British GP: Everything to play for - Lewis Hamilton

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer at Silverstone

McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are confident they can achieve a good result in the British Grand Prix despite poor grid positions.

Hamilton qualified eighth fastest and Button 16th as Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took pole position.

Hamilton said: "From eighth, everything is to play for. Either way, it's going to be tough but we will fight to get up as high as possible."

Button added: "I know I can drive a car in the wet, so it should be OK."

Button had qualified 18th but will start on the grid in 16th after penalties were applied to several drivers.

Qualifying took place in ever-changing wet conditions, and the forecast is for more rain on Sunday.

Both men struggled to get the 'intermediate' tyres up to temperature in qualifying, although Hamilton was fastest on the 'extreme' wet tyres in the second session when the conditions were at their worst.

Hamilton said: "All I know is it's going to be raining. It's not the end of the world that we're eighth.

"I'm not frustrated. I would to have been a little higher up. All these fans are coming tomorrow to try and watch a great race and that's what I'm going to try and give them.

"Jenson showed in the past coming from right at the back it's possible, Fernando showed in the last race coming from quite far back is possible, we'll just have to do the best job we can and see what happens.

"Anything can happen and that's the exciting part of it. You have to go in with your heart and your head and get on with it."

Button added that should the race be dry at any point the McLarens would be in good shape, judging by the form in the only dry running of the weekend in Saturday morning final practice.

"We can definitely do something in the dry. Our pace was good this morning on both tyres.

"It will be difficult for everyone, there hasn't been much running and the circuit will be very green. Some people might not have a good handle on the tyres, which I think we do."

But he warned that the race would be treacherous if it did rain - qualifying had to be stopped part-way through because conditions were too dangerous to continue.

Button said: "Because it's been raining so much, the ground is soaked, so when it does rain it doesn't soak into the ground, it sits on top.

"That's a big issue. The rivers are forming very quickly even if the circuit isn't that wet, so especially coming out of Becketts onto Hangar Straight - it's very wet there.

"Every time you come round it does seem like the water has moved, but I don't think it has.

"I think as more cars travel across that piece of Tarmac it clears it and if there's no cars the river runs freely.

"For me, when they stopped it in Q2 it was 100% the right decision. It was like a lake out there, it was too wet.

"It's nothing about the skill of the drivers, it's whether you're driving the car or not, and when it's like that you're not. You're floating."