LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 BRITISH GRAND PRIX - SATURDAY - QUALIFYING
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As it happened: Saturday - Qualifying
By Pablo Elizalde, Matt Beer, Edd Straw, Glenn Freeman, Charles Bradley, Ben Anderson and Scott Mitchell
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Hello and welcome to AUTOSPORT's continued live coverage of the British Grand Prix weekend.
We've got plenty to come from day two at Silverstone - qualifying day for the ninth round of the Formula 1 World Championship and race day for the supporting GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup contenders.
As expected, it's going to be a wet start to the action today at Silverstone. Fortunately, the GP3 cars did a decent job of clearing the worst of the standing water with their qualifying session this morning.
It's not quite raining at the moment, but there are a lot of dark clouds overhead.
Green lights, and FP3 begins.
Bizarrely, Rosberg is sat in the garage - tyre warmers off - with slick tyres on his car...
A few drivers out of the garages early, including Jenson Button, one Caterham and both Marussias.
Button on the radio: "There are some dry patches." He stays out after his outlap, running on intermediates.
Several drivers opt not to follow Button's lead. Sutil, Maldonado, Ericsson, Bianchi, Bottas, Grosjean and Perez are back in their boxes.
Bottas on the radio: "The track is much better than I expected. Lots of dry spots."
Button back in, so he doesn't set the session's first laptime.
Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg are on track though.
Daniel Ricciardo brings the second Red Bull out. Hamilton remains in the garage.
Marussia reports via
: "Jules completes an installation lap on his ex wet tyres. Reports that the track is pretty dry & will dry quickly IHO."
Second laps for Raikkonen and Alonso, but the Red Bulls pit.
Raikkonen brings his wet-shod Ferrari in at the end of lap two. Still no times.
Only Alonso, Rosberg and Hamilton (who's just left the pits) on track.
So far we've had a mix of inters and wets being used by the teams for their installation laps.
Just the two Mercs in circulation now - both on their second laps, but hardly pushing. These are just exploration runs, the track might be drying quickly but off-line it's very damp.
Hamilton comes in for a practice start at the end of the pitlane.
Some non-Merc track action as Ericsson and Kobayashi bring the newly-sold Caterham team into play.
Weather latest from @WilliamsRacing: "It is a pretty chilly 17C down here in the pitlane - cloudy and breezy with more rain potentially on the way #FP3"
Word from EDD STRAW, who is watching trackside: "Sideways moments from both Caterhams exiting Stowe. Crowd down here appreciative."
Bad news coming from @Marussia_F1Team: "Frustration for Max as a gearbox problem sees him climb from the car, as the diagnosis dictates a gearbox change."
The two Toro Rossos join in. Looks like intermediates for the four cars on track.
Ericsson heads a Caterham 1-2 on a 1m57.091s, 2.856s quicker than Kobayashi.
Hamilton on the radio: "There's more rain coming."
The umbrellas are up in the crowd, and at certain parts of the track we're getting spray from the cars now.
Woe for Chilton, but team-mate Bianchi is on track.
BEN ANDERSON reports: "Bianchi holds an impressive slide coming out of Stowe. Struggling to put the power down."
Mercedes replied to Hamilton's radio message saying that Rosberg believed it was too dry for inters at the moment, but that is likely to change very quickly.
Kvyat knocks Ericsson off top spot with a 1m56.404s, as Kobayashi gets within a second of his team-mate.
Now Vergne goes fastest, his 1m55.236s more than a second faster than Kvyat.
Bianchi splits the Caterhams, 2.3s slower than Vergne.
Rosberg emerges on intermediates. Bianchi has a moment exiting Copse.
Kvyat describes his car balance as "very on the nose, difficult to drive" - so he has a very oversteery Toro Rosso at the moment.
Magnussen gets involved, as does Maldonado. Wet tyres for both, possibly.
Rosberg's absolutely flying as Vergne lowers the bar to 1m54.602s.
Both Toro Rossos are squirming.
BEN ANDERSON: "Vergne's Toro Rosso bottoms out over the bumps as he presses on under braking for Stowe. The Frenchman is usually one to watch in the wet."
Rosberg decides not to finish that lap, which featured two purple sectors until he pulled into the pits.
Definitely intermediates, not wets, for Magnussen, and he uses them to full effect to go quickest on a 1m54.092s - eclipsing the two Toro Rossos by half a second.
Maldonado pops into fourth for Lotus, 0.6s slower than the McLaren at the top of the times.
Ricciardo is told that the track is wettest in sector two.
Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean like what they're team-mates are doing, and join the fray.
Meanwhile, EDD STRAW reports that "the rain is getting heavier" at Stowe.
No urgency from Alonso, who is sat looking very relaxed at the back of the Ferrari garage, with a baseball cap on his head rather than a crash helmet.
More track action as we approach half an hour - Hulkenberg, Raikkonen and Ricciardo emerge.
Magnussen improves to a 1m53.911s, then pits.
Grosjean shoots into P2, 0.394s slower than the McLaren on his first flying lap and ahead of team-mate Maldonado.
