2012 Formula 1 British Grand Prix, July 6, 2012 FP1, FP2

6 Jul

It was a Dark Day and Dark Knight at Silverstone. Both practice sessions were affected by continuous rains with most teams choosing to limit running and not risk racing equipment. Teams that were looking forward to Friday running to test upgrades spend most of their time in their garages.

Romain Grosjean has an off during Free Practice 1 at Silverstone

Free Practice 1: Romain Grosjean topped the timesheets with a 1 min 55.5 sec mark. With 6 different teams in the top 6 and Webber 1.9 sec down on the P1 time, not much can be read in these times. Kobayashi had the maximum number of laps with 19. Alonso and the Force India’s of di Resta and Jules Bianchi decided against setting a full lap time. Force India spent most of the time resolving issues on their cars. The HRTs and Marussia of Charles Pic were significantly off pace. The mood in Marussia garage was understandably somber due to the events of past week involving Maria de Villota. Kobayashi is under investigation by the stewards for a very last minute dash into the pit lane.

Free Practice 2: Another 90 minutes for downpour made for a dull Friday practice. Action was less, as expected with the weather conditions. Hamilton was quickest from Kobayashi, Schumacher and Rosberg with the top 4 separated by only 2 tenths of a second. Rest of the field chose to do more conservative times. Kobayashi was again the leader in terms of completed laps with 16. Grosjean, Riccardo, Webber and de la Rosa didn’t set a timed lap. Senna had a major shunt in his Williams, missing on crucial track time. The session ended with Alonso losing his front wing at the very end, no major damage though. It does puts into perspective the track conditions.

Pirellis had hoped to test a new tyre compound in the Friday practice, that will surely be delayed. All the teams, especially McLaren, had bigger worries with losing 3 hours of testing of upgrades they were bringing to this race. The current weather forecast could continue well on Saturday and Sunday. This race could turn out to be another lottery. Alonso, Vettel and Button though have had successes in rain hit races. Hamilton will take heart from his win here in 2008.Teams will hope for better conditions on Saturday to gather the all important data.


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