Grosjean tops wet British GP practiceComment on this story
Steady rain put a dampener on practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday with Romain Grosjean lapping fastest for Lotus in clouds of spray as fans huddled in the grandstands and under umbrellas.
Campsites were waterlogged and car parks full of puddles, with traffic jams tailing back for miles on approach roads as organisers put contingency plans into effect to limit the effects of the weather.
Despite the delays and frustration, with many spectators unable to access the circuit in time for the opening session, there was no denying the enthusiasm of those who made it in.
They thronged the circuit in their tens of thousands, the grandstands looking fuller than on race day at some sunnier circuits, while drivers tentatively took to the glistening track.
Marussia's German driver Timo Glock tweeted: “Bit of swimming today only 6 laps in FP1! UK weather is just unreal.”
Grosjean's best lap of 1min56.552 seconds was largely meaningless in a session that made staying on the asphalt a challenge.
Moments after he had completed that lap, the Frenchman found himself tracking across the grass at Becketts.
Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo was second on the timing screens, with a time 0.275 seconds slower, while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was third.
Hamilton, whose 2008 victory makes him the last British driver to win his home race, completed only six laps in the 90-minute session.
That was more than Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso, who did four installation laps without setting a time.
Red Bull's Mark Webber said: “The conditions are pretty dodgy to say the least.”
Webber did seven laps and was sixth fastest.
“We don't want to do a thousand laps today because the forecast looks pretty dodgy for the weekend and we need these tyres.” -Reuters
RESULTS - FIRST SESSION
1 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - 1min56.552
2 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso - 1:56.827
3 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren - 1:57.174
4 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber - 1:57.664
5 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari - 1:58.119
6 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull - 1:58.463
7 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - 1:58.483
8 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes - 1:58.493
9 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 1:58.942
10 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - 1:59.076
11 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 1:59.414
12 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham - 1:59.614
13 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - 1:59.733
14 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham - 1:59.787
15 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - 2:00.125
16 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - 2:00.253
17 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 2:01.834
18 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia - 2:01.835
19 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Hispania - 2:04.341
20 Dani Clos (Spain) Hispania - 2:05.022
21 Charles Pic (France) Marussia - 2:11.760
22 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari
23 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India
24 Jules Bianchi (France) Force India