Live Commentary: British Grand Prix qualifying - as it happened

Live Commentary: British Grand Prix qualifying - as it happened
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Live updates from qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the British Grand Prix in qualifying at Silverstone this afternoon.

The Mercedes driver will start alongside his teammate Nico Rosberg on the front row at tomorrow's race.

Scotland's Paul di Resta will start from fifth, but Jenson Button struggled with understeer to miss out on a place in the top 10.

Read how all the action unfolded below:


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12.31pmGood afternoon. The green light for Q1 will be on in less than half an hour, getting qualifying for tomorrow's British Grand Prix underway.

12.34pmIt's been tricky conditions for the drivers so far this weekend. Heavy rain during the first practice yesterday morning limited running. Nico Rosberg was fastest in the dry this morning, and it looks like it'll be similar conditions this afternoon.

12.37pmIn the first seven races of this F1 season, only three drivers have claimed pole position. Vettel and Rosberg have been fastest on Saturday three times each, while Lewis Hamilton took pole in China.

12.40pmThe 22 drivers are coming off a three-week break, having not raced since the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month. Since then, the big talking points within F1 have been Mercedes and Pirelli's tyre test, which saw both parties handed a reprimand, and Mark Webber's announcement that he will leave F1 at the end of the season.

12.44pmThere will be four drivers on the grid for the home fans to get behind. Lewis Hamilton took victory at Silverstone in 2008, while Jenson Button is yet to step on the podium at his home Grand Prix. Paul di Resta is still looking for his first F1 top-three finish, and Marussia's Max Chilton is taking part in the British Grand Prix for the first time.

12.48pmThe current Silverstone layout has been used in F1 since 2010, and is 3.66 miles long. Last year's pole position lap, set by Alonso, took 1:51.746. The Spaniard is also the circuit's lap record holder, recording a time of 1:30.874 on the 2010 race.

12.51pmJust in case you need a reminder, qualifying is split into three sessions. The six slowest cars drop out after the first 20-minute stint, while another six exit 15 minutes later. The 10 fastest cars battle for pole in a final 10-minute spell.

12.54pmThis weekend is a big celebration for the Williams team, as they prepare to take part in the 600th Grand Prix. Race number 600 will actually be the German Grand Prix next month, but the team was keen to celebrate at their home event. The constructor made it's debut at the Argentine Grand Prix in 1978, winning nine constructors championships and seven drivers titles.

12.57pmRight then, let's make a quick prediction before Q1 gets underway. Webber and Alonso have both been impressive at Silverstone in recent years, but the Mercedes' have looked impressive in practice. I wouldn't be surprised to see Nico Rosberg secure his fourth pole position of the season this afternoon.

1pmGREEN LIGHT! The pit lane is open for Q1.

Q1Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber is the first driver onto the track. The majority of the drivers from the top teams are still getting into their cars, with their teams making final adjustments to the cars.

Q1Hulkenberg sets the first timed lap of the session at 1:35.806. Lewis Hamilton is taking a relaxed approach to the session, he's yet to get in his car, and it stood in the pit lane waving the the fans.

Q1Hulkeberg's time is bettered by his teammate Esteban Gutierrez by more than two seconds, but Romain Grosjean goes quicker again with a 1:32.586. McLaren's Sergio Perez is now on track, just starting his first timed lap.

Q1Perez slots into sixth. The Mexican had a difficult practice earlier today, suffering a burst tyre. Kimi Raikkonen moves into second two tenths behind his Lotus teammate, with Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo in third.

Q1Paul di Resta splits the Lotus cars with an impressive first lap of 1:32.546. Raikkonen goes wide in the first sector, running over one of the kerbs, and there are sparks coming from the bottom of the car.

Q1Rosberg moves to the top of the time sheets with a 1:31.355. Grosjean remains second while Ricciardo sits third for Toro Rosso. Rosberg lead was short-lived though, as Hamilton does a 1:30.995.

Q1Webber, Button, Vettel and van der Garde are all yet to set a time with just over seven minutes left in Q1.

Q1Mark Webber's opening effort puts him third. He'll have time to get another lap in, but that should be good enough to see him through to Q2. Vettel slots in just behind his Red Bull teammate. Gutierrez, Pic, Bianchi and Chilton are all in the drop zone, with Button and van der Garde still without a time.

Q1Ferrari's Felipe Massa could be in danger, he currently sits 16th, just two tenth faster than Hulkenberg, who has just slipped into the bottom six. The Brazilian has just headed back out in a bid to make it into Q2.

Q1Button has finally completed a lap. His 1:31.979 lap puts him ninth. Van der Garde is still in the Caterham garage, it looks like he might not be setting a lap time.

Q1The clock runs down to zero, so we'll wait to see what times those still on track can manage.

Q1Massa manages to move up to 14th with a last-ditch effort, securing him a place in Q2

1.22pmOUT! Those leaving us at the end of Q1 are 17. Bottas, 18. Gutierrez, 19. Pic, 20. Bianchi, 21, Van der Garde, 22. Chilton

1.24pmSo, Britain's Max Chilton will start his first home race in F1 from the back of the grid. The Marussia's have struggled in qualifying at recent races, having looked stronger than Caterham at the start of the season.

