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The weather prevented McLaren from enjoying a smooth practice session in Germany on Friday, as it did with the entire Formula 1 field, although the Woking team had been in particular need of dry conditions as it hoped to trial a number of new components.
McLaren ran new sidepods as well as a new rear wing and other, less influential features around the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Despite the weather, Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh is sure that the new parts are working and remains upbeat.
“Another tricky dry-wet first day of practice at a Grand Prix,” Whitmarsh began. “The changeable weather makes it harder to establish an effective baseline of sorts, but we were able to get some decent mileage under our belts today – and that’s been important.
“Firstly, it’s allowed us to ascertain the effectiveness of the upgrades we’ve brought to this race. Secondly, it’s helped deepen our understanding of the car’s behaviour in wet weather on both the Intermediate and Wet Pirelli tyres. So it’s been a positive day, certainly from a data-gathering point of view.
“We implemented a number of measures to improve wet weather performance and I’m pleased to say that we appear to have made progress in that area. More pleasingly, our planned series of upgrades delivered without issue and have given us confidence for the remainder of the weekend.”
After Button led a McLaren one-two in opening practice, he fell to eighth as the field was mixed up in the afternoon. Hamilton ended his running earlier and finished 19th.
|3.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||01:27.902||24|
|6.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||01:28.495||22|
|7.||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||01:28.513||23|
|9.||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:28.877||21|
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|2012 German Formula 1 Grand Prix|
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