Ricciardo doesn't have much wheelspin to fight coming out of Luffield. The beauty of a wet weather engine map to tame all of that torque.
Ricciardo goes quickest, squirming his way to a 1m52.631s. Comfortably fastest.
That's more like it from Ricciardo on the exit of Club. Turning and accelerating out of the corner = big slide.
Grosjean does the same, battling wheelspin at Club in fifth gear.
@clubforce: "Installation laps completed for both Checo and Nico, now sitting in the garage waiting for the rain"
Spectacular he may be at Club, but Ricciardo's smoother through Stowe.
BEN ANDERSON: "The Red Bull looks very well poised under braking. Ricciardo able to carry lots of momentum through the corner with minimal fuss."
EDD STRAW, meanwhile, says Perez isn't looking so strong - and neither is Raikkonen.
"Perez struggling for front end grip at Stowe. Corner rewarding a cautious entry in these conditions.
"Raikkonen really struggling to get the power down. Having to take several stabs at the throttle, possibly down to power delivery not being that smooth."
Button's moved himself into fourth, just behind team-mate Magnussen. The Briton sets a best time of 1m54.041s, 1.4s slower than Ricciarrdo.
Raikkonen's gone sixth, Hulkenberg ninth and Perez 10th as the leaderboard begins to look a bit healthier.
Grosjean has an even bigger moment at Club this time, and when he touches the wet kerb the Lotus spins towards the pitwall.
Grosjean prevents his car from facing the wrong way and rejoins, and then complains on the radio that "there is a massive issue, maybe with the downforce...box box".
We'd like to suggest that his 'massive issue' was flooring the throttle with a rear wheel out on the painted kerb.
We've had more than half of the runners set a time now. Here's the top 10 with 25 minutes or so remaining:
Just half a dozen cars on circuit now as the latecomers catch up on track time. Vettel, Maldonado, Sutil, Gutierrez, Alonso and Hamilton circulating.
Chilton aside, we've still not got a sight of either Williams or Rosberg since he aborted that flying lap.
Vettel goes fastest on a 1m52.522s, shading Ricciardo by 0.109s.
As Ricciardo wrestles the the Red Bull through Club again, Mercedes decides to warn Hamilton on the radio that the painted areas on the outside of the final corner are very slippery.
Rosberg is standing around in the Mercedes garage at the moment. The team says he is "patiently waiting".
It would seem that effort from Vettel came on wet tyres. Alonso tried a similar tactic but is back in the pits now, while Gutierrez has gone for full wets over inters.
Rosberg does his best to keep a straight face as Hamilton has a minor off at Stowe.
That off happened right in front of BEN ANDERSON.
"Hamilton carried too much momentum, and managed to rejoin using the escape road. Entry line looked good, just got a little greedy on speed."
Sutil, Bianchi, Gutierrez the only drivers left on track.
EDD STRAW caught that moment from Hamilton at Stowe. As you can see, it was just a simple case of running wide on the way in, and after this snap was taken he took the safe route into the asphalt run-off.
@Lotus_F1Team: "Much as we don't like it when it rains at Silverstone, we're coming round to the idea if it means P3 and P4"
Bianchi locks up at Stowe, and has a far-bigger moment than Hamilton. He rattles through the gravel trap (which Hamilton avoided) and nudges into the tyre wall with his front wing.
BEN ANDERSON reporting that more drivers have been taking liberties under braking for that corner.
"Sutil into the gravel after locking up the fronts under braking, flirts with the wall but gets away with it. Just. Moments later, Bianchi straight in..."
Ricciardo heads back out, joining the inter (not wet!)-shod Gutierrez.
Bianchi locked the inside front on the way into Stowe, and after that he was just a passenger. He and the team will be hoping that the damage is minimal, as it wasn't too big a hit.
Marshal banter as Bianchi's busted Marussia is dealt with.
BEN ANDERSON: "Crowd ask for a wave, Bianchi gives them a thumbs up and a half smile. Marshal says to Bianchi: "Slippery out there, isn't it?" Safe to say Bianchi agrees."
As Bianchi stands behind the tyrewall, his car is being recovered by a tractor/crane.
Vettel and Kvyat make it an all Red Bull-backed driver affair on track.
Here's the Bianchi aftermath, from the well-positioned EDD STRAW over at Stowe corner.
Vettel's had a trip through the gravel and the grass in the middle of Becketts, having hit a bit area of standing water.
@InsideFerrari: "over and out, time to save tyres for qualy."
Bianchi's car has been craned away and is now behind the fence.
Kvyat's out on his own after the Red Bulls return to the garage. Looked as though they were on wets - Kvyat is.
Bottas and Hulkenberg give the Russian some company.
Ricciardo was asked how the balance is. He replied: "It's improved a bit, think we can improve it a bit more."
Kvyat goes in too deep at Brooklands and runs off track briefly.
Perez and Massa emerge as well. What tyres? The Mexican's on intermediates, Bottas and Hulkenberg possibly join Kvyat on the full-wet tyre.
@RenaultSportF1: "A very wet session all round with very little running. Rain scheduled on and off for today so we might have to get used to it..."
