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As it happened: Final Practice and Qualifying
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:30 Hello everyone, and welcome to Live, as we continue to bring you blow-by-blow coverage from the 2008 British Grand Prix.

Today we will bring you coverage from the third and final practice session and then the vital qualifying hour for tomorrow's race. The schedule looks like this:

08:30 - 09:00 The breakfast bar: Ease your way into Saturday with a look back over Friday's action in Silverstone.
09:00 - 10:00 Live commentary and updates from the final practice session.
10:00 - 12:00 Continuing track updates, as well as weather status, and any breaking news from the circuit.
12:00 - 13:00 Live commentary and updates from the qualifying session.
13:00 - 13:30 End of day reaction and round-up, where we go from here, and what we can look forward to tomorrow.
13:30 Live commentary ends for today.

08:32 You can join in the fun by chatting live with other forum members.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

08:35 Rain at Silverstone has been on the cards all week. Earlier this morning it arrived in a two hour blast, which soaked the circuit.

The rain is now clearing away to the north, and during this morning's practice session the track surface will progressively dry up.

The rainfall radar suggests that there is only a small chance of further showers affecting the Formula One track action today. Throughout the day we will of course be regularly checking the situation to asses any shower potential, but for the moment the advice is prepare for a much drier qualifying session than originally anticipated. There could even be some sunny intervals.

Maximum temperature in the air today will be 18 degrees Celsius.

08:40 Friday's pair of 90-minute practice sessions allowed the drivers an opportunity to lap the Silverstone circuit on a warm and sunny day. Those conditions are unlikely to be repeated for the remainder of the event, which was one factor in a quiet start to proceedings on Friday morning - the other being an extensive test that took place here a week before the Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa topped the standings with a lap of 1:19.575, with the McLarens of Kovalainen and Hamilton just fractions behind. Felipe set that time before arriving at the scene of an engine failure for Fernando Alonso's Renault that had laid a trail of oil on the high-speed approach to Stowe. Massa was unaware of the slippery surface and caught the oil, pitching the Ferrari into the tyre wall backwards at almost unabated speed.

The session was stopped, allowing the oil and debris to be cleaned up, and afterwards the cement dust on the surface limited the scope for improved lap times. Massa was unhurt in the impact and the Ferrari team set to work rebuilding the extensive damage to the rear of his machine.

Massa leads first practice despite crash

The break between sessions provided a surprise in the form of an announcement that Silverstone would lose the British Grand Prix to Donington Park from 2010.

The second practice saw considerably more running as temperatures rose in the afternoon sunshine. McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen looked to have himself and his car dialed in to the circuit and set the best afternoon time of 1:19.989, over half a second quicker than Mark Webber in the Red Bull. Home hero Lewis Hamilton was third quickest, ahead of David Coulthard, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vetell and Jenson Button.

The Ferraris of Massa and Raikkonen finished the day eighth and 12th with the timesheet, suggesting that various programmes of fuel and tyre evaluations were giving little away in terms of the form for the weekend.

Jarno Trulli had a scare in the Toyota when his newly-developed rear wing detached on the Hangar Straight, approaching Stowe. The car immediately slewed out of control and struck the tyres at a similar point to Massa's crash in the morning. The Italian was unhurt and will return to the track this morning using a previous design of rear wing.

Kovalainen quickest in second practice

Kimi Raikkonen
08:43 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen attributed set-up problems to his relative lack of pace in Friday afternoon's practice session.

The day started reasonably well for Ferrari, with Raikkonen's teammate Felipe Massa setting the early pace with a lap of 1:19.575. But then the wheels came off the team's preparations – literally – when Massa braked on the oil laid down by Fernando Alonso just moments before, and he crashed heavily rearwards into the Stowe tyre barriers.

Despite running 16 laps compared with Massa's eight, Raikkonen found himself 0.373 seconds behind the Brazilian at the end of the morning session.

In the afternoon session, Kimi again had more track time at his disposal than his teammate – who would appear to have the upper hand this weekend at the Northamptonshire circuit. Massa ran 18 laps, setting a best time of 1:20.943, with Raikkonen running 31 laps and again slower than his teammate, to the tune of 0.332 seconds – virtually the same gap as there had been between the pair in the morning.