1.27pmThe biggest surprise of Q1 was how much Ferrari seemed to be struggling. Massa needed to push on his final lap, and appeared to really be fighting the car, securing 14th place. His teammate, Fernando Alonso dropped down the board as others posted faster times, leaving him one place below Massa, and just above the drop zone. They'll both need to improve in Q2 if they're to give themselves a chance of pole.

Q2GREEN LIGHT! The second part of qualifying gets underway, with six more cars due to drop out in 15 minutes time.

Q2The Red Bulls come out early, clearly keen to make sure they have time to do two stints. Lewis Hamilton also appears to be getting ready to go out in the early part of this session.

Q2Webber is the first to post a time, using the same set of hard tyres that he had on in Q1. His time of 1:31.341 is pretty good, but he'll probably want to get back out on the medium compound tyres later in the session.

Q2Massa takes to the track, but locks his tyres up in the first sector. He'll need a strong session if he's to make the top 10, but that won't have helped the condition of his tyres. He can only manage seventh. Rosberg beats Webber's time with a 1:31.028.

Q2Hamilton slots in just behind his Mercedes teammate, posting a time of 1:31.028. Webber's engineer tells him that his lap time is where they expect the cut off to be, so he will be going back out for another stint.

Q2Maldonado is the slowest on the track so far with a 1:33.170. Button, Raikkonen, Perez, Vettel and Hulkenberg are yet to post times with just less than seven minutes to go.

Q2Raikkonen's first lap puts him ninth, while Button can only manage 11th, so they'll both need to find faster laps if they want to take part in Q3. Force India are looking quick, Sutil currently sits fourth less than a tenth behind Webber, while Di Resta in seventh.

Q2With the majority of the cars currently in their garages putting on fresh tyres for a late charge, Vettel finally begins his first timed lap with fresh option tyres, and he's well up on Rosberg's time in the first sector.

Q2The reigning world champion looks very smooth through the final corners and posts a lap time of 1:30.990, just beating Rosberg's time. It looks like it will be a battle between Mercedes and Red Bull for pole.

Q2With just over two minutes remaining, Vergne, Button, Massa, Maldonado, Perez and Hulkenberg are in the drop zone.

Q2Vergne looks to be on a good lap but runs wide, kicking up plenty of dirt. The mistake costs him dearly, as he finishes two second slower than 10th-placed Raikkonen.

Q2His teammate has no such problems, as Ricciardo goes third with just seconds remaining. Both McLarens are still in the drop zone as the flag drops.

Q2OUT! 11. Button, 12. Massa, 13. Vergne, 14. Perez, 15. Hulkenberg, 16 Maldonado

1.45pmThat's a disappointing performance for McLaren, as neither Perez nor Button can reach the final part of qualifying. Massa will be disappointed to drop out too, with his teammate comfortable inside the top 10. On his radio, Button complains that understeer cost him.

1.48pmSo in the top 10, we have the Red Bulls, Mercedes, Force India and Lotus, as well as Alonso and Ricciardo. It's an impressive performance by the young Australian, who will be hoping to impress Red Bull and secure the seat being vacated by Mark Webber next season.

Q3GREEN LIGHT! Right then, the final 10 minutes of qualifying are underway. Plenty of teams are getting ready to send their cars out early.

Q3Webber and Sutil are among the first to leave the pit lane, closely followed by Rosberg.

Q3Webber goes quickest with a 1:30.508 but Rosberg quickly beats that with a 130.231, and Hamilton is faster again at 1:30.096. It's going to be incredibly tight for pole position.

Q3Vettel can't beat his teammate with his first lap, slotting into fourth, while Grosjean sits fifth and Alonso goes sixth with a lap on the hard tyres. Raikkonen, Sutil and Di Resta are yet to post a timed lap in this session.

Q3With less than three minutes to go, Raikkonen heads out closely following by Ricciardo and Di Resta.

Q3All the front runners are heading back out too on fresh tyres. It really is too close to call at the moment!

Q3The clock runs down to zero, and we'll have the final lap times shortly. Hamilton remains top of the moment, but that could soon change.

Q3Rosberg moves above Hamilton, but the Brit is on a faster lap.

Q3LEWIS HAMILTON CLAIMS POLE POSITION AT THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX!

2.03pmIt's a popular one with the crowd, as Hamilton does a blistering 1:29.307 to put himself on pole position for tomorrow's race. Rosberg will start alongside him on the front row, with an all Red Bull second row.

2.04pmTOP 10! 1. Hamilton, 2. Rosberg, 3. Vettel, 4. Webber, 5. Di Resta, 6. Ricciardo, 7. Sutil, 8. Grosjean, 9. Raikkonen, 10. Alonso

2.07pmWhat a performance from Paul di Resta. The Scot manages to put himself in fifth position. He'll start alongside Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso, who also looked strong throughout qualifying.

2.08pmWell that's all from Silverstone this afternoon, but join me again tomorrow for live updates from the race, when Lewis Hamilton will be looking to win his home Grand Prix for the second time in his career. Until then, good bye.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany waves after setting the pole position in the qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 11, 2013
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