Hamilton fastest in wet British GP practice
6 July 2012 – Lewis Hamilton moved atop the timesheets as F1 practice continued at Silverstone on Friday. Once again, rain washed out most of the session as Bruno Senna ended his day with a heavy accident. Behind Hamilton’s McLaren, the top three was completed by Kamui Kobayashi and Michael Schumacher while Fernando Alonso damaged the front of his Ferrari in an incident just metres from the pit lane entry.
Although weather forecasts have a fickle nature in Formula 1, the general predictions for rain were certainly not wrong as heavy showers caused disruption both on and off the track in Northamptonshire. As traffic jams frustrated many outside the circuit, the competing drivers spent much of their days in the garages. Curiously, Hamilton strolled down the pit lane with an umbrella in order to study his rivals’ parked cars.
Until the final minutes of the session, when several drivers went back out following a long pause, lap times had been left in the two-minute zone. Senna was particularly vocal about not driving in the poor conditions; his annoyance was increased further when he aquaplaned off at Chapel Curve. The Williams mechanics are left with the task of repairing both front and rear end damage.
Moments after Sergio Pérez completed a 360-degree spin for Sauber, Alonso lost control on the exit of Stowe; saving the first moment, the Spaniard – who had bravely tried out the Intermediates tyres - then hit a particularly large puddle which carried his car into the Armco barriers. The championship leader duly ended his session with a broken front wing.
Hamilton, who dominated in the wet at Silverstone in 2008, set a best effort of 1:56.345 as Kobayashi recorded the most laps for the day. With Mercedes third and fourth, Heikki Kovalainen was seventh quickest in the highly updated Caterham; although the position does not reflect his dry pace, the team are highly pleased with their new components.
Four drivers elected not to register lap times, with two of them being Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who was fastest in opening practice. More rain is set to affect proceedings and cause drama on both Saturday and Sunday.
Third and final practice begins at 10am local time (BST) on Saturday and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report