Wet and Wild, Lotus F1 British GP Qualifying

An incredible qualifying session for the British Grand Prix saw dry, intermediate and full wet conditions, a ninety minute break due to a waterlogged circuit and both E20s progressing to the top ten shoot out; but unfortunately only one taking a shot at pole

Kimi Rikknen, E20-05 Position: Q1P12 / Q2P7 / Q3P6 Best Time: Q11:47.309 / Q21:56.469 / Q31:53.290 Laps Completed: Q110 / Q28 / Q36

Romain Grosjean, E20-04 Position: Q1P8 / Q2P5 / Q3P10 Best Time: Q11:47.043 / Q21:56.388 / Q3N/A Laps Completed: Q111 / Q29 / Q3N/A

For a full run-down of the sessions final standings, visit our results page.

Qualifying 1Key Moments: 0mins: Both drivers out on intermediate tyres; Kimi without the use of KERS 5mins: The team-mates nearly collide; very tight call with one of the Saubers 10mins: Kimi pits for fresh intermediates, emerging with 4mins remaining for a second run 20mins: Both progress to the second session; Kimi P12 Romain P8 at the flagSummary:

A significant queue formed at the end of the pit lane as the first qualifying session got underway; all drivers keen to get an early lap in before the rain which had begun just before the start of running created too much standing water.

Kimi and Romain took straight to the track on green marked intermediate Pirelli tyres, almost colliding in the early stages when one of the Saubers took an unexpectedly slow apex through the middle of the lap.

With half of the session elapsed, the tension started to rise with a tightly packed grid. Kimi opted to drop through the pit lane for a fresh set of intermediate tyres, emerging with four minutes to go as his team-mate continued to pound round the circuit.

As the last cars crossed the line, Kimi comfortable progressed in twelfth, with Romain joining his Finnish counterpart in the second part of qualifying having set the eighth fastest time.

Qualifying 2Key Moments: 0mins: Full wets for both drivers; straight out of the box for initial runs 9mins: Red flags; intense rain stops the session. Green flags finally emerge after a 90min break; intermediates for Kimi and Romain 15mins: Kimi makes it through to Q3 in P7, Romain in P5; the latter spinning into the gravel on his final lap, thus being ruled out of the next phaseSummary:

Heavy rain during the interval created tricky conditions on the Silverstone circuit as the drivers queued up once again to make early runs in the second part of qualifying; matching sets of blue marked wet Pirelli tyres for the pair.

Just past the mid-point of the session and the heavens opened, instantly flooding the track and bringing out the red flags shortly afterwards as the drivers struggled just to keep their cars on the tarmac.

A forced ninety minute break ensued while the marshals waited for a cessation in the rain, which gave the Lotus F1 Team crew an opportunity to investigate the KERS issues which had hampered Kimis running during the previous session. Despite the dogged work of the mechanics however, the fault could not be sourced leaving the Finn without the additional power boost.

With the track finally re-opened, Romain emerged immediately to get himself to the front of the train; the Frenchman left with just six minutes to get himself into the pole position shoot out. Kimi followed suit shortly afterwards; both sporting full wet tyres.

Initial efforts from Kimi and Romain put the pair into second and third respectively as the order frantically re-shuffled in the dying moments of running; the track drying rapidly with times tumbling accordingly.

Tense scenes on the pit wall ensued as last gasp efforts saw both drivers progress to the final session in fifth (Kimi) and seventh place (Romain). However, the drama was not to end there as Romainattempting to further improve his timeparked his E20 in the gravel, ruling the unlucky Frenchman out of a shot at the top slot.

Qualifying 3Key Moments: 0mins: Kimi out on full wets, Romain in the garage; ineligible to take part 6mins: Pit stop; intermediates for the Finn in his final run 10mins: Chequered flag; Kimi takes P6, Romain confined to P10Summary:

Impossibly tricky conditions for the pole position shoot out saw a mixture of tyre choices emerge as the drivers took to the track; Kimi opting for the full wet rubber.

Almost immediately it became clear that the intermediates were the faster choice; the Finn pitting for a fresh set of the green marked boots with three minutes remaining, providing just enough time for a final flying attempt.

A flurry of progressively faster times for every driver remaining in the fight brought a frantic end to the session. Kimi eventually brought his E20 home in sixth placea fine performance given his lack of running on the intermediate tyreswith his team-mate of course remaining tenth after failing to set a lap.Kimi Raikkonen, (6th, Q3 - 1m 53.290s)We made a slightly wrong decision by using the full wet and I only had one lap in the restarted final qualifying session with the intermediates, otherwise I think it was possible to have gone faster. We also had a problem with the KERS which we tried to fix during the red flag break. Were in sixth place, which is certainly not a disaster; but it could have been better. The weather makes it a bit tricky for everybody. Its not easy, especially with the spray and this is even more difficult in race conditions when everyone is fighting for the same piece of track. On the plus side for the fans, its good fun to watch, even if its not the nicest weather if youre in a grandstand.

Romain Grosjean, (10th, Q3 - not time)Its frustrating and Im very sorry for the team as it looks like we had a strong car, but sometimes mistakes happen. My lap was not much different from the previous lap but it was different enough for me to go off and the car went backwards into the gravel and then it was stranded. It was very slippery. We deserved better, but we will do our best tomorrow to gain positions to get some good points. It will be a long race and starting position doesnt mean as much if there are variable conditions. Theres also a benefit from not making it into Q3 as I have a fresh set of intermediate tyres. Lets see what happens tomorrow.

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations directorWere disappointed with qualifying in sixth and tenth today. Romain made a mistake after going fifth fastest in Q2 so was unable to demonstrate any of his pace in the top ten qualifying group. With Kimi it looks like we should have used intermediates sooner in the restarted session, but that is something which is easy to say with hindsight but difficult to judge at the time. It looks like there will be showers again so we need to be prepared to run any of the four different tyres available from Pirelli. From what weve seen so far this weekend, wed prefer it to be dry, as we looked competitive in this mornings dry practice session with Romain on the hard tyre. If it is dry, the hard compound looks to be the favoured race tyre, but if its wet were certainly ready for any race conditions.

Click here for the Official Kimi Raikkonen web site - designed and built by Racecar

Related Motorsport Articles

84,615 articles