Kvyat improves on the wet tyre despite a lurid slide out of the final corner. He improves his time to a 1m54.345s, in eighth.
Kvyat's car control through Club is a joy to behold. Somebody get him a drive in a rally car.
Bottas handles a snap of oversteer coming out of Copse.
Bottas is on the wet tyre, and he's fractionally quicker than Massa who appears to be on the intermediate.
The Finn jumps to seventh on a 1m54.217s.
There's some debris on the track, just off the racing line, on the approach to Abbey.
Hulkenberg's Force India tries to fire him into the scenery as he accelerates out of Luffield. He catches the moment, but has to run off track at Woodcote.
Hulkenberg's returned to the pits. "It felt good overall," he said when requesting to box to give the car a little check after that moment.
Replays reveal that the debris at Abbey fell off of Sutil's Sauber.
Massa gets himself up to 12th with his first flying lap of the session, 2.4s off Vettel's benchmark.
Perez is the latest driver to get it wrong at Stowe. He locks up, but gets it back under control with a short run through the asphalt run-off, keeping it out of the gravel.
Four drivers look set to end the session without a time - Chilton, Alonso, Rosberg and Hamilton.
"Interesting variation of lines here," reports EDD STRAW from Stowe. "Wide line should work best in the wet but some have been punished by being too aggressive. A few, Gutierrez for example, are braking a few car widths from the edge of the track and then going deep.
"Possibly makes braking easier and maybe gets a bit more bite from the front end on turn in, but different drivers in different cars are adopting different approaches."
Kvyat, who has racked up more laps than anyone (14), has worked his way up to fourth on those wet tyres.
Make that fifth, as the inter-shod Sutil takes his place on a 1m53.585s.
Ericsson is told: "Last lap, last lap...full push."
Perez has reported on the radio that there's something strange going on with his gearbox on upshifts.
That's it, chequered flag falls. A few drivers on laps still.
So, here's the top 10:
1 Vettel 1m52.522s
2 Ricciardo +0.109s
3 Maldonado +0.522s
4 Grosjean +1.044s
5 Sutil +1.063s
6 Kvyat +1.132s
7 Magnussen +1.389s
8 Button +1.519s
9 Bottas +1.695s
10 Raikkonen +2.036s
No times from Alonso, Rosberg or Hamilton who muster just 13 laps between them. Chilton didn't set a time after following his gearbox woe.
That wet session will have been particularly frustrating for Hamilton, who planned to use this morning's running to make up for the long run work he missed out on yesterday afternoon when he suffered an engine failure.
Lots of teams gave up on that session some time before the chequered flag came out, and there were plenty of cars up on stands being stripped down in preparation for qualifying.
We don't yet know if it's going to be wet or dry for qualifying (which starts in less than two hours), but in terms of what we've learned this weekend should the race be dry, it's all about looking into yesterday's action.
As a special treat this weekend, our regular analysis of Friday free practice with GARY ANDERSON and EDD STRAW is available as a FREE feature on autosport.com
Read what Anderson and Straw discovered when they looked at the laptimes and long runs in detail:
FREE: Who has the race pace?
Here's our report from that wet free practice session this morning:
Vettel leads Red Bull one-two
Big news from JONATHAN NOBLE, who reveals that Mercedes has agreed to supply Lotus with Formula 1 engines from 2015.
That move should help the team's current supplier Renault focus on Red Bull, now undeniably the de facto factory squad for the French engine builder.
Lotus agrees Mercedes engine deal
No lasting damage for Jules Bianchi (though his suit might be a bit stained).
: "We can confirm the damage to Jules' car is confined to the front wing and nose. Other than that, it needs a good hoover (gravel) & a wash."
Some British Grand Prix support news, courtesy of the GP3 qualifying session that preceded FP3.
If you missed it,
Jimmy Eriksson is on pole
. Britain's points leader Alex Lynn will line up from second - the first race takes place today at 16:20 (BST).
Drivers have been warned that the FIA will adopt a 'zero tolerance' approach to anyone running wide off track to gain advantage in British Grand Prix qualifying.
Find out what it said and where it is going to be policing
Competition time - we have a '
Formula One Legends
' DVD boxset to give away, courtesy of Duke Video.
All you have to do is come up with five surnames of British world champions from the letters in 'Abu Dhabi, more flash than splash'.
Tweet your answers using #AbuDhabiGP and @autosport to enter, and good luck!
Speaking of legends, look who CHARLES BRADLEY has spotted getting ready for the classic F1 parade currently taking place - Emerson Fittipaldi, climbing into his McLaren.
Less of a legend than Emmo (sorry boss), our editor has also got excited about seeing Damon Hill clamber into father Graham's Lotus.
"Lewis just needs to concentrate, settle down a bit and get more Lady Luck - and this is what is exciting about Formula 1 racing."
Ahead of qualifying, Lewis Hamilton gets some words of encouragement from 1992 Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell.
Nige reckons the Briton has nothing to worry about in his title fight with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Mansell: Hamilton doing nothing wrong
Four-time champion Alain Prost has been out driving a Red Bull of all things.