It was therefore somewhat surprising to read Kimi's quotes in the Ferrari press release once practice for the day was concluded.

"This morning things were not so bad, while in the afternoon I had a bit of a struggle to find the best settings on the car, which was not working as well as it had done at last week's test. We have to look at the data to understand why.

"Obviously, the order in the second session is not representative of the relative strengths in the field. But I am still reasonably confident and if we manage to find a good set-up, then we can fight for the top places."

Practice continues this morning with Raikkonen looking to make up the 0.3 second deficit to Massa. With mixed conditions expected in the morning, it will be harder for Kimi to regain that time than on a standard dry weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen
08:47 David Coulthard's announcement on Thursday that he is to retire from race driving at the end of the 2008 season is naturally one of the main stories of a very interesting Grand Prix weekend so far.

The Scotsman had another positive day on Friday during practice for Sunday's 60 lap British Grand Prix. In the morning Coulthard ran 16 laps, setting a best time of 1:20.698 – two-tenths of a second quicker than his teammate Mark Webber.

In the afternoon, the roles were reversed as both Red Bull Renault drivers moved up the order, running a lot of laps in the process. Mark Webber ended the day second fastest, half a second behind Friday afternoon pacesetter Heikki Kovalainen, with Coulthard within a tenth of the Australian. Red Bull ran a total of 68 laps in the afternoon alone, giving them solid information ahead of today's final practice and qualifying sessions.

Always ready with a devestating one-liner, David provided one of the quotes of the weekend on Thursday afternoon. Having announced his retirement in the official press conference, the oldest driver in the sport stepped outside and was asked by reporters if he had any regrets in his 15 years in F1.

"I think the biggest regret was there was two Argentinian twins at the '95 Grand Prix that I walked away from, and I wished I'd taken that opportunity!"

08:50 Ten minutes remain before the third and final free practice session for the British Grand Prix.

08:56 Track conditions will change during the final practice this morning. Usually, the teams would wait for the track to dry up as much as possible, but today, with rain also in Sunday's forecast, we are likely to see early action as the drivers run some laps to establish a good set-up in the wetter part of the session.

08:57 With the earlier rain now over and a brighter sky overhead, the track temperature is a chilly 16c.

08:59 Lewis Hamilton sits in his McLaren Mercedes, ready to go out when the session begins.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

1 min: The first cars have left the pitlane and are taking a tentative lap around the circuit.

1 min: Nick Heidfeld is out there on extreme wet tyres, while Hamilton is running on intermediates.

2 min: 15 of the 20 drivers have so far come out.

3 min: The circuit is very wet in places with areas of standing water after the downpour this morning. Other sections are drying rapidly as the sun begins to emerge through the clouds.

3 min: Race weekend engines and gearboxes are now in place of course, as the drivers come back into the pitlane upon completion of their installation laps.

4 min: Lewis Hamilton chose intermediate rubber for his installation lap while many others play it safe on the full wet.

5 min: In the pitlane many of the cars are now in the garages, with no tyres on as the teams decide whether to run the intermediate tyre or the extreme wets.

6 min: Timo Glock is the only driver out on track and he has gone out for a second time. Timo is likely to start a timed lap the next time through.

7 min: Glock returns to the pitlane for the second time this morning on his extreme wet tyres.

No cars on track.

9 min: Jarno Trulli comes out onto the circuit, with intermediate tyres bolted onto the Toyota.

9 min: Fernando Alonso leaves the Renault garage with intermediate tyres on his car.

10 min: They are the only two drivers on track.

10 min: The track will take some time to dry from its current condition. In places, such as the pit lane, the process is evolving rapidly while elsewhere there is a lot of water on the surface.

Intermediate tyres at full attack will be tricky at the moment on the larger patches of water, although this provides an opportunity for the drivers to check out the ability of those tyres.

10 min: Others are about to join them. Jenson Button is about to leave the garage with intermediate tyres on.

11 min: Jarno Trulli crosses the line to start the first timed lap of the day.

12 min: Toyota driver Trulli comes through to complete that first lap with a time of 1:38.410.

