Live Commentary: British Grand Prix qualifying - as it happened

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sits in the pits during the first practice session of the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit on July 4, 2014
© Getty Images
Live text coverage of qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, courtesy of Sports Mole.

As it so often does, rain played a big part in qualifying for the 2014 British Grand Prix at Silverstone this afternoon.

Showers came and went throughout and it played into the hands of some, but dented others' chances.

In the end, it was championship leader Nico Rosberg who took pole position, with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton slumping to sixth after a bizarre end to the session.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.


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12.31pmAfternoon all. What a weekend of sport it is, we love it! Wimbledon finals, World Cup, Tour de France and the British Grand Prix! Here we'll be all over the qualifying session at Silverstone as motorsport's elite strut their stuff in Britain.

12.36pmLet's recap what's happened so far this weekend...

Last year's winner Nico Rosberg topped the first practice session.

Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton responded in the second practice.

Earlier this morning, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel came out on top in a wet final practice session.

12.39pmThere was also an historic moment on Friday when Susie Wolff became the first female to take part in a race weekend for 22 years. The Scot drove for Williams in first practice but unfortunately suffered technical problems that ended her session prematurely.

12.41pmWilliams deputy team boss Claire Williams told BBC Sport: "Susie had put in a lot of hard work to get to that session. The team were so excited so for that to happen was so disappointing but she handled it with such good grace."

12.43pmAnother piece of news this week is that Caterham owner Tony Fernandes has sold the team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors.

12.45pmLet's take a look at the standings going into today's race, which is the ninth of 19 races in 2014.

12.49pmRosberg leads the way in the drivers' championship. He is 29 points ahead of teammate Hamilton, despite winning three races to Hamilton's four. The German has been more consistent this season.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium after winning the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 16, 2014© Getty Images

The duo's dominance means that Mercedes have an almighty lead at the top of the constructors' standings. The German team have 301 points, which is 158 more than next-best Red Bull on 143.

12.52pmRAIN falling at Silverstone. It might irk the drivers, but it makes it wonderful viewing for us. The drizzle will give hope to those who often can't beat the frontrunners on pace alone.

12.54pmSpeaking of the backmarkers, British drive Max Chilton, of Marussia, has a five-place gearbox penalty. He'll have to do really well to not be starting in last place tomorrow.

12.58pmOne of the classic F1 racetracks, Silverstone is also one of the fastest. With the soggy conditions, what tyres will the teams put on as they look to second-guess the weather. We'll be underway in a few seconds...

START OF Q1GREEN LIGHT! The 18-minute first qualifying session is underway, with Chilton the first man out for Marussia.

Q1All the drivers that are out have gone for the intermediate tyre. It's not wet enough for the full wets, but perhaps not dry enough for the quickest rubber.

Q1The first set of times are around the one minute, 46 second mark. You'd usually say that they will start dropping, but it appears that the rain is falling heavier.

Q1Hamilton the first of the big guns to set a time and he goes fastest with a 1:43.676.

Q1Red Bulls Ricciardo and Vettel also cross the line and they're second and fourth respectively. Rosberg's third so no surprises up at the front in the early stages.

Q1One team reports that rain is coming down in the pits, but Hamilton tells his team over the radio that conditions are almost dry enough for slick tyres. He still leads the way by a whole second to Ricciardo.

Q1

Q1The Williams duo of Massa and Bottas go fifth and sixth, behind the Mercedes and Red Bulls and ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Q1BOLD! The slower cars are taking a gamble and putting on the medium compound tyres to see if they can jump up the leaderboard. McLaren's British favourite Jenson Button has gone for slicks too. Let's see what sort of times we get.

Q1And Button shows that slicks are quicker! He sets the fastest first sector and that will result in everyone having another go. Just three and a half minutes of Q1 left!

Q1Oh no! Button crosses the line with the fastest time of the session but he lost control on the final corner and ran wide. All four wheels went off the track and that means that the time doesn't count.

Q1

Q1As it stands, the two Marussias of Bianchi and Chilton are first and second!

Q1DRAMA! Both Ferraris are in the drop zone and in danger of being knocked out in Q1. Sauber's Sutil is in the gravel and that means yellow flags and slower driving.

END OF Q1Wow! Both Williams drivers and the two Ferrari men are in the six who have been knocked out! This is especially bad for Williams, who qualified in first and second at the last Grand Prix in Austria!

1.20pmThe two Caterhams of Kobayashi and Ericsson are the other cars who have been eliminated.

1.22pmROSBERG was the fastest man overall, with Kvyat, Hamilton, Bianchi and Hulkenburg completing the top five.

1.23pm

1.24pmNext up we'll have the 15-minute Q2 session. Six more to be knocked out before we have the final Top 10 shootout.

START OF Q2GREEN LIGHT! The second part of quali is underway and the drivers are all out on intermediates as the rain is back. There was a very small window for dry tyres in the first session and not all the teams took advantage. Tut tut, Williams and Ferrari.

Q2Ricciardo sets the early pace with a 1:47.980.

Q2The top of the leaderboard is already three seconds quicker than Ricciardo as Hamilton crosses with a 1:44.6. Unsurprisingly, Mercedes teammate Rosberg joins him at the top. Will anybody be able to get the better of them today?

Q2Never count out Sebastian Vettel! The German might not be having the best year, but he's just gone half a second quicker than anyone else!

