After three days of unpredictable weather in Montreal, the F1 community saw no change in climate when they unpacked at UK’s Silverstone circuit.
For the first part of practice, puddles of standing water blanketed much of the circuit with only 11 drivers willing to set a lap time. Drivers opting to remain in the garage included Red Bull‘s Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso and Lotus‘s Kimi Raikkonen.
Toro Rosso‘s Daniel Ricciardo was the first to test the conditions in his STR8. He managed to set first practice’s overall pace with 1m 54.249s.
Lewis Hamilton clocked a 1m 55.458s for Mercedes and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg notched up a 1m 55.033s. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa managed 2m 06.534s, whilst Caterham‘s Charles Pic spun and took off his front wing at Club Corner.
Come the afternoon session and the track had dried although it was still slippery. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg set the pace, narrowly beating the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Vettel. Rosberg managed a 1m 32.248s to knock off Webber on 1m 32.547s and Vettel on 1m 32.680s. Local boy Paul di Resta and Mercedes’ Hamilton were just behind on 1m 32.832s and 1m 32.911s respectively.
After 25 minutes getting to grips with the changing track, Massa spun exiting Stowe, damaging his front suspension. Both of the Toro Rossos continued to impress whilst the Force India of Di Resta was just behind.
F1 Championship contender Alonso trailed further back on 1m 33.494s., along with McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Kimi Raikkonen suffered a troubled session and only managed 13th on 1m 34.120s ahead of McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez on 1m 34.998s for Sauber.
Not much could be taken away from these sessions as once again the weather played its hand. Saturday’s third and final practice will hopefully see the cars on a completely dry track. This will give a clearer picture of the relative performances of the teams.