13 min: Nick Heidfeld is on the radio with his BMW engineer discussing tyre choice. The German believes the extreme wet will be quicker at the start, but the circuit will soon dry to the point that the intermediate becomes the quicker tyre.

Nick was also keen to establish the tyres being run by cars currently on the circuit.

14 min: Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are both quicker than Trulli on the circuit.

Alonso betters Jarno's time and goes P1 with a 1:37.063.
Hamilton goes P1 with a 1:36.947.
Trulli then retakes P1 with 1:36.766.

14 min: Kimi Raikkonen has finally emerged from the Ferrari garage and has the popular choice of intermediate tyres on his car.

15 min: Heikki Kovalainen has just completed his first lap on intermediates and gone seventh with a 1:39.325.

17 min: Raikkonen comes over the line in a 1:34.663 for second quickest, despite a moment approaching Club.

17 min: The timing monitor is spinning like a fruit machine as every lap sets a new benchmark.

The order is Alonso, Raikkonen, Piquet, Kovalainen, Hamilton, Trulli, Bourdais after 17 minutes of the session.

18 min: The Toro Rossos are the next drivers over the line and Gerhard Berger may want to take a picture of the monitor as it states Bourdais first and Vettel second, before Heikki Kovalainen then comes through seconds later to split the pair.

18 min: The circuit is drying rapidly now as sunshine and a strong breeze add to the drying effort by the circulating pack.

20 min: Hamilton moves to the top of the list with a 1:32.640, with Raikkonen moving into second, Alonso third, Kovalainen fourth, Bourdais fifth, Massa sixth and Vettel seventh.

21 min: Felipe Massa goes third with a 1:32.966 that featured a marvellous drifting slide at Brooklands.

23 min: A dry line is beginning to emerge on parts of the circuit and almost all the standing water has been removed from the racing line.

Conditions are now ideal for the intermediate rubber and continue to dry at speed.

26 min: Mark Webber comes out of the garage to join the racetrack. Problems have been apparent at Red Bull this morning, with major work going on around David Coulthard's car after the installation lap.

Clearly the mechanics wished to check over both cars to see if the Coulthard problem affects both cars.

However both of them are now underway as Coulthard also comes out onto the track.

27 min: Timo Glock has moved into fifth place with a time of 1:33.037.

Hamilton continues to lead with 1:32.640, followed by Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso, then Glock.

28 min: Felipe Massa continues to entertain with a lurid rear-end slide exiting Abbey.

28 min: Jarno Trulli has spun in the middle of Club corner as he searches for grip while applying the power to drive out of the corner. No major issue and the Italian rejoined, but pitted at the end of the lap.

29 min: Mark Webber jumps to fourth quickest in 1:32.954 after coming out on to the ever-drying surface.

30 min: Coulthard betters that though to move into second position with 1:32.119.

32 min: Kazuki Nakajima has spun on entry to the Abbey Chicane in the Williams Toyota. He lights up the rear tyres, spin turns to the right and is pointing the right direction again.

Nakajima pits at the end of that lap.

34 min: Team radio at BMW Sauber.

Nick Heidfeld's race engineer informs him that there is a chance of a shower affecting the final 15 minutes of the practice session.

37 min: The weather radar does show some small showers to the south-west of Silverstone, but they are brief affairs and very much hit and miss as to whether the circuit catches one of them.

Meantime conditions conditionue to dry out right now.

37 min: The wet session this morning is not particularly welcome for the teams, with qualifying looking likely to be dry.

The normal practice three preparations for the qualifying hour are now being disrupted by this running in damp conditions.

Another problem is the potential lack of Formula One rubber on the surface at the start of qualifying, which will make for an ever-changing grip level as the session wears on.

40 min: The track is very quiet at the moment as a difficult phase is reached with the track drying rapidly but remaining a little damp for the dry rubber.

40 min: Only three cars are out on the circuit currently, as up and down the pitlane discussions are taking place regarding how to approach the final minutes of the session.

Robert Kubica is one of the drivers out on track and he has just moved into fifth position with a 1:32.627.

