Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber will start Sunday's F1 2011 British Grand Prix at Silverstone from pole, with team-mate, Sebastian Vettel alongside him, despite the apparent disadvantage inflicted on the team by the FIA.
The row over the engine rules rumbled on today right up until qualifying [see separate story - click here
], but despite that and despite changeable conditions, the outcome was the same as it has been at all races this season, with a Red Bull taking top spot on the grid.
In the top-ten shootout all the runners only had one run, thanks to a light shower which put a stop to any second efforts, but Webber still did enough. Indeed his fastest lap, a 1 minute 30.399 second effort, put him 0.032 seconds up on Vettel. It was the Aussie's second pole of the season.
Ferrari meanwhile maintained the two-by-two formation at the front of the grid, with Fernando Alonso edging Felipe Massa. Encouragingly Alonso was only 0.117 seconds off the ultimate pace, a great lap, although how much he was helped by the controversy over the blown diffusers is open to debate.
Britain secured row three, albeit with McLaren's Jenson Button joined by F1 rookie Paul di Resta, who is taking in his maiden British GP this weekend, rather than Lewis Hamilton.
The 2008 world champion struggled and will line up in a lowly tenth, behind the Williams of Pastor Maldonado, Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg, in positions 7 through to 9.
Michael Schumacher was the most notable casualty in Q2, with a drying track in that session making for a nail-biting experience for the majority of the 17 drivers' involved. 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. In the end he was dumped out of contention and will consequently line up 13th.
Also missing the cut, having topped the times early in the session, was Rubens Barrichello, who will start 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.
The rain also played a role in the first phase too - no surprise given the weather so far this weekend, and while the 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 leaving the Toro Rosso's on the wrong side of the cut, along with Jarno Trulli's Team Lotus and the Virgin and Hispania cars.
The bottom septet was led by Jaime Alguersuari - who has made a habit of missing the first cut in qualifying of late – and his STR team-mate Sebastien Buemi. Alguersuari missed out by a tenth of a second, with the remainder of the non-qualifiers strung out behind him, although all seven made it inside the initial 107 per cent rule, with Daniel Ricciardo set to bring up the rear of the grid on his full F1 debut after lapping over a second inside the target time in his Hispania.
To see the full times from qualifying for the F1 2011 British Grand Prix at Silverstone - CLICK HERE