Skip to main content

Championship leader Alonso takes pole at rain-hit Silverstone

July 7, 2012 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Fernando Alonso (right) celebrates his pole at Silverstone with third-fastest Michael Schumacher
Fernando Alonso (right) celebrates his pole at Silverstone with third-fastest Michael Schumacher
  • Fernando Alonso takes pole for British Grand Prix at Silverstone
  • Alonso edges out Mark Webber of Red Bull in rain-hit qualifying
  • Session delayed by nearly two hours after heavy shower hits circuit
  • Michael Schumacher takes a fine third in his Mercedes

(CNN) -- Championship leader Fernando Alonso took pole position for the British Grand Prix after a rain delayed final qualifying session Saturday.

The Silverstone track in central England was hit by a deluge during the second part of qualifying and the session was held up for nearly two hours.

When the action resumed, Ferrari's Alonso showed his undoubted class with a one minute 51.746 seconds clocking, edging out Red Bull's Mark Webber for first place on the grid.

Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher reveled in the conditions in his Mercedes and took third fastest ahead of reigning double champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany in his Red Bull.

It will be Spaniard Alonso's first pole since the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix, but he took his home race in Valencia a fortnight ago to become the first man to achieve two wins in an unpredictable season.

"It was not easy. To complete a lap with no huge mistakes is not easy in these conditions," he told the official press conference.

"I'm happy to be on pole after nearly two years. In these conditions the qualifying is probably the least important of the year but obviously for visibility it is always better to be on pole."

Stirling Moss: A history of Silverstone
Designing Formula One tires
Designing a Formula One car
In the pits with Lotus F1 Team

His teammate Felipe Massa also backed him up with an improved performance to take a competitive fifth, his best in qualifying this season.

Massa has faced questions about his future with the team after only gaining 11 points to date in 2012, but the Brazilian has told CNN that he is confident he will get a new deal with Ferrari.

"It's not the first time this thing happened to me at the end of the contract and we renew it," he said.

"Personally I didn't have the start to the season I wanted but I'm much stronger now, much better now, and I'm sure we can be competitive race-by-race now until the end of the year," he added.

Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen was sixth for Lotus-Renault with young Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in seventh for Williams-Renault.

Home hope Lewis Hamilton was fastest in his McLaren after Q2, but struggled to find grip when it really mattered and was a frustrated eighth fastest.

His teammate Jenson Button also endured another miserable afternoon and failed to make the cut for Q2, ending only 18th best.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.