Alonso wins first pole of season on wet track in Britain

SILVERSTONE, England- After two weeks of enjoying a satisfying win in front of his home crowd in Spain, Fernando Alonso avoided a heavily wet track, along with an hour and a half rain delay to post a 1:51:746 in the final qualifying take pole for Sunday’s British Grand Prix. It was Alonso’s first pole of the season, and his third at this track. Mark Webber had a great last second flying lap to take second, while Michael Schumacher improved on his third place finish at the last race by taking third.

Asked if there were any secrets to his qualifying, the Spaniard was very honest.

“There was no secret.” He said. “We were under difficult circumstances and we had to choose between intermediate and extreme wets and we put our lap together, which was not easy. We put together a good lap, which was not easy in these conditions, and we are happy with the pole position which we have not done in many years for Ferrari.”

With the rain threatening early in the first session, all of the entries were out on the track, even after the previous practice session, which was dry. To make things even worse, the DRS system was disabled. But it was not a problem for Sebastian Vettel, who posted the fastest time of 1:46:279, which because of the changing conditions and the split of the qualifying sessions, still remained the fastest time of the day. But luck was not with Jenson Button, who continued to have a problem on his home track, and was eliminated from the session, finishing in 18th. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg just made it to the next session, finishing in 17th.

The second session was once again looming with a threat of rain, and even after Schumacher spun and nearly beached his car in sand, the track officials finally gave the signal to suspend the session, which lasted an hour and a half .

When the session finally resumed, Lewis Hamilton took control of the wet track and recorded a 1:54:897 as best time, while Sergio Perez, who lead the session before the delay began, along with Rosberg, failed to advance. Lotus driver Romain Grosjean managed to finish fifth but spun his car into the sand and unlike Schumacher could not get out and would not participate in the final session placing tenth on the grid on race day.

Vettel took fourth, while Felipe Massa continued to improve with fifth. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, while Pastor Maldonado, the winner in Spain, finished in seventh. Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg finished in the next two positions, but the former will have to be penalized five grid spots.

Alonso was pleased, but knew with more rain tomorrow, it could be tough.

“A lot of things might be mixed up tomorrow, but with the weather, it will not be easy to start from the front row.” He concluded.

Mark Gero

A 12 year veteran writer who has covered race weekends for RIS for three years. Also did the same for the last two years, I have been a member of AARWBA.

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Volume 2012, Issue 7, Posted 11:35 AM, 07.07.2012