You might remember this from 2012, when The Professor sampled Sebastian Vettel's title-winning RB6 at Paul Ricard.
"Please," he said when the engineers were explaining the various buttons on a contemporary F1 car's steering wheel. "Neutral, radio and traction control. Nothing else."
But when it came to using a hand-operated clutch for the first time...
"Shit, how do I get started?!"
The professor teaches himself a new lesson
The latest from the Met Office suggests rain throughout the qualifying hour, just as rain begins to fall lightly again at parts of Silverstone.
Support news: Porsche Supercup qualifying has happened, with Clemens Schmid taking pole - by a massive 1.3s.
Ben Barker's the top Brit in 10th, with Porsche Carrera Cup GB points leader Josh Webster 17th.
actor Kelvin Fletcher is making his Supercup debut this weekend. He's qualified 23rd of the 25 drivers, 15s off the pace.
JONATHAN NOBLE has snapped one of talking points in the F1 paddock - this statue that Bernie Ecclestone has put up outside his Motorhome...
Right, time to get ready for qualifying.
Five minutes to go, and the track continues to dry - though the clouds are rolling in all the while.
Drivers are getting belted up in their cars, including world champion Sebastian Vettel. Can he replicate his practice form, or will the Mercs return to the top?
Fernando Alonso's ready to go in his Ferrari. The Spaniard doesn't want any underdog heroics this weekend - he just wants a fast car.
Green lights, green flags - qualifying is underway.
Marussia sent Chilton down to the end of the pitlane a minute ahead of the green to make sure he was first out.
Both Lotuses, Saubers, Marussias and Caterhams are straight out. So too is Kvyat's Toro Rosso.
Gutierrez tells Sauber that in some corners it's already "pretty dry."
Only the two Williams and two Ferraris remain in the garage as the teams rush to avoid more rain - everybody on intermediates.
Intermediate rubber is the tyre of choice right now. All 19 cars that are on track are using them.
Out comes Alonso. He didn't wait long.
An obvious drying line but perilously wet off it. This could be incident-filled with drivers pushing to the absolute limit.
First flurry of times in. Chilton's 1m48.724s is immediately deposed by Sutil, then Bianchi, then Gutierrez.
The Mexican's 1m46.701s stands as the early benchmark as everyone slots in behind.
Nico Rosberg says he wants to go straight to slicks. Mercedes insists it's worth getting a banker in on inters first.
Hulkenberg, Perez, Button and the two Lotuses are all slower than not only Gutierrez, but Bianchi as well.
Ricciardo and Vettel leap to the top, the Aussie quickest on a 1m44.710s.
But then Hamilton blitzes them both on a 1m43.676s, as Rosberg splits the Red Bulls in third.
Force India tells Perez there is more rain falling on the pits straight.
Raikkonen and Massa emerge, so it's only Bottas who has yet to leave his garage. Chilton's back in already.
Alonso runs very wide off the road at Club - no deliberate track limits infringement there, that was a mistake.
No desire for several drivers to eke out a second lap, and those that are are not improving. Clearly the inters are being chewed up.
Button tells McLaren he already tells to cool his rear inters down. He's hunting for wet patches.
Hamilton is the latest driver to call for a change to slicks - "if the weather stays just as it is and we can get temperatures up."
Bottas is out, so we've caught a glimpse of everyone. A run down of the top 10 from those banker laps when the Williams and Raikkonen post their times.
Raikkonen slots into 12th on a 1m47.350s.
A massive twitch for Massa through Becketts, but he catches it.
Rosberg is getting frustrated with still being on inters, asking Mercedes "what is the downside?" of switching to option slicks.
Here's the top 10 after those banker laps:
1 Hamilton 1m43.676s
And those that would be eliminated if we got a massive downpour in the next 60 seconds or so would be:
Now Mercedes agrees it's time for medium tyres for Rosberg, he'll switch now.
EDD STRAW: "These are dangerous conditions for Q1 in terms of the risk of a quick car not making it through. We've just seen the first driver go out on slicks - Kobayashi - so if there's time gained on dry rubber some quick cars that try to get through on intermediate pace to save a set of tyres could be in trouble."
Back out come Gutierrez, Bianchi, Button, Kvyat, Sutil, Chilton and Kobayashi.
Kvyat outbrakes himself into Vale and arrives at Club out of shape, but stays on the road.
Caterham calls Kobayashi in, saying he's got a technical problem.
Medium-compound slicks for all those drivers it would seem.
BEN ANDERSON: "Given the difficulties Sauber is enduring with its unwieldy car this year, Esteban Gutierrez reckons he must rely on unusual conditions to make his mark. Perhaps today is his chance, currently eighth fastest in the wet, though his grid penalty for unsafe release in Austria will ruin any good work he does today."
Mediums for: Gutierrez, Magnussen, Bianchi, Perez, Button, Kvyat, Sutil, Chilton, Ericsson and Kobayashi (who has returned to the pits with some kind of problem).
Button goes purple in the first sector.
Toro Rosso tells Kvyat he's done a good job of getting his tyres and brakes warm.
