Practice 1: Grosjean tops wet,wet,wet session at Silverstone
6 July, 2012
Jul.6 (GP247) When it rains at Silverstone, it pours! Alas, the first free practice of the British Grand Prix weekend was run under very wet conditions with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean topping the timing screens in a session which witnessed very little running by most of the drivers.
The Frenchman did 13 laps, under dark skies, on a track littered with puddles and large segments of standing water which was hardly conducive to consistent laps, let alone fast laps. Grosjean ended the 90 minutes with the best time of 1 minute 56.552 seconds, which he set just after the half hour mark.
This was a tad over a quarter second up on next best Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso, with 10 laps to his credit.
Third fastest was Lewis Hamilton who set his time with only six laps on his board. The frustration of not being able to evaluate upgrades is summed up by the McLaren team’s operations director, Simon Roberts; “We have worked hard at the factory, we have a few things here but it’s so wet at the moment, so this is a bit of an installation session for us. It is not really about set-up it is just checking that everything is functioning.”
Fourth quickest was Sergio Perez in the Sauber, with his team echoing the frustrations felt by all the teams in the pitlane.
Sauber designer Matt Morris told the BBC, “We have brought a few changes here related to the back of the car and today’s programme is to run through those, although the conditions have meant we have had to change our plan a bit. We have done a few runs but obviously the conditions are not ideal.”
Up next was in fifth Felipe Massa in the Ferrari, with seven laps to his credit while his team mate Fernando Alonso did not bother to do any timed laps.
Also racking up a mere seven laps was Mark Webber in the Red Bull, ending sixth fastest, albeit nearly two seconds down on the top time. Teammate Sebastian Vettel was 11th on the timing screens with 11 laps completed.
Kamui Kobayashi did the most laps, 19, on his way to setting the seventh best time 0.819 down on Sauber teammate Perez.
The Mercedes pair of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were 8th and 9th respectively, with rookie Jean Eric Vergne rounding out the top ten.
Several drivers ran wide or spun during the session, in what must be the worst conditions experienced so far, this season, and not many were keen to use up the limited supply of Pirelli wet weather tyres.
On that note, perhaps a couple of extra sets of wet tyres could be dished out to the teams to at least encourage drivers to do laps rather than sitting around in the pit garages with nothing going on, poor folks who sat out in the rain for an hour and a half watching the occasional car go by…
Marussia driver Timo Glock summed it up on Twitter: “Bit of swimming today only 6 laps in FP1! UK weather is just unreal.”
Subbed by AJN.
British Grand Prix Free Practice 1 – Friday, 6 July 2012
|6||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:58.463||1.911||7|
|11||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:59.414||2.862||11|
|19||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||2:04.341||7.789||9|
|22||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||No time||4|
|23||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||No time||3|
|24||12||Jules Bianchi||Force India-Mercedes||No time||1|
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