Alonso snatches pole at soaking Silverstone

Whether it can possibly be worth all the bother, tomorrow’s British Grand Prix will be a cracker whether you’re at/been at/going to Silverstone or keeping the sofa warm for us.

Fernando Alonso starts from pole, Mark Webber second. But we are most interested in who is starting third, Herr Michael Schumacher. Those among us old enough to recall Michael’s First Coming will remember him being more than a little tasty in the wet. And let’s face it, the one thing we should be able to predict by now about this year’s home race is that rain will play its part.

It did again today. There seemed to be less kerfuffle on the roads judging from Twitter although it was once again not plain sailing. 20,000 fans were told to stay away (all of them in the cheap seats, the red carpet for Paddock Club guests was no doubt dry cleaned overnight). Not all of them did, many choosing instead to get up frighteningly early. We do know however many were indeed bounced and we don’t care that Bernie Ecclestone has for once got off Silverstone’s back and suggested there was nothing more Silverstone could have done. It’s unacceptable to turn away the most loyal fans, and one assumes least able to afford entry. Prawn-sandwichism at its very worst.

Tomorrow everyone who has paid will be let in, say Silverstone’s people, bless them. Though we should all (yes, that includes us) plan our trips like a long, tough military campaign. We’ve bought a bigger flask and plenty of chocolate.

It will be worth it. Every time we say Fernando Alonso is in the form of his life, he just gets better. Mark Webber, can we remind you, has pretty much matched Sebastian Vettel this year and leads the chase to Alonso in the championship. Vettel himself starts fourth, quite possibly behind where he should be. Lewis Hamilton starts eighth, most definitely behind where he should be. The top ten looks like this then; Alonso, Webber, Schumacher, Vettel, Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Maldonado, Hamilton, Hulkenberg and Grosjean.

No Jenson Button there. He starts 18th having been dropped at the first cut after being caught out by yellow flags on a very fast lap. Paul di Resta starts 11th and in a right old grump as he thinks Alonso didn’t pay as much attention as Button did to similar warnings and so excluded Di Resta from Q3. Both Brits have points to prove. Button could just be spectacular. He’s never even seen the podium at Silverstone remember.

To be fair, it was just one of those crazy qualifying sessions, interrupted for over 90 mins in Q2 when the rain made the circuit un-drivable. Luck as much as skill and pace saw you through this one, not that it wasn’t worth watching. We expected statistics to show more opposite lock was applied in today’s one hour of qualifying than in the whole of last season. Wow. Just wow guys.

Crazy-fast racing cars on a crazy-fast circuit and little or no consistency of grip. Like we say, it might just be worth all the bother. See you there. We might even give you some of our tea and chocolate.

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