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Robert Wickens flies to Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5 pole

Robert Wickens, Carlin, Silverstone 2011Carlin's Robert Wickens took his fifth Formula Renault 3.5 pole position of the season at Silverstone on Saturday morning.

The Canadian is chasing a four-point deficit to team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in the points race, and the Red Bull Junior driver qualified back in eighth place. Wickens enjoyed a sizeable 0.4-second advantage over Friday's opening practice pacesetter Alexander Rossi (Fortec) in second today.

"I have to take my hat off to Robert," said Rossi. "I was pretty pleased with my lap when it came up on my dash, but then I saw him go four tenths faster.

"The race runs we did yesterday were all very positive, and we've been good on heavy fuel all year. We just need to keep Robert honest. If we can't get him at the start then I'll try and pressure him into a mistake."

ISR's pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon will form the second row of the grid for this afternoon's race.

Brendon Hartley took fifth place for the revamped Gravity-Charouz squad, which no longer has technical support from GP2 outfit DAMS. The Kiwi recorded the same time, 1m45.781s, as Spaniard Albert Costa (EPIC Racing), who was fastest at the midway point of the half-hour session.

Visiting GP3 racer Nick Yelloly continued his impressive transition to Formula Renault 3.5. The debutant ended the morning seventh quickest for Pons Racing, ahead of championship leader Vergne, who said he had encountered no major problems.

Yelloly's team-mate Oliver Webb, in 13th, felt fourth place had been achievable and blamed a mistake in the middle sector.

Pos  Driver             Team             Time       Gap
 1.  Robert Wickens     Carlin           1m45.015s
 2.  Alexander Rossi    Fortec           1m45.410s  + 0.395s
 3.  Daniel Ricciardo   ISR              1m45.635s  + 0.620s
 4.  Nathanael Berthon  ISR              1m45.738s  + 0.723s
 5.  Brendon Hartley    Gravity-Charouz  1m45.781s  + 0.766s
 6.  Albert Costa       EPIC             1m45.781s  + 0.766s
 7.  Nick Yelloly       Pons             1m45.820s  + 0.805s
 8.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Carlin           1m45.898s  + 0.883s
 9.  Sten Pentus        EPIC             1m46.027s  + 1.012s
10.  Walter Grubmuller  P1               1m46.032s  + 1.017s
11.  Cesar Ramos        Fortec           1m46.038s  + 1.023s
12.  Jan Charouz        Gravity-Charouz  1m46.076s  + 1.061s
13.  Oliver Webb        Pons             1m46.087s  + 1.072s
14.  Kevin Korjus       Tech 1           1m46.147s  + 1.132s
15.  Daniel Zampieri    BVM Target       1m46.358s  + 1.343s
16.  Sergio Canamasas   BVM Target       1m46.436s  + 1.421s
17.  Nelson Panciatici  KMP              1m46.470s  + 1.455s
18.  Fairuz Fauzy       Mofaz            1m46.568s  + 1.553s
19.  Anton Nebylitskiy  KMP              1m46.607s  + 1.592s
20.  Jake Rosenzweig    Mofaz            1m46.692s  + 1.677s
21.  Andre Negrao       Draco            1m46.750s  + 1.735s
22.  Stephane Richelmi  Draco            1m46.864s  + 1.849s
23.  Daniil Move        P1               1m46.888s  + 1.873s
24.  Arthur Pic         Tech 1           1m47.099s  + 2.084s
25.  Daniel de Jong     Comtec           1m47.264s  + 2.249s
26.  Daniel McKenzie    Comtec           1m47.340s  + 2.325s
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