Lewis Hamilton was scratching his head wondering just what had gone wrong at the end of the protracted wet qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

"I don't really know what happened in Q3," he admitted afterwards. But it was apparent that the edge the McLaren had enjoyed in the earlier fully wet conditions had evaporated once the track dried up enough to allow the drivers to switch to the intermediate tyres instead.

"The full wets had been working really well, but, as the track gradually became less wet, I sought better grip and switched to the intermediates - but we struggled to get enough temperature into them and just couldn't switch them on," he admitted.

"I had very little grip on the inters, having felt more confident on the Full wets," he said. "Obviously, we'll have to try to analyse the problem overnight and hopefully fix it for tomorrow."

"Lewis was very quick in full-wet conditions, as he demonstrated emphatically by being fastest of all in Q2," agreed McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "But when it came to the restart - and Q3 - to our disappointment we discovered that our car was somewhat less competitive on the intermediate tyre."

That's a worrying sign for the team if the British Grand Prix itself on Sunday afternoon proves to be another changeable, off-on battle with the elements as is currently forecast.

"Since our car is demonstrably very competitive in the full-dry or the full-wet, but less so when intermediate conditions prevail, axiomatically it follows that we'd prefer it to be full-wet or full-dry tomorrow," agreed Whitmarsh. "I guess it's unlikely to be full-dry, so let's hope it's full-wet!"

Whitmarsh added that he wanted to give his thanks to the fans who turned out to support McLaren and its two drivers despite the soggy conditions at Silverstone.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: British F1 fans really are the best in the world, hugely knowledgeable and massively enthusiastic in equal measure," he said.

Hamilton picked up the same theme: "I want to give a shout-out to the fans," he said. "They've been fantastic - very patient and so supportive. The cheers from the grandstands were spectacular.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't get a car on the front row for them, but we can still push tomorrow," he added.


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