A drying track made second qualifying for the British Grand Prix a nail-biting experience for the majority of the 17 drivers involved, with Michael Schumacher among those missing out on a place in the pole position phase.
The German, like most of his rivals, took time cycling through the top ten but, with the conditions improving all the time, it became important to put a lap together at just the right point in the 15-minute session. Dumped out of contention by Paul di Resta's only flying lap, the seven-time world champion failed to improve on his previous best and will line up only 13th on Sunday.
Also missing the cut, having topped the times early in the session, was Rubens Barrichello, who will line up 15th and Adrian Sutil, who was went from P1' to P11 in rapid order. Sergio Perez, Vitaly Petrov, Nick Heidfeld and Heikki Kovalainen were the others to drop out although, in the Finn's case, little more was expected of his Team Lotus effort after making it out of Q1.
Felipe Massa topped the times for Ferrari - a scenario envisaged by those following the ever-changing engine regulations - with Mark Webber sandwiched in second place by the other Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Webber, ironically, appears to be benefiting from the latest rulings, with Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel a little further down the order. The German remains in the hunt for another pole position, however, having joined both McLarens, Nico Rosberg, Pastor Maldonado, di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi in the pole position shoot-out.