And now both Mercedes drivers have taken mediums.
warns it's not guaranteed that this session will stay dry now: "All kinds of tyres and pit stop scenarios at the ready should that black cloud follow us round the lap"
Gutierrez goes fastest on a 1m43.285s. Here it comes...
Mercedes warns Hamilton that the pit exit is "quite slippy."
Chilton goes second, which becomes third as Button goes comfortably fastest on a 1m39.791s.
Button has a wild twitch in the middle of Club and briefly leaves the road, but it's very clear that was an error.
Bianchi and Sutil improve to split Button and Gutierrez.
Marcus Ericsson's Caterham is trundling slowly down the Hangar Straight.
Magnussen goes third on a 1m42.507s - 2.7s slower than Button.
A replay shows that Ericsson had a spin through Becketts, for the second time in as many days.
The timing screen is filled with green sector times. This could get hectic.
Kobayashi is back out on track, with Caterham having resolved that issue.
BEN ANDERSON: "Button loses provisional pole in Q1 for running wide at the final turn. Still time enough to make amends."
EDD STRAW: "Vergne is now too late to go to mediums and is still on the inters. He could very well be in trouble now. He's currently in the drop zone and everyone else on track is on slicks."
"You did go off the track so we do need another time", McLaren tells Button.
Kvyat is currently atop the times on a 1m41.032s after Button loses his best time for running wide at the final corner. He's now 13th after improving on his second lap on slicks.
Alonso has had a spin, that's going to wreck his Q1.
Rosberg now top on a 1m40.380s.
Sutil has spun into the gravel as well.
Bottas, Massa and Raikkonen in the drop zone as well...
Button isn't impressed with having his time deleted: "I went off the track because I had traffic!"
Unspectacular first sectors for the two Williams drivers.
EDD STRAW: "This yellow flag could do Vergne a favour. He has improved on intermediate and looks like he will make it through."
Ricciardo says it's got wetter again in the second sector and he can't improve.
Vettel's on the bubble in 16th, but sets a personal best first sector.
Vettel pits, but he's safe!
Sauber, having clearly not seen the pictures, asks Sutil if he can continue. "No, no. Stuck," he replies forlornly.
Both Williams come into the pits so they're both out! So are the two Ferraris. Incredible, as Bianchi and Chilton progress in fourth and sixth.
EDD STRAW: "Time and again teams and drivers with quick cars mess it up in Q1 in these conditions. Very easy to suffer yellow flags and it's important to give yourself a few laps to put in a time to ensure you get through. Ferrari and Williams have paid the price."
BEN ANDERSON: "Disaster for Ferrari and Williams, both with cars easily quick enough to get through to Q2. Fantastic result for Marussia and Sauber."
A mental end to the session as it seems rain started to fall in the middle part of the lap - Button sneaks through in 14th despite losing his best lap.
Eliminated from Q1:
Looks like Sutil and Alonso both went off at Brooklands. The Sauber slewed onto the run-off then spun into the gravel, the Ferrari ended uo sideways down the run-off and had lost its chance by the time Alonso straightened up.
Ericsson also had another spin, this time at Brooklands.
And at the sharp end, this was the top 10:
1 Rosberg 1m40.380s
More replays show some wild slides for both Williams on their unsuccessful final laps.
Bottas's verdict on ending up 17th: "Unbelievable."
Reset and go again for Q2 shortly. It can't be as dramatic as that, surely?
Gutierrez also went off, his incident in the Becketts complex, as he shot off onto the grass, tried to keep it straight and ended up all over the place.
Chilton trundles down the pitlane to get out early again. He's on intermediates.
We're underway for Q2.
Gutierrez, Bianchi, Ricciardo follow Chilton out.
And now nearly everyone else hits the track, keen not to get caught out a la Ferrari and Williams.
Rosberg, Hamilton and Sutil are the drivers who wait a bit longer. The championship leader heads out fairly sharply though.
Seems like new intermediates for everybody.
Perplexed or mischievous from
? "Did we read the list of #Q1 dropouts right? What's going on?"
Rosberg confirms to Mercedes that it's definitely inters weather now.
Kvyat and Vettel comfortably quickest through the first sector.
First batch of times in. Ricciardo quickest on a 1m47.980s, ahead of Grosjean, Bianchi, Gutierrez and Chilton.
That quickly changes. First Maldonado goes top, then Vergne takes over as Magnussen slots into second.
Now Rosberg takes top spot, on a 1m45.292s.
Hamilton comes through, and he's quickest - 0.6s faster.
"It's drying up pretty quickly. Still more wet than it was before," Ricciardo tells Red Bull. "Tyres are OK for now."
Vettel follows up his purple first sector with an average middle sector but a purple final sector puts him top on a 1m44.085s.
So, in the dropzone are: Button; Grosjean; Gutierrez; Bianchi; Chilton; Sutil.
Replays catch Grosjean looking like he's committed a track-limits misdemeanour at Copse.
Mercedes asks Hamilton if he wants slicks now. He does.
Plenty of green sector times flashing up though as the track dries yet again.