42 min: Nico Rosberg is heading out on intermediate rubber, which the team tell him is to scrub the tyres in preparation for the race, which is still forecast to be wet.

42 min: The order now is Massa still atop the list with 1:31.577 Glock second, Coulthard third, Mark Webber moves into fourth now with a 1:32.275, with Adrian Sutil fifth in the Force India machine, and Kubica now sixth.

42 min: Nick Heidfeld is the first man to gamble on dry rubber.

43 min: The BMW flys over the line in 1:27.300, over four seconds quicker than Massa's best on intermediates.

This is the signal needed by the field to get out on track with grooved tyres.

44 min: Heidfeld continues to warm his rubber and feel out the conditions, clocking a second flying lap a further two seconds quicker in 1:25.332.

44 min: Sebastien Bourdais has moved into second place with a time of 1:29.605, as Alonso is now also on track with dry tyres bolted on.

45 min: Widespread dry tyre running now as we suddenly have 15 drivers out there circulating. The timing monitor is about to go crazy again ...

46 min: Alonso, Massa, Piquet and Bourdais all cross the line in quick succession to take P1.

48 min: The order now is Bourdais quickest with 1:23.826, Alonso second, Piquet third, Button now moves into fourth, Heidfeld fifth.

But here comes Raikkonen ...

48 min: Kimi takes the latest benchmark in 1:23.520 as times continue to tumble.

49 min: The pair of McLarens are among the few drivers still waiting in the pits. Almost everyone else is out to check out the drying conditions.

50 min: Timo Glock now goes first, but seconds later Mark Webber lowers the bar to 1:22.951.

50 min: A hectic final ten minutes remain in the practice session.

50 min: Sebastian Vettel now takes the top spot as the benchmark continues to drop in the drying conditions - 1:22.914.

50 min: Glock retakes P1 with 1:22.879.

51 min: Mark Webber crosses the line to continue the mayhem and the Australian goes fastest with 1:22.281.

52 min: David Coulthard has problems with his Red Bull. The car is up on jack stands in the garage and David has stepped out, with perhaps a return of the troubles that held him at the start of the hour.

53 min: Webber extends his advantage at the top of the timesheet and he improves to 1:21.806.

He now leads the rest of the field by a full second.

53 min: The pair of McLarens are on track with Lewis Hamilton now on a flying lap using the harder tyre.

54 min: Hamilton comes over the line to set the second quickest time, 1:22.155.

Teammate Kovalainen has the softer tyre option on his McLaren.

54 min: Webber returns to the pits at the end of that run, but the McLarens are coming and set to move to the top of the order ...

55 min: Kovalainen tops the table with a 1:21.266 on soft rubber.

55 min: Lewis Hamilton's second lap was an improvement but he remained in third position behind Webber.

56 min: Hamilton continues with ever-warming hard tyres and goes second with a 1:21.668, despite a moment in Club.

57 min: Kimi Raikkonen has soft rubber on his Ferrari and clocked fifth, encountering heavy traffic in the final sector.

57 min: Kovalainen, Hamilton, Webber, Bourdais, Raikkonen moves into fifth now with 1:22.677, Button sixth and Vettel seventh is the order with just over two minutes remaining in the final practice session.

58 min: Nelson Piquet moves from 18th to third with a 1:21.786.

58 min: Felipe Massa is sampling the conditions on the soft tyre option.

59 min: Lewis Hamilton continues to set the quickest first sector but is losing time to his teammate in the final part of the lap.

He pits and immediately returns to the track.

60 min: Fernando Alonso is down in 18th place after the improvements set by other drivers, but the Spaniard blasts round in 1:1:20.740 to go fastest of all

10:00 The session has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

10:01 Kimi Raikkonen's final effort is a 1:22.726, failing to improve on his ninth-quickest time.

10:03 Every driver except David Coulthard in the Red Bull Renault came out in the final minutes of the session. Coulthard clearly has some mechanical issue with that car.

His machine was in pieces on the floor of the garage early on, but then David came out onto the circuit and his pace was comparable with teammate Mark Webber when they were all out on intermediates.

While Webber continued into the dry portion of the practice, Coulthard came back to the pits and has remained there in the final minutes of the session.

