Mercedes' Nico Rosberg clinched the pole position at the British Grand Prix in the improving conditions at the Silverstone circuit, followed by Jenson Button in the McLaren and Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull on Saturday.
Rosberg's teammate Lewis Hamilton was at the provisional pole at the start of Q3. But as the track dried up, the German raced to the pole and Hamilton tumbled down the order, settling for P6 behind Kevin Magnussen's McLaren.
"It was a tough qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part," Hamilton said. "It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying."
The first qualifying session produced some big upsets as the Ferraris and the Williams failed to make the Q2 cut. Both misjudged the conditions ideal to switch from inters to slicks and were knocked out of the qualifying.
"When it rains in qualifying it's always a lottery, it can go well or it can go badly," Ferrari's Fernando Alonso pointed out. "Most of all, it's easy to make mistakes. At complicated moments like this, you need to fit the right tyres at the right time, but luck definitely plays a part."
"I think if we had fitted the Mediums thirty seconds earlier or later, with a dry track, things could have gone differently."
Sauber's Adrian Sutil was the only casualty of the day, when he went off the road in the latter part of Q1 and his car stuck in the gravel trap. His C33 could not be retrieved in time and he failed to participate in the second qualifying session.
"Unfortunately, I made a mistake today," Sutil admitted. "As I went off the track, I did not notice that the preceded corner was very wet. I lost the rear of the car and got stuck in the gravel trap. It is a shame as I was in ninth and therefore had made it into the second qualifying session, but could not participate."
Hometown hope Button was always looking to get a decent grid position and made the most of the tumbling timings late in the session, despite his fastest lap being ruled out for exceeding track limits.
"At the start of the session, I was really looking forward to getting out there," Button stressed. "And, as soon as we did, we found the grip of the circuit, and I felt confident. I even did a lap in Q1 that was quickest overall, but I ran wide at the final corner in traffic, and that time was disallowed - nonetheless, I think it showed that, in difficult circumstances, we often tend make the best of things."
Meanwhile, Force India maintained their consistency and finished fourth and seventh with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, respectively.
"That worked out really well for us and I'm very happy to come away with fourth place on the grid," Hulkenberg said. "On days like this you just need to be in the right place, with good timing and a little bit of luck."
Where to Watch Live
Formula One: British GP Live Streaming Information
Race start: 2:00 pm local time, 5:30 pm IST, 12:00 pm GMT
|India||Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD2|
|United Kingdom||BBC, Sky Sports|
|Middle East and North Africa||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Germany, Italy||Sky Sport|
|UK||HERE or HERE or HERE|
|Germany and Italy||HERE or HERE|