Vettel's lost his fastest time - track limits at Copse. He drops to 14th.
Ricciardo jumps to second as Kvyat moves into fourth.
Button also improves, moving to fourth.
Here comes the slick-shod cavalry...
Vettel doesn't sound surprised that he's had a time deleted. "Yeah..." is his resigned response.
Gutierrez is 0.6s faster than Rosberg in the first sector - but there'll be plenty of time for a second lap from the points leader.
McLaren wants Button in for slicks rapidly, asking "quick as you can please" for his in-lap.
Bianchi goes purple in the first sector as Rosberg sets the best middle sector of the session so far.
Rosberg goes top - 1m42.730s, 1.9s faster than Hamilton's inter-shod best.
Gutierrez goes even faster! 1m40.912s.
And now Bianchi takes P1. Good lap from the Marussia driver, a 1m39.712s.
Hamilton goes off the road at Becketts, that's going to waste one lap.
Too hectic. Vettel gets himself out of the drop zone on a 1m38.332s...
As Vergne goes quickest on a 1m38.310s.
Two minutes to go, Kvyat, Maldonado, Hulkenberg, Perez, Grosjean and Sutil are in the dropzone.
One certainty: Sutil is out. His car was stuck in the gravel at the end of Q1 so his Q2 presence is in name only.
Now Rosberg blitzes the benchmark on his second lap with a 1m35.179s.
Ricciardo up to second as Hamilton jumps from P9 to quickest with a 1m35.000s.
Grosjean loses his best time for a track-limits offence at Copse.
Gutierrez is in the barriers.
Kvyat leaps to fourth, he's well clear. Magnussen improves as well to sixth as Button pushes Kvyat down to fifth.
Gutierrez is only 13th so is definitely out, but his yellows won't help those still on laps.
Mega lap in the pipeline for Hamilton.
Marussia tells Chilton all his time loss to Bianchi is in the middle sector.
So many green sectors, will the yellow flags ruin it?
Bianchi and Chilton have tumbled to P12 and P13.
Vergne gets himself a bit further into the top 10, going eighth on a 1m37.800s.
Vettel comes straight in, as Red Bull says the yellows make it pointless to carry on. He's a safe third anyway.
Grosjean misses out - 1m38.496s his best after a final attempt to get into the top 10.
They may not have reached Q3, but 12th and 13th for the Marussias is still worth a round of applause in the garage.
That's that, and out of Q2 are:
Replays show Gutierrez lost it between Brooklands and Luffield and made it all the way into the barriers.
Another replay shows that Monisha Kaltenborn was left pretty peeved by Gutierrez's shunt.
And those through to Q3:
1 Hamilton 1m34.870s
So that's both Mercedes, both Red Bulls (Ricciardo squeezing in in 10th), both McLarens, both Force Indias and both Toro Rossos.
The Noah's Ark of F1.
You wouldn't have guessed Chilton had just got a career-best qualifying result, on the radio he's furious about his last lap being a "waste of time" due to the yellows and offers not lifting sufficiently.
Maldonado had to park at the trackside on his final lap when Lotus spotted a problem on the telemetry and asked him to switch off.
"If you're still there Max, we're P13, excellent job. You did the right thing on the yellows," says Marussia to its unhappy driver.
Another replay shows Maldonado ploughing through the gravel. Not clear if that was him making a mistake or taking an unusual approach to Lotus's request that he park the car.
Lotus congratulates Grosjean on 11th. "The car was feeling better and better, that was definitely a good direction," he replies.
Q3 is underway. What will it have in store?
Kvyat, Perez and Vergne hit the track early. Button and Ricciardo join them.
Now Magnussen and Hamilton get involved.
And Rosberg makes it both Mercedes on track, as Force India ready Hulkenberg's car to leave the garage.
So now we just await the champion as the Toro Rossos begin their first flying laps.
"Daniel, some advice: stay away from the limiter on third to fourth gear upshifts, we're losing some performance" says Red Bull.
Perez shades the two Toro Rossos through the first sector.
Toro Rosso reminds Kvyat not to get too close to Vergne as they prepare for their first flying laps.
And Vettel makes it all 10 cars on track.
Rosberg reports drizzle at Stowe.
Button quickest of all in sector one, Ricciardo slightly slower than the McLaren.
Plenty of rain on the camera screens, Kvyat slides wide.
Kvyat quickest ahead of Vergne by a tenth on a 1m40.707s, and Perez nips ahead of both on a 1m40.457s.
Big thumbs up to Rosberg for calling the corner "Stowe" by the way, not Turn Whatever.
Button can't beat them as the rain falls, he's only fifth - Ricciardo goes P2.
Hamilton fastest - 1m39.232s.
Rosberg can't beat him, 0.194s back.
Vettel's three seconds off the pace in the first sector. Too wet, or is he being cautious?
Vettel says there's now "heavy rain" but Red Bull says "keep pushing, this could be the best conditions."
Perez is going to be investigated post-session for an incident with Maldonado in Q2.
Vettel reckons he'd be quicker on intermediates now.
