Fernando Alonso claimed his and Ferrari’s first pole since 2010 and 21st of his career after topping the times during yesterday’s rain-drenched qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, who won last year’s Silverstone race and is leading this season’s drivers standings, clocked a fastest lap of the very wet Silverstone circuit in one minute 51.746 seconds. That scintillating effort edged out Mark Webber of Red Bull by less than five hundredths of a second.
Despite almost missing out on Q3, Alonso rose to the occasion and set his fastest time on his final lap which was enough to see off Webber and claim Ferrari’s first pole in Britain since 2003.
“I’m happy to be on pole but 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,” said Alonso. “It was tricky conditions for everyone. You have to be calm in some difficult moments.
Seven-time champion Michael Schumacher of Mercedes was third fastest ahead of defending champion Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull. Felipe Massa was fifth-fastest in the second Ferrari followed by Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado of Williams. Home-hero Lewis Hamilton on McLaren was eighth-fastest for McLaren ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg in the second Mercedes. Frenchman Romain Grosjean was not able to run after he spun at the end of Q2 and was unable make it back to the pits - he will start tenth.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2012.