10:04 So Fernando Alonso tops the timesheet at the end of the final practice hour ahead of qualifying for tomorrow's British Grand Prix of Silverstone.

His laptime of 1:20.740 was a quarter of a second ahead of Mark Webber, with Kovalainen third, Vettel fourth, Hamilton fifth and Nelson Piquet in sixth making it a positive session for the Renault squad.

10:07 Another third practice session comes to a close with a jumbled order on the timesheet. The requirement of the quick men to run race fuel in Q3 leads the contenders for that session to use heavy fuel in this hour, while those in scrambling to avoid elimination early in the session test their ultimate pace on considerably lower fuel.

Today's tricky conditions only add to difficulty in drawing conclusions from the classification.

10:14 Matt Beer has the report and classification on a busy session in Silverstone:

Alonso fastest in final practice - Britain

10:22 Down in the pit lane, the Porshe Supercup cars are preparing for their 45-minute qualifying session, which gets underway shortly.

11:22 Qualifying starts on a green race track, lacking significant Forumla One rubber on the track surface after a heavy spell of rain this morning. The team's preparations for the coming hour have also been dented by a drying practice session this morning, with limited dry running in the final 15 minutes.

11:26 With just over half an hour to go before qualifying begins, conditions are now completely dry. It is mainly sunny but also windy.

The radar suggests that we are likely to see a dry qualifying, but small shower speckles have been showing up throughout the morning. There remains an outside chance of a light shower, but it is no more than that.

The band of showers over Devon and Cornwall are heading towards Northamptonshire, but not expected to affect the circuit until later on today, possibly during the GP2 race.

11:40 The 85,000 strong crowd on hand are clearly supportive of the British drivers and look forward to see what Lewis Hamilton can do in a challenge for pole position.

Qualifying last year is remembered for a sensational last-gasp effort from Hamilton to snatch pole, sending the crowd wild.

The McLaren team will be hoping for a repeat performance today, from either of their drivers, with Heikki Kovalainen looking particularly happy with his car around this circuit.

11:54 As the teams make final preparations to their cars, another factor in their minds will be the prospect of rain for tomorrow's race.

Once the cars head out in qualifying, they are under parc ferme conditions and only limited changes to the set up are allowed, even if conditions change from dry to wet.

The Q3 drivers also have to chose a load of fuel for their first stint, with a heavier load often preferable in wet conditions as it allows flexibility in pit windows for tyre changes. The race engineers once again have a complex trade-off to make between speed in Q3 and the fuel available at the start of the race.

11:55 Five minutes to go until the start of the qualifying session for the British Grand Prix.

Conditions remain dry and windy over the circuit, with some dark clouds around but also sunny periods.

11:57 The track temperature has risen to 30c in the patchy sunshine. A significant wind, clocked at over seven meters per second, is set to be a major talking point on this exposed, high-speed circuit.

0 min: The qualifying period has started.

1 min: Nico Rosberg's engineers are discussing on the radio the need to get on track due to the threat of rain.

A small shower is visible in the distance from the helicopter camera.

1 min: The drivers come out onto the circuit for the first period

2 min: There is a mad scramble as a small shower looms close to the Silverstone circuit.

2 min: Lewis Hamilton clears himself a space in the traffic and launches in to a flying lap.

3 min: All drivers are now on track reacting to their radars. Major traffic on the circuit as they all attempt to put in a banker lap.

4 min: Hamilton's banker lap is a 1:21.287, putting him quickest so far.

Teammate Kovalainen is over the line next and goes quicker still with a 1:21.122.

5 min: Alonso takes the top spot away from Kovalainen with a 1:20.998.

5 min: Hamilton continues, ever warming the tyres and adapting to the track conditions. He's quickest now in 1:20.228.

6 min: Mark Webber moves into second with 1:20.982.

6 min: Felipe Massa continues the scramble for times, posting second with a 1:20.894.

8 min: Kimi Raikkonen continues in his Ferrari and takes the quickest final sector on the way to second so far, a tenth down on Hamilton.

8 min: All drivers have now set a laptime after that opening scramble.

At the rear of the field it is Honda versus Force India as we alluded to yesterday. Sebastien Bourdais also finds himself in the dropzone after a poor first effort.