He's P3 at the moment, Perez.
Vettel pits, he aborts his flying lap. Hulkenberg completes it to go P8.
McLaren tells Button that the rain has stopped over the pitlane.
So the top 10 with just under five minutes remaining is:
1 Hamilton 1m39.232s
2 Rosberg +0.194s
3 Perez +1.225s
4 Ricciardo +1.374s
5 Kvyat +1.475s
6 Vergne +1.623s
7 Button +2.308s
8 Hulkenberg +2.719s
9 Magnussen +6.147s
10 Vettel no time
All 10 drivers are in the pits.
Are we going to see anyone again? The rain is falling harder in some places.
Here's how the speed trap looks. It's located on Hangar Straight, 140 metres before Stowe corner:
1 Perez, 323km/h
2 Hamilton, 323km/h
3 Rosberg, 322km/h
4 Magnussen, 321km/h
5 Button, 321km/h
6 Hulkenberg, 320km/h
"This next set of tyres has to go back anyway, so we may as well run," is Force India's advice to Hulkenberg.
: "Keke Rosberg went out in exactly these damp conditions at @SilverstoneUK in 1985 and took pole at a record average speed of 161mph (259km/h)"
Two minutes to go, and out comes Vettel, Hulkenberg and Button.
The two Mercedes, Perez and Magnussen as well.
Ricciardo and the two Toro Rossos remain in the pits.
"It's very slippery out here," is Hamilton's verdict.
"We can't afford to back off too much as it will be tight to get a lap, so keep up with the car in front and make a gap at the end," McLaren tells Magnussen.
Rosberg: "Tell Lewis that he needs to speed up".
Vettel starts his flier. Both Mercs just, just make it through - Perez hasn't though.
"If you don't think you can do a lap, then let Nico go. If you think you can do a lap then carry on as you are," Mercedes told Hamilton.
Perez was ahead of both Mercedes, they passed him, and Perez was too late past the chequered flag.
Personal bests from Magnussen and Vettel, obviously, but nobody else improves.
Rosberg's the only driver doing something rapid, even if it's not a personal best.
Vettel takes pole! 1m37.386s!
"Could be a lot of time to find in sector three, keep pushing, keep pushing," McLaren tells Button - and it was right.
Rosberg steals it by a massive margin, on a 1m35.766s.
Huge gains in the final sector as Button ends up third and Hulkenberg, who was briefly provisional pole, finishes fourth.
Magnussen gets fifth, and Hamilton slumps to sixth.
"That's pole position!" says Mercedes to Rosberg with a note of surprise.
British GP qualifying top 10:
Hamilton dumps the headrest back on his car in parc ferme and trudges away.
Fair to say the Briton will probably be furious with himself for not carrying on that lap - as Mercedes gave him the option to do so.
Vettel analysing the times after being weighed - no doubt amazed by the amount of time made up in the final sector.
Rosberg's unsurprisingly delighted, and Button looks a tad amazed to be taking part in the photoshoot of the top three after an amazing end to qualifying.
Here's a full look at tomorrow's starting grid, with penalties taking into consideration:
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes
5. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
7. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes
8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault
9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault
11. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault
12. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari
13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault
14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari
15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes
16. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes
17. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari
19. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault
21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault
22. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari
And here's how it happened, with EDD STRAW's qualifying report:
Rosberg storms to pole, Hamilton sixth
Pole for Rosberg is the seventh of his career, moving him to equal 36th in the all-time list with Jacques Laffite.
He's just one behind Jenson Button now.
And even better for Rosberg, Hamilton's down on row three - and he knows that gives him the chance to extend his points lead tomorrow.
"Of course, regarding the championship, it's good for me Lewis is down in sixth," he said. "I think it will take him some time to come through and take time to come through."
Hamilton resembling something of a broken man in post-qualifying interviews. Could this be a flashpoint in the title fight? Rosberg, by contrast, seems more confident and imposing than ever.
Happy with P13, Max?
: "That was alright!"
Button's qualifying result is his best since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix - he hasn't won since the following day's race. Omens, and all that...
Vettel says that "England is the only place you can find this sort of condition" - no rain, but a "fine spray".
"It was hard to believe our lap would be dry enough," he added. "You have to take some risks and I'm happy it turned out."
Rosberg meanwhile conceded it was crucial his team-mate was co-operative in letting him through at the end of Q3.
"I was disappointed starting lap behind Lewis because if I am in his gearbox I would be at his pace, but I didn’t have a choice" he said.
"I just managed to get over the line [and] Lewis made a mistake at Turn 4. He pulled over to not block me."
GP2 cars on their warm-up lap right now, which is on a dry track in most places. Marciello starts from his first pole in the series, and is on the drier side of the grid.
In the F1 paddock, EDD STRAW spots Maldonado heading to the stewards with Lotus's Alan Permane to discuss the incident with Perez. Straw suggests "they look cheerful enough".
Marciello leads the opening lap in GP2 after storming away from Evans, who passed Palmer at Village for second.
After a scrappy start, Palmer is now the fastest man on track and attacking Evans for second, who is also on the hard tyre.
