Rosberg survives the wet morning to post fastest time in practice
Nico Rosberg was fastest for Mercedes in practice for the British Formula One Grand Prix today after rain made a mockery of the morning session.
The German, winner at Monaco this season, lapped the Silverstone circuit on a largely dry afternoon with a best time of one minute 32.248 seconds.
Australian Mark Webber, twice a winner in the last three years at what amounts to a home race, and Red Bull team-mate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel were second and third on the timesheets. Force India’s Paul Di Resta was the leading Briton in fourth place with Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton fifth fastest.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa skidded off and smashed into the tyre wall at Stowe after seven laps.
Only half of the grid had posted a timed lap in the morning practice, with most of the leading drivers remaining in their garages as the rain came down.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, eager to show Red Bull bosses what he can do now that there is a declared vacancy with Webber departing at the end of the year, was fastest in that session with a lap of 1:54.249.
That at least gave an 80,000 strong crowd some action to watch with the Red Bull, Lotus and McLaren drivers doing no more than installation laps. Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen did not bother even with that.
“Bit scary on the straight,” Vettel, who leads Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by 36 points after seven of 19 races, had said over the team radio. “Quite a lot of water on the track.”
Morning time sheets
Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was second on the morning timesheets with Williams’ Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado third and Hamilton fourth.
Caterham’s French driver Charles Pic skidded off the slippery surface and into the tyre wall at Club corner, smashing the front wing, in the morning.
The bad weather meant hopes of five British drivers on track came to nothing, with Force India abandoning plans to run their simulator tester James Rossiter instead of Germany’s Adrian Sutil.