9 min: Heikki Kovalainen surges to the top of the board with a 1:19.957.

9 min: Sebastian Vettel has put in a very strong lap to move into third position with a 1:20.318.

10 min: Kovalainen, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen is the order at the top.

11 min: Nico Rosberg is now in the dropzone. The German ran soft tyres on his latest run, could not improve his time, and was subsequently beaten by Barrichello and Nakajima.

12 min: Rosberg, Button, Sutil, Fisichella and Bourdais are 16th-20th currently and all face elimination.

Sebastien Bourdais moves up into 11th place with his latest effort, dropping David Coulthard into the dropzone.

13 min: The McLaren and Ferrari drivers are now in the pits and look very secure from the battle to stay in the top 15.

The BMWs of Kubica and Heidfeld have gone out for another run as they currently lie ninth and tenth in the order.

14 min: Rain is falling sufficiently to affect grip levels.

14 min: David Coulthard is back out on track and needs to improve. He does just that and moves into 13th position, dropping Barrichello back into the dropzone.

15 min: The shower is currently hitting the circuit on the west side, particular in the Abbey area.

15 min: With light rain continuing to fall on some parts (but not all) of the circuit, it looks unlikely that times will improve in the final four minutes of the first period.

16 min: The rain is now falling in pitlane as the shower crosses over the circuit gradually.

18 min: All cars are in the pits as the teams decide if there is anything they can do in the remaining two minutes for the slowest five cars to get out of the drop zone.

18 min: In the dropzone at the moment are Barrichello, Rosberg, Button, Sutil and Fisichella.

They will all come out now to make their final attempts to make it through, but improvements are unlikely.

19 min: Only five drivers have gone out in the final minutes to make an attempt. The other drivers realise that conditions are unlikely to improve. Unfortunately Nico Rosberg is one of those and he is the first confirmed driver to be eliminated from qualifying.

20 min: The qualifying period has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

12:21 Sebastien Bourdais is gunning for a time on a track that looks unaffected by the recent shower.

12:21 Amazing scenes at Silverstone.

Bourdais goes sixth with a 1:20.584

12:21 Jenson Button does not improve and is eliminated.

12:23 Eliminated drivers after the first period of qualifying:

16) Barrichello
17) Button
18) Rosberg
19) Sutil
20) Fisichella.

12:23 Giancarlo Fisichella had a moment on his attempt to get out of the drop zone. He got on the grass approaching Brooklands and spun, ending his lap with a trail back to the pits. Fisichella is 20th and last on the provisional grid.

12:25 So one of the stray showers managed to clip Silverstone, but barely affected the end result after the first period of qualifying.

The sun is now back out again as we await part two.

12:26 The rainfall radar suggests that we are clear of rain for the remainder of the session.

0 min: The qualifying period has started.

2 min: No takers in the opening portion of this second part of qualifying.

Al cars in pitlane.

2 min: A waiting period is expected at the start of this period as the teams hold out for as long as possible for the moisture from that brief shower to dry completely from the track surface.

3 min: Fernando Alonso is the first driver to join the racetrack.

4 min: A few more drivers are coming out now, including Kimi Raikkonen, as Alonso crosses start-finish to begin his timed lap.

5 min: The entire circuit is now under bright sunshine as the cars stream out for their efforts to get in the top ten.

Lewis Hamilton is heading out on soft option tyres.

5 min: Only the BMWs remain in the pits as Alonso continues round on his first effort.

5 min: Fernando Alonso completes that first lap and his time is 1:20.336.

6 min: Kimi Raikkonen betters Alonso's time with a 1:20.037.

7 min: Heikki Kovalainen is the next of the main players to set a time and he goes straight to the top with a 1:19.597.

8 min: Lewis Hamilton tops all of them and goes P1 with a 1:19.537.

Both McLarens are using the softer tyre.

9 min: Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari is pushed back into the garage after than 1:20.037, which put him fourth quickest, exactly half a second slower than Hamilton.

9 min: The BMW drivers are as usual the last two to come out onto the track. Heidfeld and Kubica are starting their qualifying laps now.

