Lewis Hamilton masters the Silverstone rain ahead of British Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton mastered Silverstone's treacherous conditions to fire up
hopes of another wet-weather British Grand Prix triumph akin to 2008.
Throughout the course of the two 90-minute practice sessions the rain was unrelenting, and for a lengthy period at the start of the afternoon run the drivers took shelter in their garages.
At least the fans were eventually treated to some action, as opposed to many other tracks around the world when rain falls which has resulted in the teams opting not to run knowing drier weather is on the way.
But with more rain forecast across the weekend as Britain's sorry summer evolves into the wettest on record, there was a case to at least get laps under their belts and gather data.
With puddles to negotiate on the Northamptonshire circuit, there were obvious dangers, with Bruno Senna and Fernando Alonso two of those caught out.
Both hit standing water, leaving them helpless in uncontrollable cars, and with Senna the major casualty as he ploughed into a wall in his Williams with 30 minutes remaining, bringing out the red flag for a 10-minute hiatus.
As for championship leader Alonso, the Spaniard could do nothing as he slid off the track and on to the grass, his brakes of no use on such a wet surface, hitting a barrier and losing his front wing.
At the top of the timesheet it was Hamilton who led the way in his McLaren, but with times relatively meaningless given the conditions, even for a Friday.
The 27-year-old, who won by 68.5 seconds four years ago for arguably the greatest victory of his Formula One career, posted a time of one minute 56.345secs.
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, who completed the most laps early on with 19, also posted an afternoon-high of 16, with his best 0.129secs within Hamilton.
Seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, renowned for his skills in the rain over the years, was exactly two tenths of a second behind Hamilton, whilst team-mate Nico Rosberg was 0.222secs off the pace.
Sauber's Sergio Perez was the best of the rest, but almost a further second down, followed by Jenson Button in his McLaren, the 32-year-old 1.603secs behind his team-mate.
The remainder were over two seconds off, led by Heikki Kovalainen in his Caterham and Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen.
As for Alonso, he was 10th, with Force India's Paul di Resta 11th, but three seconds adrift, with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel narrowly behind in 13th, whilst Senna was 17th.
Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo in his Toro Rosso, one and two in the first session, opted not to set a time in FP2, along with Red Bull's Mark Webber and Pedro de la Rosa for HRT.
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
Gaël Clichy: Roberto Mancini must take share of blame for dismissal
Sergio Garcia apologises for 'fried chicken' remark aimed towards Tiger Woods
Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
Phil Neville in frame for role at Stoke City
Andy Carroll stalls on £15m move to West Ham in hope Newcastle step in
- 1 Terror at Woolwich barracks: Attacker tried to behead and disembowel British soldier
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.