Andrew Benson's excellent blog. AB makes sense of what seems like a horrendously complicated issue.

Twitter
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson on Twitter: "A directive is issued on engines and blowing. Think it means Merc get their over-run fuelling but Renault not their 50% blowing. A clearly angry Christian Horner is heading to talk to Charlie Whiting after decision not to allow Renault the concession they won on Friday. Horner refuses to comment. 'I'm off to see Charlie now. I'm not going to say anything'."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Silverstone: "Hello again from a bustling Silverstone circuit. More than 100,000 people are expected to come through the gates for final practice and qualifying - and from the looks of it most of them were already here by 8am. I was impressed by the number of fans carrying rucksacks and tents who were settling in for a weekend of racing and surprised by a gaggle of John Button look-a-likes riding bikes. There were a fair few pot holes and puddles to negotiate around the circuit but the good news for everybody coming to Silverstone is that we should have seen the back of Friday's sheeting rain. The forecast for the next two days is mostly dry with a risk of sharp showers. How do you fancy a dry final practice and damp qualifying just to mix things up a bit?!"

0935: Once derided by Bernie Ecclestone as "a country fair masquerading as a world-class venue", Britain's F1 base can be ridiculed no longer. Always the best-supported race of the year, now it looks the part as well. The Mecca of motor sport is back.

0930: Welcome to one the most eagerly-anticipated weekends of the British sporting calendar. Welcome to the all-new Silverstone Wing. Welcome to a £27m pit lane and paddock. Welcome 0.472 miles of fresh track. Welcome to the 2011 British Grand Prix.



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Results

After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham


see also
Webber secures Silverstone pole
09 Jul 11 |  Formula One
British GP final practice photos
09 Jul 11 |  Formula One
F1 bosses row over engine rules
08 Jul 11 |  Formula One
Webber on top at wet Silverstone
08 Jul 11 |  Formula One
Hamilton refuses to change style
08 Jul 11 |  Formula One
Button says Vettel can be beaten
07 Jul 11 |  Formula One
Webber targets first win of 2011
07 Jul 11 |  Formula One
Di Resta ready for 'biggest race'
05 Jul 11 |  Formula One
Ricciardo set for Formula 1 debut
30 Jun 11 |  Formula One
Webber storms to British GP win
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1


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