Q2Scratch that! Vettel's time is wiped off, like Button's earlier, as he went off the track illegally. That puts him back in the drop zone with just under five minutes left of the session.

Q2Like the first session, the cars being out on track has dried up the circuit and most are now coming in for slick tyres. Will we see more big-name casualties in Q2?

Q2Rosberg goes almost two seconds quicker than Hamilton's intermediate-best time. Time for everyone to switch onto the slick tyres.

Q2The drivers are getting more and more confident out there. Rosberg is now down in seventh as everyone else goes faster than him on the drying track. Less than three minutes of the session to go!

Q2NICO! Rosberg shoots to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:35.179! That's three seconds better than anyone else and by far the best time yet today.

Q2Not to be outdone, Hamilton takes first place with a lap of one minute, 35 seconds exactly.

END OF Q2No real surprises in Q2, with Grosjean, Bianchi, Chilton, Gutierrez, Maldonado and Sutil out. That's Lotus, Marussia and Sauber all out.

1.43pmSutil couldn't take part in that session after he went off in Q1. Sauber teammate Gutierrez also slid off the track in that session when it looked like he would get into the top 10.

1.45pmAfter being knocked out in the first session, Ferrari's star man Alonso tells BBC Sport that he'll just enjoy himself tomorrow when he starts from 19th.

1.46pmA reminder that Hamilton was fastest in that last session. Rosberg quickest in Q1, Hamilton in Q2. Who will get pole? So tough to call! Surely it will be one of the Mercedes.

1.47pmLet's not forget about the great job done by Marussia this weekend. Both Bianchi and Chilton got into Q2 and were able to set good lap times. Bianchi will start 12th, but Chilton will have to drop five places because of a gearbox penalty.

START OF Q3The 12-minute final session is underway! Ten cars remain and it's now a battle for pole position.

Q3

Q3We have just five teams represented in Q3. Will it be a Mercedes, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, McLaren or Force India on top?

Q3The drivers started on slick tyres, but the rain is falling again! Perez, Kvyat and Vergne set the early pace around the 1:40 mark.

Q3Hamilton goes fastest with a 1:39.232. Rosberg crosses in second place soon after. Is that as quick as it's going to get? If the rain continues to fall then intermediate tyres will be needed and surely Hamilton's early pace won't be beaten.

Q3All the cars are now in the pit and holding out to see what the weather does with five minutes of the session remaining. With no cars out on track, the tarmac won't dry quickly and there might not be much point in heading out on intermediates.

Q3As things stand, Hamilton will be on pole. Rosberg is second, with Perez, Ricciardo and Kvyat completing the top five. The only man not to set a time is Vettel, who might decide to just leave it alone as he will have free choice of what tyre to start the race on tomorrow. Remember, you have to start on the same tyre that you set a qualifying time in and as Vettel hasn't set one, he can choose the rubber he likes.

Q3

Q3Most cars are now returning to the track on slick tyres as they look to see if the track is any quicker now than at the start of the session.

Q3"It's pretty slippy out here," Hamilton reports back to his team. That's great news for the Englishman as iffy conditions will mean that his first time will be good enough for pole.

Q3"Tell Lewis to speed up," Rosberg quips. Hamilton is in front and can sort of control the pace of his teammate. The chequered flag has just been waved and the cars currently out will be desperate to improve their times.

Q3Nightmare for Lewis Hamilton! The last sector of the lap was bone dry and all the cars improved. Hamilton gave up and it's Rosberg on top!

END OF QUALIFYINGNICO ROSBERG WILL START THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX FROM POLE POSITION!

2.03pmPerfect for the world championship leader as he grabs his fourth pole of the season. Hamilton will start from sixth after that dreadful end to the session! Why didn't he finish his lap?!

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP drives during practice for the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 22, 2013© Getty Images

2.05pmVettel is second and Button delights the crowd by setting the third-fastest time!

2.06pmAstonishing end to the session. All the drivers were way down on Hamilton's time in the first two sectors before they blitzed the final sector. Hamilton must have seen that he was going slower than his first lap and thought 'I've got pole, let's get in the pits.' Quite unlucky, but also a little naive. He should have finished the lap.

2.07pmTOP 10: 1 Rosberg 2 Vettel 3 Button 4 Hulkenburg 5 Magnussen 6 Hamilton 7 Perez 8 Ricciardo 9 Kvyat 10 Vergne

2.08pm

2.12pmHamilton tells reporters that he doesn't know why he came in on that last lap. He's absolutely devastated and can't quite get his head around what happened.

2.17pmAnyway, that's all we've got time for here. Thanks for joining us for updates. I'll leave you with our qualifying report. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for reaction from quali and then the race live on Sports Mole from 12.30pm tomorrow.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates after securing pole position at the end of qualifying for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on September 21, 2013
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes357
2Ferrari318
3Red Bull184
4Force India101
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso39
7Haas29
8Renault26
9McLaren11
10Sauber5
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari202
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes188
3Valtteri BottasMercedes169
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari116
6Max VerstappenRed Bull67
7Sergio PerezForce India56
8Esteban OconForce India45
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso35
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren10
16Pascal WehrleinSauber5
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Jolyon PalmerRenault0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
23Paul di RestaWilliams-Mercedes0
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