11 min: Robert Kubica completes his lap and goes into third position with a 1:19.788.

Heidfeld slots into fourth with a 1:19.802.

11 min: Some of the big guns, such as the Ferraris, may come out again to get more laps in to feel out the track conditions, on which running has been limited today.

With the strong chance of rain tomorrow, wasting sets of dry tyres may not be such a big factor in deciding whether to run again.

12 min: Felipe Massa heads out with soft tyres on his Ferrari.

12 min: All drivers in this session have now set a time.

In the dropzone are Bourdais, Glock, Coulthard, Trulli and Nakajima.

These five must improve their time on their last run to make it through to the top ten shootout.

12 min: David Coulthard leaves the Red Bull garage on soft tyres.

13 min: Kimi Raikkonen is also taking to the track, leaving the McLarens and BMWs in the pits.

14 min: The final efforts in this second period of qualifying are now in progress.

Toyota especially will be looking to move themselves up into the top ten.

15 min: Sebastian Vettel in the Toro Rosso on soft tyres comes through and moves up into seventh place.

15 min: Sebastien Bourdais comes through in 11th and is eliminated.

15 min: Felipe Massa clocks a seventh place effort of 1:20.086.

15 min: The qualifying period has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

12:43 Jarno Trulli comes across the line and does not improve -eliminated.

12:44 Eliminated drivers after the second period of qualifying:

11) Coulthard
12) Glock
13) Bourdais
14) Trulli
15) Nakajima.

12:44 Kimi Raikkonen improves his time to a 1:19.971 for sixth.

Ferrari have yet to demonstrate front-running pace in this session and may have compromised their set-up in parc ferme for the wet running expected in the race.

12:45 The track temperature is 30 degrees Celsuis, with the air temperature 20 degrees as we await the final shootout for pole position at Silverstone.

12:46 Sebastian Vettel and Nelson Piquet have both done a very good job with their cars this weekend and both have made it through to the final part of qualifying.

0 min: The pole position shootout is underway at Silverstone.

1 min: The ten remaining drivers have decided to stay in the pits for the first minute of the ten available.

2 min: The first car leaves the pitlane after two full minutes, and it is the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

2 min: Lewis Hamilton heads out with soft rubber on his McLaren.

3 min: Only Sebastian Vettel remains in the pits.

3 min: Kimi Raikkonen begins a flying lap on soft tyres.

4 min: The first batch of timed laps are underway now as the top drivers go for the front row of the gird.

5 min: Raikkonen suffers both understeer and oversteer on his flying lap, with the highlight being a spectacular slide at Club.

He clocks 1:22.519 as his first effort.

5 min: Fernando Alonso is flying in the first sector of the lap and is quicker than Raikkonen. Alonso comes through sector two and loses his advantage against the Ferrari.

Alonso completes the lap and he goes second to Raikonen.

6 min: Lewis Hamilton has blown his first attempt, skating off the road after flying through Priory.

Lewis bounces over the gravel but goes on to try again.

7 min: Nick Heidfeld goes fourth in the BMW Sauber.

Order is Kovalainen, Raikkonen, Alonso, Heidfeld, Massa after the first round of laps.

7 min: Heikki Kovalainen has shook out best of the first attempts with a 1:22.230 on soft tyres.

7 min: Mark Webber has set an excellent time to be sixth after that first run. Piquet is seventh with Hamilton eighth after that off in the complex.

8 min: The cars dive in to the pits for tyres to prepare for the final run.

8 min: Sebastian Vettel has come out onto the track and will make just one run in the session.

9 min: Robert Kubica had a problem in the second sector of the lap on his first attempt and aborted the lap. The team are now investigating the problem that caused him to not set a time.

9 min: The wind continues to gust strongly, which is likely to be a major factor in the mistakes so far in this session.

9 min: Kubica climbs out of the BMW and his qualifying session is over.

9 min: Kimi Raikkonen is on his final flying lap and is on a much better lap.

9 min: The qualifying period has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

13:00 Kimi Raikkonen moves to the top of the list with a 1:21.706 with the McLarens on their laps ...

13:00 Fernando Alonso crosses the line and moves back into third place.