EDD STRAW has also spotted Perez and Force India's Andy Stevenson heading up to the stewards' office. A certain Nigel Mansell is the driver steward.
Palmer has passed Evans for second at The Loop. Further back, Leal, who made a terrible start, has repassed Cecotto for seventh.
Chilton's gearbox change after FP3 problem has been confirmed. He will lose five places on the grid.
First pitstops are happening for those who started on the medium tyres. That means 23 laps on the hards for Richelmi, Abt and Quaife-Hobbs.
EDD STRAW reports that Chilton's gearbox lost third gear and there was also some damage to the selector. Hence the new one before qualifying.
He suspected the damage was done late in the race in Austria.
Palmer has caught GP2 leader Marciello. It's game on at the front of the race.
...and Marciello pits! His medium-compound tyres were clearly beginning to struggle there.
A good pitstop from Racing Engineering there.
Marciello has exited the pits in traffic, and has been passed by series returnee Lancaster. This is disastrous for his chances, and repasses him at Brooklands.
Meanwhile, Palmer is in clear air, gaining over a second a lap.
Marciello slows on the Wellington Straight. He is out.
After a surprising Q1 exit for both of its drivers,
holds its hands up for getting things wrong in the changing conditions.
Its head of performance engineering Rob Smedley said: "We have a good car so it's very disappointing to be in 17th and 18th. We were trying to mark the people on track but our timings were wrong.
"We didn't see the rain coming as quickly as it did, but that's not an excuse, it's an error which we can't make again.
"How we recover tomorrow is important now and getting into the points is still our goal, as we have the car for it and we need to try and get as many points as we can over our closest championship rivals."
At half distance in GP2, Palmer leads Evans by 1.6s, both well clear of Nasr, Vandoorne and Coletti.
After Hamilton's error in aborting his final flying lap proved costly in qualifying, Rosberg insists there is no psychological battleground at Mercedes.
Hamilton made decision to abort qualifying lap
Others may disagree...
Coletti pits from fifth and rejoins behind early stopper Leal. That's effectively a change of position, but Coletti will hope Leal's tyres go off before his at the end.
"I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going. It was a tough qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part.
"It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying. I'm so sorry to have disappointed the fans here today as their support has been fantastic and I'll do what I can to have a great race for them tomorrow."
Palmer pits from the lead. A nice stop from DAMS.
Vandoorne also pits from fourth.
So what does Hamilton think of tomorrow's race?
"I need to have a start like I had in Austria two weeks ago and then do my best to get back to the front; you never know what might happen.
"It's difficult when you're just out of the car to express your emotions and see the positive but I'll go back to the team and my family now and we'll build up for tomorrow from there."
This is a crucial lap for Evans, it's his big chance to jump ahead of Palmer.
Evans pits. Will he rejoin ahead or behind Palmer?
He does! Evans effectively leads the race. Palmer is right behind him, though.
Palmer tries to send it around the outside of Brooklands, Evans holds him off. He tries a similar move at Luffield, Evans pushes him towards the gravel!
Nasr had a terrible pitstop on the front-left wheel. He's dropped to ninth from third.
Evans is in the box seat here. He's set fastest lap, and his tyres are a lap fresher than Palmer.
No investigation over the wheel-to-wheel action in which Palmer ran wide on to the Luffield astroturf as they battled.
After starring throughout qualifying, Toro Rosso was disappointed to end up only ninth and 10th with Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Technical director James Key admitted it was a Hamilton-esque decision, though his drivers didn't emerge at all at the end of Q3: "It's disappointing to lose a higher position in the top 10. We were set to go out at the end, our indication was that it was too wet."
Evans has broken Palmer's resolve here, and he's now 2s clear. But Jolyon will take these points to extend his championship lead.
Nasr has charged back to seventh, passing Richelmi with a great move at Brooklands after that awful tyre stop. Cecotto is his next target.
"Risk", "nothing to lose" and "very aggressive" - words rarely associated with the silky-smooth Jenson Button. Yet those came from the horse's mouth after the Briton bagged his best qualifying performance in a year and a half.
He also thinks the result is a good response to Ron Dennis' pre-weekend "try harder" message - and added that the two are on good professional terms.
Button 'took risks' to take third
A superb GP2 win for Mitch Evans, having undercut Palmer in the pitstop cycle and fended him off on cold tyres to take a brilliant victory.
Palmer extends his points lead over Nasr, who finishes seventh.
Amazing battle between Leal, in which he grabs fourth from Coletti with an audacious round-the-outside move at Stowe, where they touched. Coletti came back at Vale, banging wheels with him around Club, but Leal held on by 0.1s. Nasr was just 0.1s behind him too!
Naughty but nice racing, that.
And with the GP2 race at an end, we will call it a day on AUTOSPORT Live.
Tomorrow is set up to be a fascinating day of British Grand Prix action - Hamilton's got it all to do, and there are some big names in unfamiliar territory near the back.
Join us again tomorrow at 11:30 (BST) for full build-up to the race, and of course live coverage of the grand prix itself.
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