Fernando Alonso
Despite not having the best car all season, Fernando Alonso has every chance of victory at Silverstone to extend his already 20-point lead in the drivers' championship. Reuters

When and where: The Formula One British Grand Prix gets underway at 8 a.m. ET. Fox will be showing the race in full from noon ET, with build-up and post-race coverage provided by Speed. Live timing and statistics during the race, will be available on Formula1.com. In the U.K. a live stream will be available on the BBC iPlayer.

Preview: Fernando Alonso will start on pole for the British Grand Prix after a dramatic late flurry of activity in a qualifying session that was severely affected by the continued deluge of rain at Silverstone.

The Spaniard secured his first pole in close to two years in the dying seconds, recording a time less than half-a-tenth ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber. Michael Schumacher will start from third, one place ahead of the second Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.

There was disappointment for McLaren with Lewis Hamilton set to start from eighth, while teammate Jenson Button failed to make it through Q1 and will begin from 16th.

It could have all been very different for Alonso. Both Ferrari's looked set to miss out on Q3, but the race organizer decided to red-flag the session as heavy rain made the track too dangerous to continue.

After a lengthy delay, Alonso only made the top 10 with his final lap, which was set despite waving yellow flags in the final section after Romain Grosjean's Lotus had spun off at Vale. Stewards allowed the lap to stand, however, based on the fact that it had not been Alonso's fastest time in that sector.

Today's pole is important, even if we know it came to us in unusual conditions, Alonso said, according to Formula1.com. We still need to get one in the dry to be able to say we have closed the gap to the best. I'm hoping for a boring race tomorrow, given that for once I'm starting in front of everyone.

The Red Bulls could well be the biggest threat to an Alonso win after a qualifying performance that suggested they could have the best pace in the field.

It was a tough day, said double-world champion, Vettel. It's raining again now and it will probably be the same weather again tomorrow, so we'll see what happens. It's going to be a long race. We are at the front which is good.

It is a very different story for McLaren, with both Hamilton and Button bemoaning struggles with tires after the session.

I don't really know what happened in Q3, Hamilton said. The full wets had been working really well, but, as the track gradually became less wet, I sought better grip and switched to the intermediates, but we struggled to get enough temperature into them and just couldn't switch them on.

So I had very little grip on the inters, having felt more confident on the full wets; obviously, we'll have to try to analyze the problem overnight and hopefully fix it for tomorrow.

While Alonso is hoping for a rain-free race to maximize his chances of extending his world-championship lead, with rain again forecast on Sunday, there could be ample twists and turns once again on race day.