13:01 Lewis Hamilton crosses the line but is shy of Raikkonen's time.

13:01 Mark Webber takes provisional pole with a sensational lap with only Kovalainen to come!

13:01 Heikki Kovlainen grabs a sensational pole for McLaren with a 1:21.049!

13:02 Mark Webber will start on the front row of the grid after a brilliant 1:21.554.

13:02 The session ends with Kovalainen on pole by over half a second from Mark Webber.

Kimi Raikkonen will start third on the grid, ahead of home hero Lewis Hamilton.

13:03 Championship leader Felipe Massa is in a disappointing ninth, with the reason for his lack of pace unclear at this stage.

13:04 Nick Heidfeld will start tomorrow's race from fifth, with Fernando Alonso sixth.

Nelson Piquet and Sebastian Vettel start an excellent seventh and eighth, with Felipe Massa struggling badly down in ninth, and the unfortunate Robert Kubica who was unable to get a time on the board, in tenth place.

13:09 So we have a strange grid for tomorrow's British Grand Prix, which could be a strange race if the forecast of rain on Sunday holds, so all is relative.

Car set-ups have likely played a part in the grid order, as well as the green racetrack after the morning rain.

"Lewis made a mistake and paid the price. It's a long race and we've got a good strategy. He was trying hard and that's what you'd expect him to do. The race is tomorrow and we're in a strong position, so I'm not too worried. Lewis is a very strong driver, you can never discount him."
Ron Dennis on German broadcaster Premiere

13:14 Matt Beer has the session report and classification:

Kovalainen on maiden F1 pole at Silverstone

13:28 Saturday at Silverstone provided excitement and drama, thanks mainly to the weather. Rain early this morning meant a wet start to the final practice session, with conditions drying throughout, enabling the drivers to run dry tyres in the final quarter of the session.

The times tumbled all the way through that first hour, giving no real clue as to who was at the top. Fernando Alonso ended the final practice quickest with a late lap.

During the break between sessions, conditions continued to improve and the qualifying session was mainly dry, although the wind picked up considerably this afternoon making driving conditions difficult.

Honda again fell at the first hurdle, as did both Force India cars and Nico Rosberg in the Williams. Both Toro Rossos made it through to round two again, which consolidates their recent upturn in form.

Both Toyotas would fall at the second hurdle, along with Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Bourdais and David Coulthard. Sebastian Vettel, having made it through to part two, surprised everyone by going one better and making it into the top ten shootout along with the Ferraris, McLarens, BMWs, Renaults and Mark Webber in the Red Bull Racing machine, who has enjoyed a very positive weekend thus far.

The final ten minute dash for the grid provided incident and talking points aplenty. Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso decided one run would do it as they would likely finish tenth anyway. However Vettel would get more than he bargained for.

Lewis Hamilton ran off the road on his first run, Robert Kubica didn't set a time after a mysterious car issue and Felipe Massa set an unusually slow time in the Ferrari. Vettel jumped the latter two drivers, while Hamilton improved on his final run as he went for the pole with the front runners.

Heikki Kovalainen came through it all to claim his maiden pole position in Formula One, with a time of 1:21.049 and Mark Webber sensationally in second place. Webber in fact held the pole briefly in that dramatic minute after the flag, before Kovalainen pipped him with the very last lap of qualifying. Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton start from the second row tomorrow and have two drivers not usually ahead of them to think about tonight.

Something else for all of them to think about is the weather. Rain has been predicted for some time to arrive on raceday. Later this evening we will take a close look at the prospects for tomorrow on the weather reporting page as everyone wonders what Sunday will bring.

Tomorrow our raceday coverage from Silverstone will begin from 08:00 GMT. Please join us then as we build up towards the 60 lap Santander British Grand Prix.

Session length: 60 minutes
 View official live timing
Mainly sunny High Temp: 20°C / 68°F
Track: Damp
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Monday 30 Jun Start GMT
 Weather Forecasts and Reports 15:00
Friday 04 Jul
 Friday Practice 08:30
Saturday 05 Jul
 Final Practice and Qualifying 08:30
Sunday 06 Jul
 Raceday at Silverstone 08:00
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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