The return of rain to Silverstone put paid to Scuderia Toro Rosso's chances of getting either of its drivers through to the second phase of qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
Although the opening 20-minute session started dry, and all 24 drivers posted a time, a notable shower arrived with six minutes remaining, effectively settling the order and condemning those in the bottom seven places on the timesheets.
That septet included both Jaime Alguersuari - who has made a habit of missing the first cut in qualifying of late - and STR team-mate Sebastien Buemi, along with expected casualties from Team Lotus, Marussia Virgin and Hispania. The man benefiting from Buemi's unexpected appearance in the bottom seven was Team Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen, who saw the session end with him in 16th place, two clear of the drop zone.
Alguersuari missed the cut by a tenth of a second, with the remainder of the non-qualifiers strung out behind him, but all seven made it inside the initial 107 per cent rule, with Ricciardo set to bring up the rear of the grid on his full F1 debut after lapping over a second inside the target time.
Mark Webber kept Red bull Racing on top of the pile, despite recent concerns over engine changes, while Pastor Maldonado claimed a surprise second place for Williams, ahead of Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. The double world champion survived a trip through the gravel between Brooklands and Luffield, having just posted the fastest time to that point, but returned to improve on his earlier mark and progress safely.
McLaren also made it through, despite Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button placing seventh and eleventh - and then being sent out into the wet conditions on fresh soft slick rubber....