Mark Webber will start the British Grand Prix in pole position following changeable conditions at Silverstone.
Even though the on-going exhaust row is still causing a big distraction off track, the sheer speed of the RB7 on track continues to impress with Webber and Vettel earning the team yet another front row grid position.
The margin between the Red Bull drivers was only 0.032 seconds with Webber’s lap time of one minute, 30.399 seconds around the legendary British circuit good enough to earn his eighth career pole position.
Ferrari emerged as Red Bull Racing’s biggest threat, while McLaren struggled with pace. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa share row two – Alonso two tenths off pole position despite a trip through the gravel at one point – but the biggest disappointment was McLaren. Jenson Button was 1.5 seconds away from Webber’s time as he took fifth while team-mate Lewis Hamilton was way back in tenth place.
Paul di Resta will start his home race in a spectacular sixth place for Force India, while fellow rookie Pastor Maldonado continues to impress by qualifying in seventh for Williams, ahead of Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi.
For Michael Schumacher, the seven-time world champion was caught out in the mixed conditions and will start in a disappointing P13. The Renaults also had a difficult qualifying session with Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld in P14 and P16 respectively.
Toro Rosso was most disadvantaged when the rain came down in Q1, with Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi’s first runs only good enough for P18 and P19. That meant Lotus got a car into Q2 with Heikki Kovalainen, who took P17.
While at the back, Timo Glock managed to get his Virgin Racing ahead of Jarno Trulli’s Lotus in P20, with Daniel Ricciardo starting in P24 on his first grand prix appearance, having been 0.6 seconds slower than Hispania team-mate Tonio Liuzzi.
Qualifying times from Silverstone:
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m30.399s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.431s
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.516s
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.124s
5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.989s
6. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m31.929s
7. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m31.933s
8. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.128s
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.209s
10. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.376s
11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m32.617s
12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.624s
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.656s
14. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m32.734s
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m33.119s
16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m33.805s
17. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m34.821s
18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.245s
19. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.749s
20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.203s
21. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m36.456s
22. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m37.154s
23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m37.484s
24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m38.059s
107 per cent time: 1m39.156s