Lewis Hamilton masters the Silverstone rain ahead of British Grand Prix
Friday 06 July 2012
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.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him' - Harry Redknapp
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce calm over lack of new contract
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing