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.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz