SILVERSTONE, England, (Reuters) – Red Bull’s Australian Mark Webber roared back to form and denied world champion team mate Sebastian Vettel a third successive British Grand Prix pole position at a damp Silverstone yesterday.
It was the team’s ninth pole from nine races this season and Webber’s second in a year in which he has yet to beat Vettel on a Sunday or even lead a race for so much as a lap.
The German, 77 points clear of McLaren’s Jenson Button and Webber with 10 races remaining after Silverstone, extended his run of successive front-row starts to 14 with second place on the grid.
Webber was keen to put the racing back into the limelight after a morning dominated by team meetings, arcane argument about engine regulations, and whether Red Bull had been disadvantaged by a fresh directive before final practice.
“Seb and I just concentrate on the driving,” said the Australian, who won last year’s race after Vettel took pole, of all the technical polemic on a grey and wet day at Silverstone.
“Every year we have a new thing to talk about, this last few weeks has been about this (the engine and exhaust regulations), so let’s hope everyone can find their common ground.
“It’s incredibly boring also for the fans. I think they cannot understand 0.1 percent of what is going on. Even for us it is sometimes difficult. Let’s get on with the racing and keep the rules as simple as possible.
“From my perspective for tomorrow, I’m in great shape and have prepared well.”
Vettel, winner of six of the eight races so far, was also quietly confident.
“Tomorrow (today), anything can happen. I think this circuit is quite tough on tyres, so we see what we get tomorrow,” said the 24-year-old German.
Ferrari filled the second row, with double world champion Fernando Alonso qualifying third and Felipe Massa fourth ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button, hoping for his first home podium finish in Formula One.